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How I met your mother: Stories of how couples came together
Jerel and Jamila Harris

The Rockdale News asked how you met your sweetheart. Here is what you had to say.


Hilda and JD Westmoreland 

Hilda: I can’t well you how we met. We saw each other a couple of times around town before we met.

He had been in the Navy for three years and had just gotten out right after the war. I had come to Marianne, Fla., to work and go to business school. I was 18, he was 22.

The first time I noticed him, I was working in my sister and her husband’s office supply store. He had come in to see a fellow.
Well, you know, it was the uniform. Back in World War II, all the girls were always ogling anyone in a uniform.

I was working at the theater also, cashiering. He would bring his girlfriend to the movies. He would get her seated and come outside and talk to me.

But he left town to go to  Atlanta. All of a sudden, it dawned on me I hadn’t seen him in a while. My friend who was a cashier at another theater said she hadn’t seen him lately either.

It was a few days before he came back in town and she saw him. She said, “Somebody was asking about you.” He said, “Who?” She told him.

He came by my theater and asked to see me.

I told him, “I really don’t go out with boys that are engaged.”

He left and a few hours later, he came back.

I heard something hit my money drawer. It was a ring.

I said, “What is that?”

He said, “I’m not engaged anymore.”

I dated him that weekend.

About a week later, the family I was living with called me over to the phone and said someone was saying they had driven 300 miles to talk to me.

It was already 10 p.m. I had gone to bed, but he wanted to see me that night. So I went back to my room and crawled out the bedroom window and met him out there in the street. That started it.

I officially started going out with him on a Friday night. Three weeks later, we got married.


MeLisa and Cory Collins

MeLisa: Both of our best friends are married to each other, and they both wanted us to be godparents for their child. We didn’t really know each other.

Cory: We were both with someone else. (Our friends) used to have little parties and functions. I would ask my friend, “You think ‘Lisa’s going to be there?” But I would never flirt with her because I wasn’t out of my situation.

MeLisa: I was dating.

When we got to the christening, we were taking a picture and his best friend’s mother said, “Oh, you guys are such a cute couple.” I said, “No, we’re not a couple.” She said, “That’s what you think.”

I asked my friend about him and she said he’s with such and such and they’ve been together forever. So I brushed it off.
That was in July. I guess she didn’t know that they were on the rocks. In February, (my friend called) and told me they had separated.

He called me and I was done from the moment I talked to him on the phone. We’ve been together ever since and got married two years later.

He’s going to say I called him first. But I’m going to say I didn’t.

Cory: (laughs) She’s never going to admit she came after me. That’s when I went on and chased her. But she didn’t have to call. I was going to get her number and call her.


Nanette Surber and Danny Skinner

Years ago, I grew up off Glen Road in Decatur. I lived at the end of the street, and my best friend Jennifer lived at the top of the street. We played all the time. I was an only child, my father was raising me as a single parent, and she had a houseful of siblings. Her family was my family.

I remember having a tiny childhood crush on her brother, Danny, and vice versa. I remember trying to make him jealous of the other little boys in the neighborhood. But we were just kids.

They moved to Loganville, and I remember I was devastated. Then I moved down to Jacksonville, Fla., at 13 years old and didn’t see them again.

I got married, had my children and moved back to Georgia. At this point, I had gone through a divorce and was single.
Twenty years had gone by with no contact. But I decided to look up my friend Jennifer, and lo and behold, they were in Monroe, just 25 minutes down the road from me. The first thing I wanted to know was, “How’s your brother Danny doing?” I found out he was divorced.

I was invited to her nephew’s birthday party and Danny was there.

It instantly was there. It was like nothing had ever left from that childhood. That little crush. All those ticklely feelings inside.
We gradually started talking, and started a friendship for a year, before we stared dating.
Now we’re engaged, and planning to be wed this year.

It’s funny; he said he’s always thought of me and he’s always loved me. He can remember hearing my name and his heart would start racing.

And I never forgot him either. When I told my kids stories about my best friend, Jennifer, Danny would always come up and I remember feeling giddy inside. I feel it to this day.


Jamila and Jerel Harris

My meeting of my husband is not so ordinary. We met in college. When I met him, I was a senior in high school and I could not stand him. However, he told me he knew I would be his girlfriend when he first saw a picture of me and had said so to his friend (but I did not find this out until after we were married).

The next year, I came to the same college he was attending, not really knowing him or the statement he made to a friend of ours. We went to Lon Morris College, a private United Methodist college in Jacksonville, Texas. I recall us going to the chapel praying in college while we were only friends. We would talk about what we wanted in the future. He said when he finished college he wanted to get married and have four children. I quickly replied without thinking, “Anyone would be crazy to give you one child.”

Anyway, by the next semester he did enough to finally get my attention and change my negative perspective about him. I gave him a chance as a boyfriend when he showed an interest in my writings. He won me over by simply showing me he cared about what I loved, which is writing.

We dated that semester and during the Valentine’s holiday, he took me to meet his family. I was so impressed when I found out I was the only girl he ever brought home to meet his family. I knew that moment he looked at me as special.

The awkward thing was, he wasn’t very experienced in dating. Here it was Valentine’s Day, we were supposed to go out to eat, and we had no reservations anywhere. His sister, mother, and grandmother asked him, while I was in another room, “Where do you plan to take her?” He replied, “I don’t know; anywhere.” His sister said, “You don't have reservations? Where do you plan to go with no reservations?” 

It was funny. We went to three restaurants but were crowded out at each by the long wait. I was so hungry by that time, he had to stop to get me something to snack on as we sought out a place to sit down and finally eat. We eventually did find one quiet place that served seafood.

I enjoyed my meal and time with him so much that after four years we went back to the same chapel where I had declared anyone would be crazy to give him children and got married. I did have the four children he desired as a young man. I guess I was the crazy one, crazy in love. He turned out to be the perfect one for me, sent from heaven above.


Renae and Dominic Adams

We met at Publix in Conyers. We were seniors in high school. I went to Heritage; he went to Salem. I came in one night and saw this guy, really cute, and said to myself, “Hey, new guy.” I was thinking, he’s going to be mine one day.

About a month later, I decided to ask him what he was doing one night after work. He said, “Not much.” I said, “You’re not going off with your girlfriend?” I was fishing, trying to ask if he had a girlfriend without asking if he had a girlfriend. He said he didn't.

I said, “OK, well, you’re going to take me home.” So he took me home, and he thought he was just giving me a ride home. Me, I had other things in mind.

I get home and say, you can come inside. I run upstairs, change clothes real quick, and come back and say “OK, where are you taking me out to eat?” Just like that. And that is so not like me.

Since he was a high school student, I knew he didn’t have a lot of money, so we went to Arby’s.

We ate, and he said "What do you want to do now?” We decided to rent a movie, “Needful Things” by Stephen King.  We didn’t watch the movie. We talked through the whole thing.

I had never been like that before. That was my senior year. We ended up getting married right after high school and we’ve been married for 13 years.


Tisa and David Washington 

My husband is the quietest and most mild-mannered person I know, which makes his proposal even more unbelievable.

About 11 years ago, my friends and I decided we would have a girls' night out and catch a show at Smiths Olde Bar in Midtown. When we arrived, all six of us filled out sweepstakes forms and settled in for a night of music from the ska band on stage.

Well, a couple of hours (and a couple of hundred people) later, the lead singer asked if "Tisha" was in the house. I looked around because I wanted to see if Tisha was indeed in the house. After a couple of minutes of calling for Tisha, he corrected himself and asked if Tisa was in the house. I made my way to stage, wondering if I won a trip to Hawaii or a brand new car since I did fill out the sweepstakes form at the door. To my surprise, my now husband emerged from backstage with a mic in his hand singing our song, "It's Written All Over Your Face" by the Rude Boys.

Now, I must say that my husband is not a singer, but he belted out our song at the top of his lungs, with the band accompanying him, in front of five of my closest friends and about 200 strangers. At the end, he got down on one knee and asked if I would be his wife forever.

Even now, 11 years later, I still get giddy and smile from ear to ear when I watch the video tape from that night. It was truly unforgettable.