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The Case of the Forgotten Anniversary

Oct, 17 || 7 Comments | Tags:
Tom and Work Truck

Now that sounds like a boring topic for an entry on a blog, doesn’t it? But bear with me and I think you’ll find that it’s not such a tepid subject after all.

You see, we’re going to a wedding this weekend. When the invitation came to us, it reminded me of the fact that this month, October, is the month in which Tom and I were married. Funny thing is though, that neither of us can remember the day.

Yes, I said that right, neither of us can remember what day in October we were married. I have to dig out the marriage license to determine what day it actually happened. So here’s the story.

Tom and I were basically meant to be together. Everyone has always told us that. We met one steamy September day in 1996 when Tom came in to the truck stop where I was working to order some gumbo. He said the gumbo at Fuel Stop 36 was some of the best he’d ever eaten.

So that day our eyes met, and we just clicked. What did we do about it? Absolutely nothing. The same could be said for the day we first sat in a booth at Fuel Stop 36 and talked. I discovered that Tom’s wife had recently passed, and he had nobody at home to cook for him. But, I also learned that he owned his own business when he handed me his business card. The card read “Tom Cholley’s Tree Service.”

I was mortified. How could I have presumed to seat myself in that booth with this man who owned his own business? I was a nobody! So I promptly went home and deposited his card on the night table by my bed, and that was the end of that. Or so I thought.

Fast-forward to December 20, 1996. Tom Cholley came strolling through the door and ordered his favorite gumbo. My heart skipped a beat, but then settled quickly. Hadn’t this guy handed me his card and disappeared into the woodwork? I hadn’t heard from him since the night we first spoke.

I ordered his gumbo from the kitchen, and when it came up I went to the cash register to ring it up. He looked at me and asked what I would be doing that evening after I was off work. I told him I planned to go get some Tequila and get drunk. His reply was interesting. He asked if he could buy me that Tequila and take me to look at Christmas lights.

Wow, interesting date! I took him up on it before he had a chance to change his mind, and soon we were at the local Safeway buying a styrofoam ice chest to hold my Tequila and orange juice.

The evening was incredible! We drove for miles, exclaiming about the lights in front of each home with delight. Then, pleasantly tipsy and cuddled beneath his arm on the drive home, I didn’t complain when he offered to “show me his etchings.”

I stayed that night, and every night after. We’ve never been separated since, and to this day we’re still deeply in love. So here’s the cool part. Tom and I married after seven years together, sometime in October. Neither of us remembers the date. When the subject comes up we just laugh and tell people that our true anniversary is December 20, that magical night when we first went out to see the lights.

That day in October? It’s just the day we signed the paper that gave me his name. And now that I finally found the license, it’s also the day he gets to take me out to dinner. We have to keep up the pretense, you know. But on December 20, if we’re nowhere to be found, you’ll find us somewhere driving around with a bottle of Tequila gasping at the beauty of Christmas lights in somebody’s yard. And that’s the truth.



  1. Michele says:

    What a beautiful story! This is my first visit to your blog, but you’ll be seeing a lot more of me here! :)

    • says:

      Michele, thanks so much. I’m so happy to hear you’re enjoying yourself. I’ll be adding some new content soon as we just recently arrived in Santiago. I’ll be looking forward to your impressions.

  2. Kellie Ackervall says:

    I had a bit of an experience like that. I met a guy randomly through a friend and we went on a date that went horribly wrong from the beginning. We ended up driving up a mountain to a dead end road and this crazy heavy fog rolled in. We were basically stuck. All we could do was stay in the truck and talk and listen to the radio and just look at the city lights lighting up the fog and then we spent every day together since then. If it makes you feel worse though, we remember our anniversary. Friends got married on the same day and they keep reminding us on facebook :)

    • says:

      Kellie, that’s really cool. Sometimes you just know you’ve found the right one. I suppose we’ll have to find something that happens on the same day and take your advice. If we have someone rubbing our face in it we’ll remember. Nice way to get an extra night out….

  3. Mike says:

    I absolutely cherish love stories like this, Cheryl!! It’s always amazing to think if we just don’t take that chance and ask we’ll never know if we had a chance. My mom always told me in high school, “take a chance on getting slapped, because you might get kissed.” It’s life advice not just girl advice. And your story reminded me of her! Congratulations to you and Tom! :)
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  4. […] let Tom tell you in a future post how he came to Louisiana and how we ended up together.  The point is, we are together and that’s where it gets […]

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