By Je’Don Holloway Talley
For the Birmingham Times
“You Had Me at Hello’’ highlights married couples and the love that binds them. If you would like to be considered for a future “Hello’’ column, or know someone, please send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org . Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.
ANQUILA AND DONALD GREENE
Live: McCalla, AL
Married: September 11, 2010.
Met: At a funeral. Both were students at Alabama State University (ASU) and did not meet on campus but at a funeral for a mutual friend of theirs. Donald remembers exchanging glances with Anquila throughout the day, and both admit to being distracted by one another’s presence. It was his smile that attracted her which “stopped me dead in my tracks,” Anquila said. The two exchanged numbers.
First Date: A group date. The two traveled to Birmingham to attend the Alabama Agriculture & Mechanical-ASU basketball game, with plans to hit the club scene later. A severe storm and tornado warning caused the game to end early, and the group returned to their hotel.
Anquila and Donald got to know one another. “He was crazy and silly just like me, but such a gentleman, and that’s what got me,” Anquila said. “She was the coolest girl I ever kicked it with…laid back and fun,” he said. “She brought me around her friends … so that showed me that she was really into me because she wanted me and my friends to meet and hangout with her best friends.”
“Sometimes I feel like he’s the boy version of me and I’m the girl version of him. We’re that similar,” she said. “Our interests, taste in music, and how we see life is the same.”
The proposal: Donald proposed at Birmingham’s Cafe` Dupont in 2009. He was a valet for a local restaurant, and recalls getting the whole staff involved. “I went and talked with the boss and told him what I wanted to do for my lady, and he was all with it.”
He told Anquila to “get fancy” and remembers his fellow coworkers “giving us up VIP treatment.”
“Everyone from the kitchen was watching, so that had me nervous. And they saw me stressing when it was the time in the plan to do the proposal so they called me to the bar to give me a pep talk,” Donald said
Anquila recalls a “real life movie proposal.” “Everyone was so generous to us [the staff], bringing us bottles of wine, desserts, the candle light. It was romantic.”
“I got on one knee and told her that I think she’s the one for me, and asked her to marry me,” Donald said.
“I was smiling so hard, just grabbed him and started hugging him and crying and saying ‘yes’ because I never saw myself having the fairy tale, and here I had it,” Anquila said.
The wedding: The Greene’s were married at True Love Church in Birmingham. The colors were purple and grey. Most memorable about their nuptials was the reception, Anquila said. “So many of our family and friends knew each other, and grew up in the same communities, going back to grade school on both sides of the family or generations. It was big family reunion.”
Future Plans: “We are planning for the Lord to bless us with fraternal twins one day. He wants a boy, I want a girl,” Anquila said.
Words of wisdom: “From a man’s point of view, you have to shut up, listen to your wife, and communicate. Happy wife, happy life,” Donald said.
“Communication is key”, Anquila said. “And finding new ways to keep the relationship fun and adventurous. You can’t get too comfortable.”
Happily ever after: Donald, 33, is a fourth grade math teacher at Washington K-8, and Anquila, 34, is a customer service agent at a city utility company. They bought their first home in McCalla six years ago. The Greene’s enjoy traveling. “Our adventures are always lots and lots of fun, we’ll remember those intimate moments forever,” Anquila said,
“Every time we travel someplace new, our bond grows,” Donald said. “It gets deeper and deeper, because you’re experiencing all these new things with your life partner, and you’re getting to disconnect from everyday work life.”