BY JE’DON HOLLOWAY-TALLEY
Special to 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 Barnett Wright firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.
ROBERT AND NASHAREE DAVENPORT
Married: Dec. 12, 2005
Met: In May 2000. Nasharee was a military brat and had just moved back to the states from Wiesbaden, Germany, and back to her family’s hometown in Columbus, Mississippi to live with her grandparents. She was hanging out with her cousin, Kaleshia, when she first ran into Robert.
“Kaleshia called me up and said, ‘do you remember that guy who was at my house, his name is Robert and he’s asking who you are’, and I said, ‘so what, I am not interested,’” Nasharee recalled. “Then I started to notice that every time I went to her house, Robert was showing up, and she told me that he asked her to let him know whenever I was going to be there,” she laughed. “We started talking over there, and he asked me for my number… he asked me to be his girlfriend and we officially started dating. We were all going to the same school.”
“We had a lot of friends that hung out together and that’s how we ended up at the same places all the time…,” Robert clarified, “I guess that’s how she got wore down, and that’s how we are where we are now,” he laughed.
First date: Summer 2000 on a couples group date with her cousin, Kaleshia, and her date. The couples went to see a movie they can’t recall.
“I just remember that we saw one of his ex-girlfriends, she was there working, and she gave us a few ugly stares,” Nasharee said.
“She was saltier than the popcorn,” Robert laughed.
The turn: Like any army brat, Nasharee’s life remained on the move, and shortly after their meeting in spring 2000, she moved away from Columbus, Mississippi, to Fayetteville, North Carolina, and then to Huntsville. In January 2001, the couple broke up but reunited via telephone later that year when Robert called Nasharee to offer support after her mother and brother were injured in a car wreck.
“In that conversation, Robert basically said, ‘I’m sorry for everything, I love you, I miss you, let’s get back together,’” Nasharee said.
They became a long-distance couple, and Robert would drive up to Alabama from Mississippi on the weekends, and he and Nasharee [who lived in Huntsville] would meet in Birmingham to hang out.
The proposal: In 2002 at [now closed] IHop in Irondale, the pair were on one of their weekend dates. “We were sitting there eating pancakes, and I said, ‘you know what, I think it’s time we went on and got married,’ and I think I caught her off guard because she just looked up at me and stayed quiet for a minute. The look she gave didn’t say ‘no’, it was more like, ‘you’re gonna ask me this right now?’,” Robert laughed.
“He was driving up on the weekends, we were always having fun and I liked that, so I said ‘yes’,” Nasharee said. “Growing up in the military, consistency wasn’t something that I experienced as a child, so I think the Lord knew what he was doing bringing Robert to me because he was the first thing that was consistent in my life… I got home and called and told my mom [who was stationed in Fayetteville, North Carolina at the time]. My mom liked him, so it wasn’t an issue, I just had to finish school first.”
The wedding: At the local courthouse in Carrollton Ala., [on Robert’s birthday], officiated by a courthouse clergyman. They wore casual clothes “because afterwards, Robert went to work [at Airline Manufacturing in Columbus, Miss.],” Nasharee said. “And on December 30 [two weeks later], we had a reception at the Westgate Hotel in Columbus, MS, for our family and friends.”
Most memorable for the bride was a getting dressed for their reception.
“I had had a fitting for [my reception] dress so many times, and then the day of putting it on, I was having trouble zipping my dress and we couldn’t get it zipped all the way,” Nasharee recalled. “I had to use a shawl to keep the back covered for our pictures. We didn’t know that I was pregnant at the time, we had no idea that that was why I had picked up a few inches,” she laughed.
Most memorable for the groom was being serenaded at their reception.
“Everything was going good, but as a surprise to me she got a singer to sing to me, and it was a guy. I didn’t expect a guy to be singing to me and that was a funny moment that caught me off guard because it was like, why would you get a guy to sing to me?” Robert laughed.
Words of wisdom: “Talking, you need to talk and communicate more than anything, Robert said, because you can easily get your wires crossed off small things and it can get blown up into something real big. Try to keep your fights to a minimum.”
“Pick your battles. Everything doesn’t have to have a reaction and don’t take everything personal,” Nasharee said, “It took me a long time to get to that one.”
Happily ever after: The Davenports have four children, Letrevia, 22, Tierra, 15, Leah, 14, and Dezmond, 13.
Nasharee, 37, is a Columbus Mississippi native, and S.R. Butler High School [Huntsville, Ala.] grad. She attended Mississippi State University where she earned a bachelor of science degree and a master’s degree in psychology. She is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc, a full-time student, and currently in pursuit of her cognitive psychology degree at Birmingham Southern College.
Robert, 41, is a Chicago Illinois native and graduated from Columbus High School in Columbus, Mississippi. He works as a lead man at Homeland Vinyl in Birmingham.