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‘We Wanted to be Together Forever, so I Said, ‘Let’s Just Get Married’

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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 bwright@birminghamtimes.com. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.

CHRISTIN AND LADARRIUS MALLORY

Live: McCalla

Married: Oct. 10, 2009

Met: In 2000, at Arrington Middle School. The two were a part of the same group of friends. “LaDarrius was in the guy group of the [mutual] friends and I was in the girl group…  Back then he was hilarious and nerdy,” Christin laughed.

“Christin was very smart and funny, her smile was magnetic,” LaDarrius remembered. “I did think she was cute, but I wasn’t interested in dating her.”

That was until their senior year in high school. Christin and LaDarrius went on to attend West End High School and in October 2003, Christin began to see LaDarrius differently.

“I was a cheerleader and LaDarrius was a football player and we had been flirting… we still had the same friend group and the turning point was when I told my friend, Kaya, to give LaDarrius my phone number after a football game,” Christin recalled.

“The slip of paper Kaya gave me with Christin’s number on it was very small and I didn’t want to lose it and I remember I kept checking my pockets over and over again to make sure it was there,” LaDarrius laughed. “…and I remember dialing her number [up until the last digit] and starting over 6 or 7 times before I got up the nerve to press the last number. I called and [Christin] picked up and I asked her about sending me her number through Kaya, and she made a lame joke, and then told me she liked me.”

First date: A few weeks later, at IHOP on Lakeshore Dr. “LaDarrius’s mom and cousin dropped him off and my aunt dropped me off,” Christin recalled. “And my mom told me that after I got out of the car they doubled back around and watched us through the window,” LaDarrius laughed.

“I remember us sitting there having a general conversation and getting to know each other better. We knew each other but didn’t know each other like people do when they’re courting,” Christin said.

“We always joked and laughed but were just acquaintances. I felt like I learned a lot about her that day, we talked on a deeper level,” LaDarrius added.

The turn: “We decided to be boyfriend and girlfriend within a few weeks of starting to talk; LaDarrius asked me to be his girlfriend on Oct. 24, 2003,” Christin said.

“I loved everything about her, and I think in November of that same year we told each other we loved one another for the first time,” LaDarrius said.

Christin and LaDarrius planned to attend college together and decided they’d go where they both had bigger scholarships and went off to Alabama State University together in fall of 2004. However, in 2006, they decided to leave school and return to Birmingham and work towards building a life together.

The proposal: April 2009. “We really didn’t have a proposal so to speak,” Christin said. “We decided we were going to get married one night while riding in the car. We were sharing a car at the time and I picked him up on his lunch break so that he could have the car, and when he was driving me back home (I was living with my aunt, and he was living with his mom at the time), he said, ‘let’s just get married’,” Christin remembered.

“We were having a deep conversation and realized that we both really wanted to be together forever, so I said, ‘let’s just get married,” LaDarrius said. “And I said let’s do it’,” Christin added.

The wedding: At the Park Crest Event Center in Hoover, officiated by Christin’s uncle’s friend, Reverend Dennis McWhorter. Their colors were pink and white.

Most memorable for the bride was, “when I walked down the aisle and saw LaDarrius’s face he was completely emotional. And then that made me weak in the knees and my uncle, Rick, who walked me down the aisle, had to hold me up tighter,” Christin said. “And it was raining so hard that day…we were having an outdoor wedding so I was nervous, but it ended up stopping right before the ceremony, and was the perfect day.”

Most memorable for the groom was “seeing Christin for the first time “…  not being able to see her since the day before made me kind of anxious, so when her uncle brought her out it was like I was seeing her for the first time, she was like this bright light, and I couldn’t hold my tears back,” LaDarrius said.

The honeymoon was 10 years later in Paris. “It felt like being in a movie, we had never been out of the country before and it was like a brand new adventure,” Christin said.

Words of wisdom: “The key to longevity in marriage is being open to the person changing, and not expecting them to be the same person at 37 as they were at 17. If you’re open to them evolving that sets you up to be a success because you realize they develop new and different qualities,” Christin said.

“And even though we have kids and a dog, and work, we make time for each other. We go on dates at least every other week, even if it’s just having one drink at the bar, or going to eat for lunch, we make time together. And we are best friends, I know that sounds cliche, but it’s true,” Christin said.

“Be honest with each other, eat together, laugh together, cry together,” LaDarrius said.

Happily ever after: The Mallorys have two children, a son,  Mason, 12, and a daughter, Marlee, 4.

Christin, 36, is a West End native, and West End High School grad. She attended Alabama State University where she studied accounting and works as a realtor for Posh Realty & Company, in Birmingham.

LaDarrius, 36, is a West End native, and West End High School grad. He attended Alabama State University where he studied chemistry, and works as a quality group leader at Gestamp Alabama, in McCalla.

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