Home Love Stories Black Love ‘When I Saw Him, I Could Literally Hear the Angels Singing’

‘When I Saw Him, I Could Literally Hear the Angels Singing’



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.


Live: Trussville

Married: Jan. 12, 2009

Met: Early 2008, on the social platform, Black Planet [blackplanet.com].

Mike had just signed up on the site when he stumbled across Shante’s page while getting a user tutorial from his brother-in-law, Cory.

“… I asked Cory what this IM button was, and he said, ‘instant message’, and I said, ‘how do you use it?’ and he said, ‘you just click on somebody’s name, and it [allows you to instant message them].’ Then he said, ‘let’s see who’s looked at your page,’ and [Shante] was the only one so I clicked on her and said, ‘why you over here in my business and ain’t say hello?’,” Mike laughed.

“I was shocked because I did not expect him to contact me, I didn’t even know he would know I was on his page,” Shante’ said, “and he was so cute, he had pictures of him and his sister on there, some nice little family photos, and I thought that was so sweet. …I did give him my number and we started talking on the phone, but then I changed my mind and said, ‘I wasn’t gonna worry about him because he was all the way in Montgomery’ and I didn’t want to be worried about trying to keep up with him from Birmingham, so I stopped answering his calls. But he kept on calling, he was persistent…,” she said.

“I asked her on multiple dates, and she said ‘yes’ multiple times, but when it would come time to go she would always come up with [an excuse to not go],” Mike said.  “And in March 2008, I was driving up to Birmingham [from Montgomery] to pick up my little brother, Patrick, [who played in the band at Jackson State University and was in Birmingham to play] in the SWAC tournament and I called her and said, ‘I’m on my way to Birmingham, what you gonna do? are we gonna meet or what? And she said ‘yes.”

“And then when he was halfway here he called me and said I forgot to tell you that I’m a [little person], and I thought he was serious, I was like ‘aww man, now I can’t cancel because I don’t want him to feel bad’, but I was nervous,” Shante’ laughed, “I was so relieved when I saw he was joking, and I thought he was so cute.”

First date: March 2008, on Birmingham’s southside. Mike met Shante’ at her job at the BBVA Service Center in Homewood.

“We went to Ruby Tuesday’s for dinner, Stepper’s And Walker’s [nightclub], and The Break Pool Hall. We had so much fun,” Shante’ recalled.

“…when I saw him I could literally hear the angels singing. We drove down to the southside and had dinner. He was so generous, he was not stingy at all; everywhere we went he was like order whatever you want, we’re about to have fun.”

“I was enjoying her. The date was inconsequential to me, I didn’t have no expectations, I wasn’t looking for a girlfriend, I just wanted to meet her and see what she was like… I was just trying to have fun,” Mike said.

“He never went home [that night], we went and picked his brother up and came back to my house and we all stayed in my living room the whole night. He went home the next day, but we were inseparable ever since,” Shante’ said.

The turn: According to both, they became exclusive immediately.

“When I got back to Montgomery the next day, I told my brother-in-law that I had met my wife,” Mike said. “[Shante’ and I] traveled back and forth, one weekend I’d be in Birmingham, and the next she would be in Montgomery and we did that until the fuel prices got ridiculous during the 2008 recession… So I found a job up here [in Birmingham] and moved up here with her.”

The proposal: August 2008, at their house in Wenonah. “It wasn’t a big proposal, I just said, ‘Are you gonna marry me?’, and she said ‘yes’, and a few months later I gave her a ring,” Mike said.

“We got the ring and was just basically waiting on [our former] pastor to give us a date he was available to marry us,” Shante’ said.

“We went ahead and went to the courthouse to go get the marriage license, and while we were there they asked us ‘what date we were getting married?’ and we said, ‘we were waiting to get a date?’ and they said ‘you know you can go ahead and get married here, right?” Mike said.

The wedding: Downtown Birmingham Courthouse, officiated by a courthouse clergyman. Both wore jeans and a t-shirt. “So we did it,” Mike said.

“We had no idea that we were going to leave the courthouse married that day,” Shante’ said.

Most memorable for the bride was “the simplicity and purity of our nuptials. We were the only two there except for the [clergyman] but it felt right, I didn’t have that panic you have when things don’t go the way you planned for it to go. We had planned to have a wedding, but I felt calm and peaceful and happy that we had done it.”

Most memorable for the groom was getting it done. “I was just happy I got my woman,” Mike said. “I do remember asking her how we were going to tell everybody we were married though,” he laughed.

There was no honeymoon. “We went home and went back to life as usual,” Mike said. “And we’re still here 14 years later,” Shante’ said.

Words of wisdom: “Nobody stays the same, your spouse won’t stay the same and you have to be attentive to them in order to be a proper companion. Sometimes we try to deal with the person we met versus the person we’re with,” Mike said.

“Leverage the differences between you and your partner. Sometimes we want people to be who we are instead of recognizing where they’re strong and leaning on them and their strengths and vice versa. Don’t expect them to be just like you, highlight them for their strengths instead of trying to force them to be just like you,” Shante’ said.

Happily ever after: The Ross’s attend Revelation Knowledge Bible Church, in Pinson, and have two sons, Jajuan, 17, and Michael III, 13.

Shante’, 43, is a Pratt City native, and Ensley High School grad. She attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham [UAB] where she studied mass communications and owns and operates a real estate company, Park Place Reality in Birmingham.

Mike, 43, is a Chicago, Illinois native, and owns and operates a trucking company, Transporters LLC in Birmingham.

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