Finding Love at Wal-Mart
By Hannah Goodwyn
Every couple has their own sweet story of how they found each
other. But, not many can say their love blossomed at a discount
Sarah first met her future husband at a singles event sponsored
by his church in North Carolina. People say first impressions
are everything in building a lasting relationship. Well, this
didn’t prove to be true for this couple.
“It wasn’t love at first sight,” Sarah said
as she explained the first encounter she had with Mike Traylor.
“Let’s just say we both kind of annoyed each other.”
Being goofy in his usual way, Mike told Sarah (whom he had just
met) to introduce herself to another guy, George. Sarah had already
shook hands with George, a fact that Mike didn’t realize
at the time. His insistence and manner offended her – a
Mike basically was implying that “I was being a snob to
George,” Sarah said. “And that kind of ticked me off
that he was telling me to [shake his hand].”
After that night, Mike and Sarah didn’t expect to talk
or see each other again. Alas, God had other plans. Of the four
young adult cell groups at the church, they unknowingly joined
the same one.
And that wasn’t even the big shocker of the night.
Sarah’s entrance brought on a bizarre group conversation
about Mike’s future wife.
“I walked in and they pointed at me,” she said recalling
the embarrassing situation. “And said look Mike there is
Sarah with an ‘H.’ I was confused until everybody
at the cell group explained. ‘Yeah, he has been telling
us that he is going to marry a Sarah spelled specifically with
an ‘H’ on the end.”
It didn’t stop there though. Mike would always save a seat
beside him for his future Sarah with an “H.”
Her reaction – “Who is this guy? He is so weird.”
At the time, both were eyeing other people. So after getting
passed the initial hang-ups, Mike and Sarah just became good friends.
That was until Sarah had to go back to school in Virginia. After
becoming even closer through frequent correspondence via e-mail
and telephone, Mike asked if he could visit her over a weekend
so they could spend some time together.
“I was really interested and excited about getting to know
her,” Mike said reasoning his decision to make the 5-hour
drive north. “I wanted to be able to be with her somewhere
to talk face-to-face. And just see if we would really hit it off.”
Where did they decide to go for their first date? It wasn’t
a movie, like they had planned. And it wasn’t a nice dinner.
They had their first date at a Wal-Mart.
This romantic rendezvous did not happen at their original place
of choice. But, it was the only place open that met her criteria.
“It was a safe environment with lighting and people around,”
said Sarah with an “H.” Besides, it was open 24 hours
and sure to give them all the time they wanted to spend together.
In fact, it turned out to be a good first-date destination.
“We walked up and down the aisles aimlessly,” Sarah
“Loitering,” Mike said jokingly.
“We weren’t even looking at anything on the shelves,”
she said. They just walked and talked through the entire store.
“It seemed like forever, but it passed so quickly,”
Sarah said. “I was just so engrossed in the conversation.
It’s like I had tunnel vision. All I could see was him and
pay attention to what he was saying.”
A few glorious months passed. On the big night of their friend’s
wedding in North Carolina, Mike and Sarah “danced the night
“And then we went to Wal-Mart,” Mike said laughing
at the silliness of that night’s chain of events.
Left in the flower and bridal aisles of the store, Sarah awaited
Mike’s return. He told her he needed to go talk to a friend
of his who worked there.
Attention Wal-Mart Shoppers – the loud speakers rang throughout
the massive store.
“Sarah Martez, will you marry me? From, Mike,” was
Her first reaction was “awww … how sweet, somebody’s
proposing,” she said. It didn’t click at first because
the person reading the note mispronounced Sarah’s last name.
“Then, I was like ‘wait a minute, that’s me!’
Ahh, he’s proposing to me. I was just so shocked, and so
surprised that the room was spinning.”
Mike was on one knee by the time Sarah figured out his little
plan to woo his bride that night.
“I dropped the ring at that moment,” he said. “But,
I recovered it.”
Waiting patiently for a response, Mike asked Sarah in person.
“Yes,” Sarah said without another moment of hesitation.
Married in February 2000, Mike and Sarah’s love for each
other has grown and their family increased with the birth of their
When she thinks back to their first date and the big proposal,
she has fond Wal-Mart memories. Mike has the same, but is glad
that their home is where they spend time together these days.
They keep one thing in mind when a trip to the superstore is
“We try to get out in as little time as possible, especially
if it is a Saturday,” Mike said.
Hannah Goodwyn serves as a producer for LivingTheLife.com and CBN.com. She also writes for these sites. For more articles and info, visit Hannah's bio page.
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