Mismatched flip-flops were first step toward romance

Published: February 20, 2007 | 5619th good news item since 2003

A step off a curb can result in the discovery of the love of a lifetime.

For a Marshfield couple, fate and flip-flops brought them together.

As Wal-Mart employees, Nicholas W. Inman and Sarah Cheek met at work. Cheek, who had spent most of her life here and moved to Hawaii with her family at the age of 15, then transferred back when the new Supercenter opened, after having worked at a Wal-Mart in Hawaii for a couple of years.

After two months of Cheek being back in the area, the pair finally met.

Cheek admits to noticing Inman at work.

“The first time I saw him, he was in his sweater vest Wal-Mart smock and I had no idea who he was and I knew then that he was the guy I was going to marry,” she said. “And I was speechless.”

However, they avoided each other, agreeing that they knew there was plenty of chemistry.

“I knew that if I stopped to talk, I’d fall crazy,” said Cheek.

A gal with flare, Cheek had two different colors of flip-flop shoes on when Inman first noticed her. “That’s how I strike up a conversation with people,” she said.

Inman agreed it worked, because he asked her if she realized her shoes didn’t match.

Instead of just a conversation, the two eventually had their first date at Subway on a Friday night in October 2006. And since that first date, the pair haven’t missed a Friday night date at Subway yet. (While Cheek was away for three weeks in Hawaii, Inman went and sat in their special booth, called her and continued their weekly routine.)

And the couple agrees that in each other, they’ve found that special something.

Inman said of Cheek, “She was the first person I ever went to dinner with that talked about history and was fascinating.”

She jokes that she was the “beam of light” for Inman.

“I felt like I was in eighth grade every time I was around him,” she said. “It was a knot in my stomach. It was the certainty. There was never a question if he’d be there in my future.”

And it’s not just history after all, the couple have found that they can talk for hours about things that they agree are quirky and only they would find interesting. “People couldn’t understand how we could talk so long,” he said.

And their phone bills showed that love for gabbing with the one they love, when they racked up hundreds of dollars in talk time.

After just a few months of dating, Inman gave Cheek a promise ring as an early Christmas present before she left for Hawaii to visit her parents.

“Her being in Hawaii was the longest time in history. I went stir crazy,” he said.

And during the Christmas break, after a few months of dating, Inman traveled halfway across the Pacific Ocean to meet the family and ask Cheek’s family for her hand in marriage.

“I wouldn’t want my daughter to be serious with someone I’ve never met,” he said.

The family gave their blessing and well wishes.

Inman admits that he spent a lot of time practicing the proposal in the mirror and was nervous.

“I was scared to death,” he said. “My palms were sweating, but I hoped she’d say yes.”

On a balcony overlooking the ocean, he asked Cheek to be his forever, telling her that he had missed her over the weeks she’d been gone and then got down on his knee.

“I about hyperventilated,” she said.

Both agree it was very emotional for them and, for a bit, Cheek didn’t answer. But eventually the answer was yes.

“The first time we went to dinner, I was captivated by her. I got a feeling in my stomach that’s indescribable,” Inman said. “When she’d walk into the room, I’d get red.”

After those feelings surfaced for the 24-year-old Inman, he knew she was the one to marry, never questioning his feelings.

“I just knew she was the one I wanted to roll over and look at in the morning,” he said. “I had prayed to God that he’d send someone to me and I found Sarah. God sends people into my life for a reason.”

Another deal sealer for the all-involved Inman, who has served on numerous community committees and steered several events, was when he found that Cheek liked the Jewels, a group of 20 or so local gals he has adopted as his extended family. And they liked her.

“She wanted to hang together,” he said. “That was really the ultimate test.”

Though, ironically, Cheek’s parents run a business in which they perform weddings on the Hawaiian beach, Cheek and Inman plan to unite in marriage on July 14 in Missouri, in what they agree will be the wedding of the century.

With this as their first Valentine’s Day together, Cheek knows something special is probably in store for her.

“He doesn’t cook, but he once made me a candlelight dinner complete with music and tulips,” she said. “He’s very romantic.”

And she also added that people approach them to ask them how they’re so happy, wanting advice for their own relationships.

The couple agree they’re still learning, but know everything about each other.

When the young couple marries, they will have known each other less than a year. However, they discussed waiting and couldn’t think of a good reason why.

“I can’t see waiting that long,” Cheek said.

Published in Love
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