What was supposed to be a simple run to the grocery store turned into a life-changing moment for a Dallas man and woman.
They are proof that love wins, even during a pandemic.
The story of Calvin Hodges and Melinda Stone-Hodges starts at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak.
At the time, Stone-Hodges had put her real estate career on the backburner and turned to the grocery shopping app Shipt so she could help others shop during the lockdown.
Stone-Hodges said she was praying to find the right man after being divorced for seven years. She had 45 traits she wanted to find in that person and was willing to wait as long as it took to find him.
“I was praying over these things,” she said. “And what I prayed for, here he is!”
The fateful encounter happened on a Sunday in March 2020. Stone-Hodges had picked up a shopping trip on the app the night before but made the decision to wait until the next day to head to a Central Market in Dallas.
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Of all the grocery stores Shipt could've lead her to, she was in the right place at the right time.
At that moment, Hodges showed up at the same store, despite making multiple trips throughout the day to find his favorite almond milk and beat the long lines.
The two bumped into each other in the deli while waiting to pick up food. Social distancing was required but masks had not yet become the norm, making it easier to strike up conversation.
“I said ‘excuse me, can I get past here?’ And we started talking, which is unlike both of us to even talk to a stranger,” Stone-Hodges said.
Sparks flew. She gave him her card. Weeks later, they went on their first date, albeit not the average date.
“We couldn’t go anywhere because a lot of restaurants were closed and we couldn’t even go to the movies. It was either take out or one of us cooks. So I ended up cooking for him,” Stone-Hodges said.
The two grew closer during lockdown. And those 45 traits? Stone-Hodges said he checked every box.
Despite weddings being postponed during the pandemic, Hodges couldn't wait any longer. After seven months of dating, he proposed and the couple got married over the Memorial Day weekend in a double ceremony with the bride's sister.
The couple said the pandemic has taught them to have faith.
“Everything just seemed to fall in line. The way I was at the store, left and drove to another store, came back – and then the timing of it all,” Hodges said. “She always teases me, ‘You didn’t think you were showing up at a store and were going to meet a wife.'"
“Nope,” Stone-Hodge said. “He came for almond milk and ended up with a wife!”
Adding to the celebration, Central Market gifted flowers to the happy couple, which Stone-Hodges used for her bridal bouquet.
Shipt also chipped in to help them get everything they needed for their new home by gifting Stone-Hodges a wedding registry of $4,000 from partner Bed, Bath & Beyond, one of her favorite stores.