- Met: November 2001
- Engaged: July 2002
- Wedding Date: TBA
You know why that yel- low smiley face at WalMart looks so happy? Low prices, maybe? Wrong. True love. That’s what Carolina Celaya might say. In November 2001, Ms. Celaya went to WalMart looking for an oil change. She found Wayne Morris.
“Wayne was working in the Tire Lube Express doing write- ups,” Ms. Celaya, 24, says on a sunny afternoon at Seaport Village. Her dark hair is blowing in the slightest breeze kicking up off the water. “I wanted the cheapest service. Wayne kept trying to sell me other things, like, did I want the car vacuumed? He was wearing his blue mechanic’s uniform. He was a little dirty. He looked hot. I asked him if he’d throw the other stuff in for free. He asked, ‘What am I going to get out of it?’ I told him, ‘I’ll give you a hot massage.’”
Mr. Morris got the oil changed. He cleaned up Ms. Celaya’s car. She gave him her phone number. “I called a week later,” Mr. Morris, 25, says. “I had a rule to never call right away. Plus, I was seeing other girls.”
When Mr. Morris called, Ms. Celaya wouldn’t go out on a real date with him. “I’d just gotten out of a relationship,” she reveals. A student at Mira Costa College, Ms. Celaya told him she had to go to a dance rehearsal and he could come along. She picked him up. “I had just moved to the area,” he says. “I wasn’t that excited about going to the rehearsal. I got to see a guy in tights.”
“All my classmates were there,” Ms. Celaya says. “They were all asking, ‘Is he your boyfriend?’ ”
Their next nondate was a trip to a family billiards parlor. No alcohol. “I wouldn’t kiss him good-night,” Ms. Celaya says. “He was a little too pushy.”
“That’s what sold me,” Mr. Morris says and smiles.
They went out the following weekend to Coyotes and Fidel’s. “I liked his personality,” Ms. Celaya says with a coy glance in Mr. Morris’s direction. “He’s sarcastic. I can talk to him easily. The conversation flows.” Mr. Morris agrees. “I didn’t get bored with her. I usually have ADD when it comes to girls. We’ve hung out almost every day since that weekend.”
A year after they met, Ms. Celaya transferred to SDSU. Mr. Morris moved to San Diego with her. She’s currently studying communications and working for an engineering company.
Mr. Morris works as a mechanic in Rancho San Diego. He does general repair, mostly brakes and front-end work. “I’m just a grease monkey,” he says modestly.
“I think that’s sexy,” Ms. Celaya says.
The couple got engaged two summers ago. “We went shopping. I was going to buy a toolbox at Sears. Instead, we ended up shopping for rings. I got suckered into it. We went to a lot of different stores.”
“He did a ton of research,” Ms. Celaya brags. Mr. Morris settled on a .55-carat marquis cut in a white gold cathedral setting. He held onto it for a week.
“We went to dinner at Anthony’s,” Ms. Celaya tells the story. “Then we went to La Jolla to look at the seals. I got hives on my back, face, and neck. We went to the store to get some Benadryl. Then he took me to the hospital.”
“I had the ring in my pocket,” Mr. Morris says. “When they were checking her into the emergency room, the nurse asked her, ‘Who’s this?’ and pointed to me. She said, ‘My fiancé.’ I didn’t want her to lie to the nurse. So, I got down on my knee and said, ‘Baby, will you marry me?’ ”
“I was so swollen from the hives and spacey from the Benadryl,” Ms. Celaya shakes her head. “I’d been thinking about it all day.”
The couple doesn’t know yet when the wedding will be. “I keep waiting for him to tell me what he wants.”
“The wedding’s really more for the girl. She can ask me a little bit. I know I don’t want a pink tux.”
Maybe a blue mechanic’s uniform would better fit the occasion.