We met in an ethical gray area when DJ was Lauree’s patient at Rankin Physical Therapy. After months of “good vibes” and chemistry, DJ left his Snapchat for her to add him and we had our first date about a week after he was discharged.
DJ considers himself smart given that he waited to have our first date until the week after Valentine's Day. Little did he know, he was signing up to now get Lauree two gifts in one week every year now (of course, until June 2024 when we will have a new anniversary to celebrate). We had gone to our now favorite restaurant in Martinsburg on an icy night in February 2021. DJ went to the bathroom at one point, and Lauree managed to pay the bill while he was gone, a move he reminds her about at least once a week.
Lauree had never in her life been to a professional wrestling show. She'd seen a little bit here and there, but had never even sat to watch a full show. DJ began wrestling at the professional level in 2013 as Tony Costello. Since then, he's evolved into his final form, which is the Golden Gladiator himself, Anthony Athens. Lauree couldn't be more excited to be Mrs. Athens and finds it hilarious when DJ introduces himself to strangers as Anthony.
Lauree knew something was up when DJ planned a whole weekend for them at Deep Creek Lake, MD. Every trip we’d taken together, she’d done all the planning and reservations. She was convinced he was going to propose and looked for the ring in his bag when he was showering. When she couldn’t find it, she’d decided she must’ve exaggerated the whole weekend in her head. The next day, he’d planned for a trip to Swallow Falls to take pictures after having lunch with his family for Dad’s birthday. Freezing but warmed by the love of the Jolley family, DJ asked if Lauree would be his wife. Through tears, she, of course, said YES!