Steve & Rachel



Rachel Westergren


Steve Salerno

September 30, 2023

Mount Clemens, MI
115 days115 d38 minutes38 min28 seconds28 s



I sat down to start my day, turned on my computer and Ding! a Private Message popped up: "Did I just see you at CVS? I was thinking I'm on this silly app to meet people and I should just chat with people I meet doing what I do. But then I didn't say anything and regretted it." So, strangely enough I had been to CVS earlier that morning on my way into work so I replied, "Yes, the one on 11 mile and Harper." I anxiously awaited her reply. Ding! "No, 9 and Mack. SCS is so small that everyone looks familiar." I chuckled and thought, “stalker?” lol! Later I’d learn she had been standing in line behind an Italian looking man with dark hair and wearing Carhartt’s (not outside my wheelhouse of attire) and after not saying anything to him, she went home to search Match.com for men within 5 miles of her; my profile popped up. To her, I looked like the man she had seen in CVS. After a day of messaging, I just threw it out there, "Lets meet up for a drink tonight...first beers on me". We met later that evening at The Shores Inn, which was just up the road from the infamous CVS. I parked my truck and walked to the bar entrance and there, standing outside the doors, was a beautiful woman watching me approach. "Rachel?", I asked, and with her amazing smile she replied, "Hi, Steve" and immediately kissed me! That kiss has been an ongoing debate for over 6 years now. I know that I went in for a hug and in a last second head turn by Rachel, our lips met; she claims that with my Italian heritage and greeting family with a kiss, that I just leaned in and kissed her. Either way, we both smiled, went inside, and sat at the bar. We both ordered a beer, and the bartender quickly noticed that this was a first date. While he was pouring our beers, Rachel said, "I have been running around all day and I’m starving; is it alright if I order something?" When the bartender returned, she asked him for a plate of BBQ chicken wings. I thought, “Not exactly what an average lady would order on a first date…” We began to chat, and somehow it came up that I owned a local business and had played hockey in the area, so I warned her that it wouldn't be a surprise if I ran into a friend or two. Not even 2 minutes later I here, "Stevie!!" and I look over to see one of my old hockey buddies stumbling over to give me a hug. It was a bit awkward since this was a first date, but it gets better. I introduced him to Rachel and told him it was our first date and he proceeded to ask her 15 questions in 15 minutes: Where are you from? What do you do? Where did you grow up? etc. He even commented on her hair and nails. She followed up by saying she had just gotten them done to celebrate. We both asked, "Celebrate what?" To which Rachel replied, "I’m celebrating the loss of 200lbs!" My jaw dropped, and she quickly added, "180 of it I lost when I divorced my ex!" and she cracked up with laughter! By the time my buddy had stumbled away, I knew more about Rachel than I would have ever learned on a standard first date. She still thinks, to this day, that I planned for my friend to be there; I truly did not, but it worked out great for us! After a couple more beers and chatting for a while, we parted ways and headed home. The next day, I called her (not a text, folks!) and asked her out to a concert later that week. Before the show she ordered BBQ chicken wings again, and I knew that I had found the woman I was meant to spend the rest of my life with. We’ve gone back to The Shores Inn many times, and always seem to run into the same bartender who remembers our first date. He has mentioned how impressed he was with Rachel’s confidence in ordering both a beer and a plate of wings right out of the gate...I guess that’s what hooked me! Thank God for that dark haired, Italian guy wearing Carhartt's in a CVS!