Writer’s Workshop: My Parents Met At Dairy Queen

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5.) How your parents met…

My parents met at Dairy Queen. My Mom worked at the local restaurant when she was a teenager and my Dad frequented the hot spot. I don’t know when burger joints and diners and seeing everyone you knew when you popped in for a milkshake stopped being a common occurrence, but I have to say I feel like I missed something special. I imagine it was exactly like the movie Grease…letterman jackets, fancy glasses, side burns, and a jukebox. What more could you ask for?

While my Mom was working one evening my Dad approached her about a sign they had hanging in the window. He had a girlfriend who collected posters (of ice cream cones apparently) and he wanted to surprise her with one. I imagine it looked something like this:

vintage dairy queen poster

Mom drove a hard bargain and sold the sign to the young fellow for 25 cents.

When Dad returned the following day he overheard the day manager complaining about the missing poster. The manager was upset that someone would just give the poster away and said when he found out who did it, he would fire her. Dad was not about to cost this (striking) young lady her job! When he saw my Grandma pull into the parking lot to drop my Mom off for work, he rushed out to meet her and WARN her!

Mom wrote up a receipt for the poster proving she did not simply GIVE the poster away, but that she sold it for an incredible profit and therefore was able to keep her job.

I don’t know what was happening with Dad and his poster-loving girlfriend, but he was spending his evenings at Dairy Queen making sure my Mom still had her job. He was deeply concerned and felt terrible for the trouble he had caused and I guess double checking that everything was okay…every night…was just the reassurance he needed to know that everything was going to be okay.

And then he broke up with his poster-loving-girlfriend.

And then one night he overheard Mom arranging a ride home with a co-worker so he piped right in and offered to take her home. Mom must have been quite comfortable with him at this point (what with all the burger eating and poster buying), so she happily accepted. One ride turned into two and two into three and before you knew it, Dad was driving Mom home fairly frequently.

On one particular ride home he pretended to run out of gas, Mom suggested they walk to a home nearby where they could see a man working in his garage but Dad insisted they stayed put. Perhaps if they waited awhile (alone in the dark), the gas that had evaporated to the sides of his tank would somehow collect back into the tank and allow his car to run. Sure enough, after a bit of talking Dad was able to get his car moving down the dark street a bit (away from the man tinkering in the garage), but only managed to get a few blocks before he ran out of gas again.

It was here that he was finally able to sweet talk a first kiss out of my composed (but giddy) mother and the rest is history.

His poster loving ex-girlfriend walked away with a 25 cent sign, but my Mom got the guy!

12 years later they had six kids and boy are we glad he picked her. God knows what kind of home decor we would have been exposed to with the poster-loving girlfriend as our mother.


Now it’s your turn!

Mama's Losin' It

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

1.) Incorporate the phrase “stop looking at me like that” into your post.
2.) Write your own “Dear Abby” letter. (inspired by Good Day, Regular People).
3.) Show us something you wore.
4.) The award for best and worst Oscar moments goes to…
5.) How your parents met…


  1. says

    I love that your mom just sold a poster that didn’t really belong to her! What a terrific story! I love the picture with the baby – is that you?

    • says

      I was thinking the same thing! How did you have any authority to sell a poster? It was probably advertising a special or something…that’ll be 25 cents kind sir! wtf

  2. says

    Kat, this was darling. Abso-freakin-lutely darling. My favorite details? The science of running out of gas and the poster-loving girlfriend. Priceless.

    • says

      The old “I ran out of gas, now kiss me” gag…boy if I had a dollar for every boy who pulled that on me! …I’d still be poor, but still! Very clever!

  3. says

    what a fun story!!! My parents met at Ft Holabird in Maryland, when my dad was in the Army. I don’t know that Ive ever asked about the specifics of the story, and I think I will, now that you’ve written about your parents!

    • says

      I actually called my mom for the details so that I wouldn’t mess any of it up and I’m glad I did. This will be fun to look back on with the kids someday!

    • says

      Ella, this is awesome. I heard about a suargcil reconstruction teams going to Africa to work on cleft palates. I think being on a reconstruction team would be fun and rewarding. Seeing the before and after product. This would be a rewarding work environment.

  4. says

    What a great story. I wonder if the poster lover still has the life changing one in her inventory. Surely some Pickers would come and purchase it from her…maybe your mother.

  5. No Excuses says


    Love your story! Love Dairy Queen, too! Thanks for sharing! I accidentally posted twice. Would you please remove one so that I don’t look so dorky? Thanks!

  6. Jean says

    Kat – Love that story and that mom let you share it. Brought back many memories of my days working at DQ when Ben was a baby. No romance stories to tell from it, but I could tell you about a biker gang that came through one night! LOL

  7. says

    I enjoyed reading the story of how your parents met. My parents met in the parking lot of the Homeland Park Supermarket, but that is all that I know about their meeting.

    Have a great weekend!

  8. says

    This is funny, my parents met at Dairy Queen too! My mom hung out there “watching the lights on the poles” as they called it… and my dad was cruising the beach one night and noticed her…the rest, as they say, is history. Great story!

  9. says

    This is the best story ever. What a tribute to the two of them. Seriously, I don’t know if I watched Grease too many times, but living in the 50’s would be a dream come true. (I loved that movie!) I wish things were as simple and sweet as this love story. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  10. says

    Oh, and by the way–my parents lived across the street from each other growing up. Such a sweet story…until Mom cheated and they divorced 16 years into their marriage. But–happy ending! They are still the best of friends and do it every once in awhile. Was that too much? Was it? :)

    • says

      Aw, don’t you hate it when great love stories take a sad turn? My Dad ended up dying when I was 7, but I thought including that part in the post might have put a damper on what a nice story it is.

      Glad you’re a fellow Scary Mommy fan…isn’t she a crack up!?!

      • says

        I’m really sorry about your dad!

        My parent’s divorce was sad for awhile, but it really brought out the strong, silly personalities in all of us. We truly do all hang out all the time. They’re still the best of friends and crack jokes on each other and with us constantly. It made us all a bit stronger and able to handle most things in life with a smile or an awful, crass joke–thus my blog. :)

        And that Scary Mommy–you gotta love her.

        I’m so looking forward to following your posts!

        • says


          I can’t stand grammatical errors. :) I mean, I’m not trolling other peoples’ work looking for them, but I hate it if I make one and miss it!