Archived Opinion

Now what will the wagging tongues talk about?

Jack Cox and Kayden Zollinger (soon to be Cox, pending paperwork) are proud — and relieved — to announce the marriage of their parents, Chris Cox and Tammy Jo Schroth. The two were married without apparent warning in an impossibly small, curiously intimate, and strangely romantic setting — the magistrate’s office in the Haywood County Detention Center, adjacent to the lesser of our three Ingles — on Jan. 26 at approximately 4:38 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.


In addition to the children, Owen Gibby, a colleague of the groom’s in the English Department at Southwestern Community College, and Tim Freeman, an assistant manager at Haywood Builder’s Supply, bore witness to this historic union. The pair was chosen because of the close personal relationship they each have with the family. Also, they were available on short notice, or, as the groom put it, “probably the only people we know who were able and willing to get their rear ends to the magistrate’s office before 5 p.m. within an hour of being contacted.” That is friendship.

The bride wore a stunning brown dress featuring a subtle southwestern design, which the groom picked out himself for her birthday at Goody’s “Moonlight Madness” sale. She wore “kick-ass” knee length black boots with knee-length argyle socks underneath. The groom wore a charcoal-colored jacket he won on eBay, with matching pants, belt, shoes, and socks. Later, he would describe his ensemble as “unpretentious” and “not too shabby.”

The happy couple “honeymooned” at the Chef’s Table, a local fine dining establishment and a sentimental choice of the couple since that is the same place where they enjoyed their first date, three years ago on Valentine’s Day. Ironically, the bride is now employed there and had been scheduled to work the night of the wedding, but was able to trade shifts with a colleague in order to get married.

While friends and neighbors watched the kids back at the Cox residence, the couple enjoyed a specially prepared meal of rib-eyes (cooked medium well), mashed potatoes, asparagus, a colorful salad, and a sumptuous chocolate mousse cake. The owner sent over a complementary bottle of very nice champagne, although the groom had already ordered a very nice bottle of Pinot Noir, which he later described as exhibiting “superior elasticity” and “a spell-binding mixture of uncooked spring peas and rich Corinthian leather.” He then regaled his new bride with a stirring a capella rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” From there, dear friends, the occasion only became happier.

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The former Ms. Schroth is a native of Fort Wayne, Ind., and a graduate of Indiana with a degree in marketing, while Mr. Cox hails from Sparta, N.C., and holds two degrees from Appalachian State University, defending national champions in football twice over (“Go, Mountaineers!”). The couple will make their home in Waynesville, although the bride occasionally talks wistfully about moving to the beach until the groom reminds her that rusted out mobile homes go for a quarter million there.

Before settling on the stately Detention Center as the location for their nuptials, the couple had considered any number of wedding scenarios over the course of their two — OK, nearly three — year engagement, including a sunrise beach wedding, a quaint countryside wedding, a scenic hot-air balloon wedding, a campy Vegas wedding, or a more elaborate family and friends affair with a three-layer cake, a Motown cover band at the country club reception, and matching dresses for the bridesmaids. Every time the couple began exploring these options, the entire thing just got too overwhelming and was ultimately tabled for “another time.”

Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. Months turned into years. And years turned into wagging tongues. “Are you all EVER planning on actually getting married, or do you just plan on remaining engaged for the rest of your lives?”

Well, now you know. The couple is not registered anywhere, but if any of you were to absolutely INSIST on buying them a wedding gift, they are quite fond of Pinot Noir.

(Chris Cox is a writer and teacher who lives in Waynesville. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..)

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