WSU Love Story: Love blooms in the College of Education

Tara pulled a disappearing act on Tim after a friend shipped them together, reappeared three years later



Tim and Tara Smith did not think they would be married with kids when they first met.

SAYDEE PHOTHIVONGSA, Evergreen news editor

“You guys are gonna get married someday,” a friend said to Tim and Tara Smith in their freshman year of college. And then, they didn’t speak to each other again for four years. 

Tim and Tara met in their freshman year at WSU in 2004 while both living in Stephenson East and taking many of the same classes, as they were both math majors wanting to be teachers, Tim said. 

But almost as soon as Tim met Tara, it was like she disappeared into thin air, he said.  

Tara joined a sorority and changed her major from math to family and consumer sciences, so she and Tim did not see much of each other after that. 

“She was a sorority girl and I was an independent,” Tim said. “Why would she want to talk to some geeky math nerd? I figured I was history.” 

It seemed that was the end of Tim and Tara’s story together, until their senior year. 

Both still working toward being teachers, they ended up having a lot of classes together. Three classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to be exact, Tara said. 

“We were doing this get-to-know-you activity and I went up to him and I said ‘Do you remember who I am?’ and he knew my full name and everything,” she said. 

From there, talking to each other in class turned into sitting together and eating Swedish Fish on breaks in between classes, Tim said. Eventually, Tim was able to get Tara’s phone number and he invited her to see a movie with him and she agreed. 

Before Tim knew that Tara loves going to the movies and especially loves getting snacks, he didn’t exactly treat her to the full movie experience on that date, he said. 

“She goes, ‘Do you want popcorn?’ and I said ‘No, who gets popcorn?’ so, there were no snacks,” Tim said. 

Luckily for Tara, the dates improved as their relationship progressed. For one date, Tim cooked Tara homemade Italian food, a skill he learned while studying abroad in Italy, he said. 

Tim and Tara dated for about a year before Tim popped the big question, they both said. 

At this point, Tara was in Yakima student-teaching and Tim was in Pullman finishing up his last semester so one would drive to the other on the weekends, Tara said. 

It was a weekend when Tara was coming to Pullman that Tim proposed. 

After a stop at Starbucks, the couple took off on a walk around Pullman. It was a rainy day, so Tara put on a pair of gloves, which was not exactly conducive to the plan, Tim said. 

“We stopped and were looking up at the campus and I just said ‘This is where our life always started and I want to spend the rest of my life with you,’” he said. 

Now, 15 years after they started dating, Tim and Tara are happily married with two children, Kayley and Grady. 

They visit Pullman quite often and when they do they always make a point to revisit places they used to live and have memories from, which is now something they can share with their kids as well, Tim said.