No Frogs Were Kissed in the Making of this UCF Love Story
By: Katie Schmidt ’12
Every once in a while, the guy you invite over to your apartment in college to coerce a frog into a pizza box ends up becoming the husband you’re closing on a house and sharing an email address the rest of your life with.
At least, that was the case for Destinee ’14 ’16 and her husband Kendall Graham ’14. The two had met during Destinee’s first week at University of Central Florida through a mutual friend, but then quickly transitioned into that met-once-but-never-really-cross-paths-too-much-since territory of early college years.
It wasn’t until Destinee joined Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated in 2012 that her and Kendall’s social circles started becoming more and more like a Venn diagram. Kendall, who was a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated, was roommates with one of Destinee’s sorority sisters and would see her from time to time when she came over to hang out with her friend.
This living arrangement kicked off a few years of flirting with more to come.
“Years before we even started dating, Kendall would come to my job and tell everyone, ‘I’m going to marry her,’” Destinee says. “We were truly just not even real friends at that point and he would tell everyone he was going to marry me. So one night I was at my sorority sister’s house and he wasn’t there but I said to her, ‘tell my boo I said hey’ and she was just like, ‘this is so stupid; I’m not doing this anymore; I’m going to give him your number.’”
Kendall acquired Destinee’s number two days before her 21st birthday and they started texting a bit. Two days after Destinee’s birthday, she invited some friends over to watch an episode of Scandal (‘cause 2012). As Destinee’s friends were heading out that evening, they accidentally opened the door to a huge frog and to the series of events that brought Kendall and Destinee together.
The four women Destinee had over that night launched into the typical questions four college-aged women have when a frog is in the apartment: Do we know any boys we can call to come deal with this?
“My phone was on the counter and one of my friends just happened to see that Kendall had texted me,” Destinee says. “I hadn’t told anyone yet that we were even communicating so I just was like, ‘Oh that’s weird.’”
Shocking to no one, Destinee’s dubious brushing-off of Kendall’s texting her didn’t quite land (reminder, these are the two who have joked about marrying each other during their self-described acquaintance years). Her friends insisted that she text him to come deal with the frog.
“I hate frogs, toads, all of those…,” Kendall starts to say.
“And I didn’t know that at the time,” Destinee adds.
“Where I’m from, when it rains, these big frogs would just sit outside my doorstep,” Kendall says. “Then they would hop into our garage and you could hear them hopping around in there and I just — I hated them. So when she called me and told me there was a frog and she wanted help I was like, ‘Man, I mean, this would really make me look good, but. It’s a frog.’ I had to muster up everything I had to go do that.”
Luckily for Kendall (and Destinee, they’re both lucky to have found each other), that mustering paid off in the end. The frog was extracted from the apartment, the texts between Kendall and Destinee grew up in quality and quantity, and the two got together.
“She was always the one person that I knew if she gave me a shot, I’d give it everything,” Kendall says.
“From day one he was telling me he wanted us to be together and I would try and say, ‘We’re just figuring it out,’” Destinee explains.
“I had already figured it out,” Kendall says.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
“That’s our story,” Destinee says. “I always say that our relationship is the best type of boring. Very early on it was just, ‘This is my person, we’re going to be together, and it’s going to be that easy.’ And it has been.”