‘Scary’ cute couple brings a little Halloween to their Valentine’s Day gifts

YAKIMA VALLEY, Wash. — For more than a decade, Kayla Taylor and Bobby Mendoza have been the closest of friends; sharing history, potato chips and a passion for the spooky.

“We love watching horror films,” Mendoza said, listing off It, Trick ‘R Treat and Cabin in the Woods, to name a few.

Taylor and Mendoza met in high school and stayed in touch; about four years ago the pair decided to couple up. Friends and family weren’t surprised.

“It was one of those situations where everyone knew we had feelings for each other but no one said anything,” Mendoza said.

Now, they’re engaged; falling in line with their love of the scary, the wedding date is set for Halloween.

“Halloween is usually when we pull out all the stops,” Taylor said. “It was actually the day, years and years ago, when we shared our first kiss.”

The couple doesn’t usually go all-out for Valentine’s Day, preferring to spend their energy on Halloween; this year, they realized they could do both on the same day.

“I bought him a scary valentine,” Taylor said. Kayla: “Our favorite movie is It so I bought him a Pennywise valentine.”

Every year, Madd Hatters Haunt in Union Gap, Wash. sends out an eclectic cast of horror movie characters to bring people “scarytines”; this year featured Pennywise from It, Sam from Trick ‘R Treat, Michael Myers from Halloween and Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th.

The couple loves It so much, they both dressed as Pennywise for Halloween, with Taylor’s young son dressed up as Georgie. Taylor said the costumes were actually her son’s idea and that they were more than a little spooky.

“We actually got turned down for candy at one house because the lady told us we were too terrifying,” Taylor said.

With Pennywise on the mind, Taylor ordered up a scarytine for Mendoza, including a heart-shaped box of chocolates and and a paper heart reading, “yOU’rE A kiLlEr VAleNtinE.”

“I think he’s going to be a little startled to be honest,” Taylor said. “He’s gonna be like, ‘What? Why is this scary clown coming here and giving me donuts?”

Little did Taylor know, she’d soon be in the same position; Mendoza got her a scarytine, too.

“I sent her Sam from Trick ‘R Treat; she really loves that movie,” Mendoza said.

Neither one told the other beforehand that they’d be getting a spooky surprise this Valentine’s Day, but it worked out really well for the soon-to-be-wed couple.

“I’m really happy,” Taylor said. “I think it’s funny that we got each other the same gift.”

Along with the sweets, Taylor sent along an original poem she wrote for Mendoza in the spirit of the holiday.

Your smile is beautiful, so divine.
My heart beats stronger when our hands intertwine.
I am yours as you are mine.
Forever with love, my valentine.

“I would say that she is the most special person in my life,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza said he loves Taylor’s persistence, her hardheadedness and her determination to reach her goals. He also loves how she loves him for just being himself.

“I get to be myself around somebody instead of pretending, putting a mask on for somebody else,” Mendoza said.

Taylor said she loves Mendoza’s smile, his face, his work ethic and his goofy attitude: he likes to pull pranks and tell jokes.

“He’s just a very strong personality,” Taylor said. “He’s always been a really good person.”

The couple’s wedding date is set for Oct. 31, featuring the bride and groom all in black and gothic decor — guests are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes to the ceremony.

Mendoza said they’ve chosen the Zillah Civic Center for their wedding venue — the same spot where his parents had their wedding almost two decades ago.

“I’m really glad that my family is really accepting of our ‘semi-traditions’ of just Halloween and being with the person I love,” Mendoza said. “My mom is gaining another daughter and another grandson at the same time, growing our family even bigger and that’s something I’m really proud of.”