Katy Loves Chris Loves Katy

Chris and I got married on October 6, 2007, after three and a half years together. It was a beautiful (89 degree!) Saturday, that will always be one of the happiest days of our lives.

Since then we’ve bought a house, adopted dogs, struggled through illness, traveled, went to grad school, got jobs, worked on PhDs (well, one of us did), and had a baby.

But before all that grown-up stuff, we were just two youngins at DePauw University. Here’s the story of how Katy Loves Chris Loves Katy came to be…

It was mid-March of our sophomore year at DePauw, 2004, one week before Spring break. That night, Kappa had an informal dance/party called “Freak What You Feel,” which is another way of saying dress up as crazy as you can and come dance. I didn’t put much any thought into my outfit ahead of time, so I threw on a pair of high waisted black velvet pants from Goodwill and a ridiculous backless shirt (a la 1999) that I’d borrowed from a girl in the house. The best thing about this outfit is that it was just normal enough to make people wonder whether I seriously thought I looked good. This is the type of weird I go for.

But before the dance, I had a philanthropy event I’d signed up to attend at the DU house. DePauw hosted Indiana’s Special Olympic basketball tournament every year, and the fraternities and sororities were paired up to cheer on a team at each of their games and host a pizza party for them the Friday night before. Kappa happened to be paired up with DU and the pizza party was at their house. Knowing I’d get straight on the charter bus to the informal afterward, I threw on a light blue sweatshirt that read, “There ain’t no moonshine in Moonshine, Illinois,” over my backless shirt and headed into the night. I looked great.

When I arrived, I found the partiers limbo-ing in the DU living room. There were about six other Kappas with me and probably 10 -12 DUs cheering on the special Olympic team as they took turns dipping beneath the bar. I scanned the room for people I knew. I only knew one guy, and a couple others I had seen around. I realized I didn’t know many DUs.

This is when I saw Chris for the first time. Instantly, I thought he was cute. His hair was longer then –  thick, wavy, and wonderfully moppy. It was totally the style then for the guys, and I loved it on him. I also noticed his glasses and his smile. That smile. Yes, I thought he was very cute, and I wondered who he was.

But I wasn’t there to find a boyfriend, so I just enjoyed the party. I danced like fool when the music turned up and limboed like the worst of them. At one point, we were next to each other when one of the DUs limboed remarkably low. Chris then turned to me and said, “If DePauw had a limbo contest, DU would win.” Yup, that’s the first thing he ever said to me. I think I just smiled and said “yeah!” or something.

Soon the party was over, and the Kappas were about to make the loooong three block trek back to our house to get on the charter bus. Luckily, someone offered to pile us into his car and drive us back. It was Cute Curly-haired Boy! In my head, he just earned two points – one for sweetness/thoughtfulness and another for that great smile of his.

He earned a third point when a Red Hot Chili Peppers CD started playing in his car. He has excellent taste, I might have thought to myself. After a three minute drive, we were in front the Kappa house. As I got out of the back seat, I thanked him for the ride before adding, “and I really like your music.”

These are the conversations that marriages are made of.

The week after Special Olympics was spring break. Like a poor lame student, I went home. I vividly remember standing at our kitchen table one night that week, and having a feeling like I was ready for something new, and that I was really over some things that had been lingering in my recent past. I’m being vague, but I’m trying to say that I finally just let go of some things. I felt a sense of readiness to move forward, and with this, a surge of confidence I’d never had.

(This totally sounds corny and contrived. But I hope you know that I keep it real here.)

When I returned to DePauw the next week, I decided I was going to meet that cute and considerate guy I met at DU. But first I needed to find out his name. Despite the size of DePauw, I had no idea who he was. So I sought out the assistance of one of my only friends who actually knew any DUs. We all call her Wurz. This is how it went:

Me: I kinda met this DU at special olympics, but I don’t know his name…

Wurz: What year is he?

Me: Uhhhhhhm…

Wurz: Okay, what does he look like?

Me: Well, he’s kinda tall, has brown hair, glasses….

Wurz: Katy, you’re describing half the guys at DePauw!

Me: I know! But that’s what he looks like! …His hair is a little curly, too. And longish.

Wurz (thinks for awhile): It could be Chris Doran —

Me: –Okay!

Wurz: He’s a sophomore, lived in Mason, he’s got glasses, brown hair….There’s a party this weekend at DU and I know where his room is. Do you want to come with me and I can introduce you?

I said yes. And I went to the party. He shared the biggest room in the house with one crazy Bulgarian, and his room was hoppin’. This is a good thing because how awkward would it have been if there has been like three people in there quietly talking or something? I never would have gone in. But there was music playing and people dancing and we just waltzed right in like we’d been there all night. Wurz very casually introduced us in a not-awkward way, and then I let Chris do the rest of the work.

Of course, he wanted to talk to me. (ha)

Talking to him was so easy. We probably talked for an hour. Somewhere in that time he asked for my screen name on AIM. In case you can’t remember this ancient communication tool, this was like asking for my phone number (so that he could text me). I learned that his grandma lives in Glen Ellyn, and I think that moment sealed our fate. We went downstairs to listen to the cover band playing in their dining room and stood in the front row, jumping and singing along to all the songs – even the ones we didn’t know. He was wearing an orange t-shirt. We were packed in close together, and I remember that orange shirt.  We took a break to get out of the heat during the band’s intermission and talked to the singers, who happened to know my senior prom date. (I remember a lot about this night.)

Eventually, I decided it was time to head back home to Kappa Land. On my way out, Chris kissed me on the cheek. What?! It was totally cute.

That week, I was doing the typical homework while checking AIM away messages combo, when ChrisDoran321 IMed me! I totally ignored the paper I was supposed to be writing to chat with Chris for a couple hours online. We learned that we were both staying on campus for Easter that weekend, and I told him half jokingly that what I missed most about going home for the holiday was the Easter basket. Since most students we’re leaving for the weekend, we had the perfect excuse to make plans for Saturday night.

Wait until you hear how romantic our first date was…

We watched Joy Ride at Kappa…with my friend, Helen. Hahaha.

Luckily, that wasn’t the end of the date.

The best part of the date took place after the movie in my room. (ooh la la. {not really.})

Most of the girls living in the house were gone for Easter, including both of my roommates, so even though it was against the rules for boys to go upstairs, I had no problemo breaking that one.

We both sat side-by-side on my desk chair and went through ALL the music on computer, listening to and talking about our favorite songs and artists. This was back in the good old days when you could still illegally download pretty much anything you wanted, so we did some of that, too.

When we exhausted our music conversation, we discussed other things. I really can’t remember what we talked about, but we talked FOREVER. Like all night. It was just so easy and comfortable. I never once felt like a nervous idiot, which was huge for me back then.

Then, of course, we kissed.

And kissed and kissed and kissed.

Then it was 6 am, and I had to get ready for church with the old couple I hung out with some Sundays. (I should write about that sometime, too. I spent many a’Sunday at post-mass buffets and craft fairs.)

After mass, brunch, and trying my darndest to stay awake in the car on the way back, I went over to DU to spend some more of my Sunday with this new guy that I was really starting to like.

And guess what he surprised me with?

 (Complete with purple grass and chocolate eggs.)

 He was a keeper, and the rest is history.


(see the original posts here, here, and here)

(Easter basket image via)


3 responses to “Katy Loves Chris Loves Katy

  1. LOL! Nice hillbilly photo! That is NOT a real cigarette!

  2. I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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