A Guest Post - an Extra Edition on How Chris and I Met

Remember when Grace started the How We Met link-up and all hopeless romantics were given enough reading material to last a good long while? I joined the par-tay and wrote my little novel about the story of us.

Well, my best friend, Laura, let me know that she wanted to write a guest post from her perspective on the whole thing - more specifically her perspective on the moment that she bluntly catalyzed the whole thing by asking Chris if he were interested in me. I was like a little bobblehead on a dashboard of a car that has never known a smooth ride; I couldn't nod enough as I read her request. Duh! Who wouldn't want to hear another take on her love story, especially when her best friend can write? And I mean write

Laura comes tonight (!!!) so I am posting her aside to our story and completing my end of the deal. I promised that I wouldn't edit anything before I published it ... and I had to publish it. Rookie. Laura looks at me with what must be the crème de la crème of rose-colored glasses. With that in mind, skip paragraphs 6-9!!! I won't tell her you skipped them, promise. (And I keep my promises since I am publishing this post, after all). 

And with that, take it away eLLe.

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An early morning in a quiet office. I just put on “Of Monsters and Men,” because it reminds me of Chris and Katrina, of riding with them in the car on the way from Chicago to their home in South Bend and hearing Little Talks come up on Chris’s playlist.

I needed to set the mood. I’d told Katrina I’d wanted to write a guest post to complement one of hers, on a subject that I know about as well as any outsider could. There’s a love story on the line, and I’m not taking any risks.

The only error in Katrina’s “How We Met” story was calling me the personification of good (sorry Katrina, I had to correct it!); everything else was spot on and honest and unexaggerated. Katrina really did predict marriage after their first date. I remember her standing with me in a stairwell in McGlinn hall the morning after the Rugby formal and whispering, “he’s the one, Laura, he’s the one I just know it! I know I’m going to marry him.”

And she really did remember all those tiny tiny details, from Chris’s green sweatshirt, to her making a passing comment about his arms (I mean, they were pretty impressive). She wasn’t trying to embellish the story at all; things like that stick with her, and she loves to share them. That’s just Katrina.

Speaking of Katrina, I think we need to take a moment to appreciate what we’re working with here before jumping into all that falling in love stuff.

If she’s going to try to call me the personification of good, I think it’s entirely fair for me to say that she’s the personification of love. She loves, and she loves, and then she loves more. I’ve told her this before; I have a particularly vivid memory of doing so during a late night talk in my dorm room in McGlinn, one of those precious moments that’s tucked safely away in the long-gone universe of endlessly sun-touched days and star-speckled nights that have nothing to do with the actual weather, of life that seemed make-believe for all the indulgent time spent with your very best friends through all the very best and very worst times you live through (“Of Monsters and Men” was a good choice. Definitelyhelping with the mood). At the time, she was crying from worry, and hurt, and worry about not wanting to hurt. And I had to be her eyes for a moment; she couldn’t see herself clearly, so I was reminding her of who she was.

She’s a sensitive soul—I mean to say that she’s opens herself to others and to the world and has no hardness in her. Well, everybody probably has some hardness in them I suppose. Katrina must just have the most microscopic amount.

Well, it might take someone a little while to figure all that out about her. Not long, but a little while. What’s immediately and strikingly apparent, however, is that she’s eye-catchingly beautiful. Or all-eyes-catchingly beautiful, or something like that. She was known on campus for it, and I don’t know many guys who didn’t wish that they could have a chance with her (unfortunately for them, Katrina’s also extremely friendly, which was all too easy for a guy to mistake for interest). Yep, Katrina Corcoran was quite the looker, and plenty of boys (men—whatever) had no shame in looking.

I’d seen a fair amount of these “looks” from all different guys. The hungry ones whom we’d serve during our shifts at Reckers, the tired ones who’d just finished their football/ baseball/ basketball/ etc workout, the cocky ones who thought they could get something out of her, the quiet ones who hoped against hope for a hello (and who of course actually received one), the drunk ones who were mesmerized by the Irish-Filipino vision who was smilingly standing before them, the bookish ones who sat near her in class…if you still don’t have a clear idea of what I mean, let me know and I’ll start listing off names. Lots and lots of names.

Anyway, right, I’d seen all these looks from all these different guys. And then, one day, I saw an entirely different one. It came from that nice guy who’d so freely talked to me at several of the rugby parties I’d gone to, and who’d kindly kept me company in my solitar-ily sober state.

Now, how to describe this? It was like…it was like he was looking at her with his whole self. Does that make sense? No. Probably not. Unless of course you’ve seen the look I’m talking about. Every single thing that went into making up Chris Harrington seemed to be looking straight into the eyes of my best friend Katrina Corcoran. Every part of him seemed attuned to her, seemed noticeably attentive to each word coming from the mouth of this beautiful young woman who could basically quote every line from the ND Nation website and who knew the football roster better than he did.

I noticed the look each time we HAPPILY ran into Chris on campus. Which did happen quite a bit, and which we thoroughly enjoyed every|single|time. I mean, Katrina and I enjoyed a lot of things we did; it was kind of our underlying philosophy, and it wasn’t dependent at all on what actually happened, now that I think about it (it’s ok, you can laugh at us if you want. We don’t mind). But. We actually truly honestly really did enjoy the run-ins with the gentlemanly Chris Harrington—Katrina, for obvious reasons, and I, because this was just all so fun (ahem. I’d like to take a moment to put in writing, Chris Harrington, that I did not have a crush on you at all during this time. Or at any other. For the record!).

Sooo, what then was I supposed to do when I found out that Chris and his girlfriend had broken up? Katrina was certainly not going to say anything to him. And to be honest, I wasn’t really expecting that I’d say anything to him either.

It just came out. There we were, standing somewhere near the sandwich station in South Dining Hall, saying hello ‘n such, when poor unsuspecting Chris was gut-punched with a perfectly innocent question.

[paraphrasing!]:

“I’m sorry the breakup’s so rough. I can’t imagine how hard that is. [pause] Umm, this is really silly of me, and I probably shouldn’t be asking this at all, especially so soon after ending your other relationship…but can I ask you a question.”

“Definitely, you can ask me a question.”

“Are you possibly at all interested in Katrina? It just kind of seemed that way. Maybe.”

“Uh, that’s sweet, Laura. I think Katrina’s a great girl, but I’m not thinking about that at all right now.” (said with a kind smile, and in a way that didn’t make me feel terriblyridiculous for asking. Thanks Chris)

Maybe he truly wasn’t thinking consciously of it at that moment. Maybe I brought some hidden little thoughts to the surface. Maybe maybe maybe. We just might never know for sure.

Whatever the case, no one can argue with how it turned out, right? See Katrina’s story for a refresher on all the plot details, but there’s no doubt that that Look accurately foretold of a lifelong love. Chris Harrington ended up with the girl all the guys had pined after for so long, and Katrina won over the dashing rugby captain with excellent style. There’s so much more to them than that, and so much more could be said! Not right now, though. Nope, for now I think that’s just enough to show you that, for all of Katrina’s twitterpated-ness, there was a very similar thing running through the veins of that cool Mr. Harrington.

I've resisted doing my office stuff for too long now. Music is done, people are here, and I've got work to do!

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Oh, she made me cry. 

She really is a treasure. I think our kids and grandkids will enjoy our story, but I will always cherish this little explanation the most. 

By the way, Laura ... I seem to remember you promising that you would read Twilight as a wedding present to me. Better get reading ...