I met Katherine on the first day of college orientation. Oh God, there was very little I hated about college (aside from the almost-no-friends situation), but orientation WAS THE WORST THING I'VE EVER HAD TO ENDURE. Worse than any exam I ever took, worse than the two theses I eventually had to write, worse than bunion surgery, worse than writing a dissertation, worse than folding sweaters in the mall during Christmas season. (Well maybe not worse than working in a mall, but pretty close.) Remember how Ralphie's mom FREAKS OUT over the leg lamp in A Christmas Story? She finally just LOSES it and screams something like, "THAT LAMP IS THE UGLIEST THING I'VE EVER SEEN. IN. MY. WHOLE. LIFE!!!!!!!!!" That's how much I hated college orientation.
(I'll digress just for the confused people out there who are like, "Huh?? Why?? How?" (Erin and Laurie) or "Well, duh, I guess that's why this chick never made any friends" (strangers who have never met me in person). No. No, I'm sorry, but any "program" that makes adults sing songs and play games like preschoolers in an attempt to make them feel more "at home" or "comfortable" in their new environment is THE DUMBEST THING IN THE WORLD. I went to college relieved that finally! at last! no one would mistake me for a kid anymore, and I was forced to literally SING SONGS WITH CORRESPONDING DANCE MOVES IN PUBLIC FOR FOUR DAYS. To refuse participation, one found herself literally threatened with public stoning. Or a hold on her account or something.
Well, that's how I remember it at least.
Katherine is reading this and thinking, "ok, that's not what it was like at all.")
So anyway, I survived the ridiculous little kid camp that was "College Orientation" and made my first of two friends: Katherine was in my group. Even though she was a sophomore, she was forced to attend because she was a transfer. (Imagine, she had to do orientation TWICE. Wow.) I guess orientation worked out ok for her: I managed to score a friend in this mess, but she managed to score a husband. Not bad, right? Manny was in our group too, and while they didn't start dating right away, they did stay friends and yadda yadda yadda they just got married last month.
Let me just say that Katherine is a class act. The only person I can think of who rivals her is that OTHER Catherine as-in-Middleton. Seriously, they're both in the same category. I can't explain it. Everything about her is impeccable in the coolest-not-at-all-uptight way. Usually, I'm the one who's screaming and yelling over something that really does not matter, and Katherine's the one going, "hmmm, yeah, that doesn't sound like fun. But you'll be fine," and when she says that you believe her. And usually she's wearing some adorable little sweater with pearl studs and the most perfect lip gloss ever when she says this. Will could switch out his Catherine for my Katherine, and England would be in as good if not better shape.
Of course, traveling to an out of town wedding requires making some tough decisions and with my surgery on the near horizon, I chose to pack an extra pair of shoes in my carry-on rather than my DSLR. Six weeks after the fact, I totally regret this. My point-and-shoot can take a great picture, but it just doesn't cut it indoors. C'e' la vie.
|How gorgeous are those wreaths?|
|I worked at a florist in high school--not a single cheapo flower in these. Beyond swoon-worthy.|
|The bride's niece--didn't leave the house without her bunny.|
|Everything for the wedding was emblazoned with the bride and groom's monogram.|
Shrine time (because I can't help myself):
The whole weekend was beautiful beginning to end. Katherine seated us with two of her childhood friends one of whom recently finished her PhD in psychology and works with families whose children are fighting traumatic illnesses. Naturally, we spent most of the dinner discussing the ethics of euthanasia (because what else is going to happen when you seat a person like that next to an ethicist?).
(Maybe this has something to do with my failure to make friends in college? huh.)
|God help me, I love a chandelier.|
On my other side was this super-cute couple: an entrepreneur and his photographer wife. They were so hilarious, and I spent the other part of dinner talking to him about Hume because Hume was his favorite philosopher in college.
(I should add at this point: I rarely if ever want to talk about philosophy outside of work. But whenever I meet someone new, the first question they ask me is ALWAYS, "What do you do?" When I answer, "I'm a philosopher" it elicits one of two responses: 1) "Omigod I HATE PHILOSOPHY. It was my LEAST favorite class in college. Philosophy is so STUPID AND POINTLESS. I can't believe I had to pay money for such a dumb and pointless class. Ugh. I hated it." I most recently encountered this response from someone at a Fourth of July barbecue this year although I hear it all the time. I don't know WHY people think that this response is acceptable or NOT rude. Just shut up already. Honestly, what do you expect me to say back to you? "Oh, you're clearly some genius who knows what she's talking about"? Whatever.
The other response I get is 2) "Omigod THAT WAS MY FAVORITE CLASS IN COLLEGE!!!!! I loved it!! My prof was sooooo cool! I wanted to major in it, but my parents said no. Can we PLEASE talk about Hume/euthanasia/Sartre/Kierkegaard/atheism/Socrates/Aquinas???" Sadly, whatever topic this person wants to talk about (ie, Hume in this case) is so distant from my area of specialization that I have little to say and this inevitably leads to disappointment and some skepticism that I know what I'm talking about.)
Everyone we met was so friendly and cool ... I thought Mr. Hume summed it up perfectly when he said at the end of the night, "Every guest at Katherine and Manny's wedding has been so nice ... but what else would you expect from Katherine and Manny? Of course they've surrounded themselves with the most positive network of people you've ever met."
At the end of the night, all of the guests waited on the front steps with sparklers. The bride and groom appeared at the top of the steps, ran through the aisle of sparklers, and jumped into a gorgeous vintage car that sped them off into the night.
|That's Katherine's mom in the gorgeous blood-orange silk blouse. I wonder what it's like to wish your last daughter farewell on her wedding day?|
Katherine seriously saved my life in college. (So did you, Antonio.) Sometimes I wonder what would've happened if she hadn't been in my orientation group. A part of me thinks I would have called it quits and transferred somewhere else. I probably wouldn't have fit in any better at that other place. I just didn't get college student culture--nothing about it matched with any part of my personality, and I didn't have the money to keep up with it. Katherine was just like all the friends I knew so well who were scattered up and down the eastern seaboard after high school graduation. I automatically felt like I had always known her. It would've been a tragedy never to have met her.
Katherine and Manny left for a dream honeymoon in Bali days after the party ended. I hope their first year is just fun with no stress. I hope their whole lives are like that.
And by "no stress" I mean: May they never have to wiggle around singing stupid, rhymey jingles in public ever again.
Unless they want to ; )