"I live the dream," Katie said. "I have a house, a lot of friends and a neighborhood that's 1950s Leave It To Beaver." This is the part of the member stories where we usually add that something was missing--that special someone to share it all with. But Katie had a different take on how potential dates were going to impact her life.
"You're probably going to make my life worse," she said, speaking rhetorically to a theoretical date. When it came to online dating in particular, her opinion was even lower. "This is how someone is going to find me and kill me."
So how did it come to pass that the 33-year-old account rep for a successful printing firm, came to ever create a CatholicMatch profile. Dare we say that it took a village?
Katie knows everyone in her neighborhood, and they were on her to find a nice guy, including even offering to pay for online dating. She consistently refused, but one night a group of several of them were together and they began talking about CatholicMatch, which she knew of from the parish bulletin.
They were hanging out together on a Friday night, and fueled by a couple glasses of wine, the group got Katie to create a profile on CatholicMatch, and she browsed the site. She noticed Steve's profile.
"His picture was adorable," she recalled. It wasn't love at first sight, but she identified Steve as someone she'd be interested in meeting. Egged on by the neighborhood, she took out a one-month membership solely for the purposes of contacting Steve. She sent him an emotigram and quickly got a reply.
"She seemed like a genuine, nice girl, someone I'd like to meet and talk to," Steve said. We should note here that Steve had high standards of his own, and while not as colorfully stated as Katie's, his own family members wondered if another woman would ever pass "the Steve test." He came to CatholicMatch not quite as skeptical of online dating, and hoping the screening methods available would help him find the "more" he was looking for in potential dates.
Steve and Katie got together at a restaurant in the Twin Cities area where they both live. Katie had given firm instructions to her neighborhood that if her car wasn't in the driveway by a certain time, to take action.
"He and I talked so long we closed down the restaurant," she said. They had a variety of things in common, ranging from their shared interest in magic tricks, to growing up in the 1990s as fans of the Michael Jordan-era Chicago Bulls. "He was funny and he talked about his nieces and nephews," Katie recalled. "There have been dates where I hoped someone came screaming 'Fire!' so I could get out. Steve was so down-to-earth."
The date was going well, but the neighborhood was getting concerned. Katie's driveway was empty, and her cellphone--put away in her purse--was blowing up with text messages. The last of them began to read to the effect of "If you're not home in ten minutes we're calling the police." Thankfully, Katie arrived home without St. Paul's finest having to come on the scene.
This took place in the fall of 2013, and over the winter months, Steve and Katie's relationship grew. When Steve described Katie, the first two words to come to his mind were loyalty and dependability. "She's a teammate," he said affectionately. "I know that she's got my back with the amount of respect and caring that she has for me. She is very complimentary. She's always asking what I'd like to do."
For her part, Katie's appreciation for Steve's core virtues, his easygoing manner, the complete sincerity that he carries himself with, his loyalty to family and his intelligence--he works as an engineer--continued to grow.
It was early April, and for baseball fans--Katie is a season-ticket holder to the Twins--it's a time for fresh beginnings and optimism. She and Steve planned to go out to Target Field, but snow pounded northern Minnesota and the game was cancelled. For Katie, it was just a night to stay in and get a pizza. For Steve, it was time to think quickly on his feet.
He had originally planned to propose to Katie at nearby Como Park, a scenic locale where she used to walk with her grandfather. But he had just gotten word that the rings he wanted were ready, and there seemed to be no time like the present.
One of the things Katie and her father had always enjoyed were the Top 10 lists done by David Letterman on late-night TV talk. Steve needed a hook to pave the way for the proposal so he came up with the Top 10 things he loved about Katie. What's more, he started Googling, found images to go with each concept and put together a slideshow.
After Katie finished viewing the slideshow, she turned and saw Steve had the ring. In fact, the ring was about an inch from her face, and she almost bumped into it upon turning. She said yes, and they hugged, with the ring accidentally getting caught in his shirt.
If it were Hollywood, they might have filmed a second take. But the proposal and acceptance were real--and it was the realness and sincerity of each other that were what drew Steve and Katie to each other to begin with.
"I didn't ever really think I'd get married," Steve admitted. "I'm kind of independent, and had very high standards. We were open and honest with each other from the start, and our relationship grew, slowly but surely."
"I have to have the best success rate ever on CatholicMatch," Katie laughed. "Less than 24 hours and I found my guy."
Katie met Steve's standards. Steve didn't leave Katie wanting to run screaming from the room. They'll get married in October--with the neighborhood that brought them together all present.