Our best friend is getting married tomorrow.

Big day tomorrow. Big day. Katie and Adam are getting married! And — of course — I will be back on the blog soon with a full summary. But before I jump into the wedding day recap, Lilly and I wanted to take a moment to shine a light on our Katie.

Katie: Katie and I met in a freshman college English class where we were required to pair up and review essays. She told me right away that she wasn’t a writer. I’ll admit, I felt some relief: at least my paper would be better than hers. But here is where we learn lesson #1 about Katie: She so good at convincing others that she is just like all of us — but she is actually so many times smarter. In short, her essay was way better than mine.

I thought of this essay exchange a few years ago at Katie’s thesis defense for her PhD in neuroscience. For the first five minutes of the presentation, I thought: OK, OK, I’m with you. Moments later, my mind wandered and suddenly, I was really lost. No matter though, I was so proud to be in her circle. I have no idea what it feels like to watch your child graduate from college or graduate school — but watching my best friend, accomplish her goals with grace, beauty and intelligence is quite special.

Our first year out of college, we lived together in an small apartment in NYC that my mom described as something out of Law & Order. It is quite a metaphor to me that whenever Katie and I have moved in or out of a place together– she always carried the heavy stuff. In our lives, Katie steps in with a strong arm, listening/rational ear or a steady presence whenever we need her.

That first year in NYC, when I came home to a dead mouse in the apartment, I covered it with a pot, and thought: Katie will know what to do. When I cut my foot on glass late night at a bar — she superglued it back together. And all the while, she is laughing at/with me. Beyond having all the smarts, Katie is our problem-solving, calm-under-pressure, go-with-the-flow, loyal best friend.

Lilly: Katie Krum brought Katie Kopil and I together.  Our first hang out was a classically odd activity, Katie inviting Katie to hang out while I went bra shopping.  To top it off, the woman at the store thought it was my very first one. We were 20 going on 21 at the time. Katie thought it was hilarious and I went from embarrassed to comfortable in an instant. It was on this afternoon—and in this bizarre shopping exchange—that I got my first real taste of the things that I would love best about Katie in all the years since. She has a laugh that comes out in bursts, with force and levity that is like a firecracker going off: it never fails to inspire a shock wave of laughter in whoever is nearby.

Katie speaks in catch phrases. They have become short hand among her friends, conveying with just a few words so much more: candor and sarcasm, Katie’s humor and her honest gut reaction all in one. Here’s a few of the best:

Snooze: means boring. People, activities, most likely the bra I was buying.

Cats not me: to this day I have no idea what this really means except, whatever it is, it’s definitely not for Katie.

Por Que No?: This is my favorite. Not only because it’s the perfect answer for any and every question you might ask yourself. Rather, I love this phrase and I love the way Katie embraces it, because it seems to inspire the little nudge we all need to do what we might normally not. And to do so without self-consciousness. This is the wonderful contradiction or perhaps the precise dichotomy that is Katie Kopil. She is at once practically minded and completely full of surprises. One part scientist and many parts something else entirely…

Dun Dun: Ok. Fine. This is not so much a phrase as the sonic accompaniment to the opening credits of Law & Order. But if you ever need to see pure joy, find a way to play this sound so you can see Katie’s interpretive dance moves. They are one in a million.

Katie and Lilly: So Katie getting married, gave us the perfect excuse to walk down our collective memory lane, but the most important story tucked back in the depths of our twenties is when Katie met Adam. When Katie moved to Philly, she was following a dream.  But leaving us in NYC, sometimes, she admitted, she was a little lonely. And it was during one of these periods that she mentioned a guy from her lab. Stories about him unfolded throughout a Princeton reunion weekend and by the end, we told her the way it was: you like this guy and we think he likes you. Stop playing it safe.

A few days later, at an undefined first-date—that included meeting some of the Siebert family—there they were: Katie and Adam.

A month later, we surprised Katie on her birthday in Philly and we met Adam for the first time. Tall and sporty and self assured.  But most importantly, confident and sure-footed, even in those early days, were his feelings for Katie. And by his side, our Katie was glowing. Standing taller and straighter. Beautiful in a whole new way.

Together, they have become Dr. and Dr., made the leap to a new city, and even though their journey begins in some new way this weekend, what a life and partnership they have built already.

Over the years, Katie, Lilly and I have made a casual promise that in our old age, we will live together again. We even quote the Golden Girls theme song in emails and greeting cards. Adam — enjoy all the years you have ahead together. Harry, NIK, and the two of us will move in upstairs in 2055. Por que no?  Much love and cheers to years of happiness.

2 thoughts on “Our best friend is getting married tomorrow.

  1. First, Kwummie, i miss this blog…so glad you came back with the perfect post that sums Katie up so well! Happy Wedding Wkd, Kopil! Lots of love, hugs, and pss pss from Ghana, Lizzie BA

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