She was so focused on her studies that she failed to take note of him until he got into a heated debate over architectural theory with a professor.
“I was like, ‘Who is this guy?’ ” Katie recalls. “Why is he arguing with the professor?”
As architecture students, they spent long hours in the same studio and often wound up going out with overlapping groups of friends. Katie’s impression of Scott softened after noticing that whenever somebody needed help — whether on an assignment or getting a printer to work — he would drop whatever he was doing to come to their aid. But she didn’t spend much time thinking about him.
Scott, on the other hand, was growing increasingly smitten with the reserved, dark-haired beauty.
“She had this one shirt, and it was a picture of a pig and it said, ‘Please don’t eat me. I love you,’ ” recalls Scott, now 31. “The way that shirt was kind of adorable was also the way that she was adorable and cute. She was really sweet and nice to everyone.”
He frequently came by to chat, and whenever he saw her pedaling her bike uphill to campus he offered to give her a tow with his truck. Still, Katie was oblivious to his crush. Finally, an observant friend clued her in to Scott’s interest.
“At that point, I started to notice that Scott was coming to talk to me more than most people were,” says Katie, now 29. “It was fine.”
In the spring of 2005, realizing he needed to be a little more overt, he made up an excuse about missing her birthday and asked her to dinner after class.
Somehow the pig shirt failed to tip him off to the fact that she was a vegetarian, and he chose a local watering hole that served mostly fried meats. Katie, who was nervous because she’d never done much dating, ordered a beer and a side salad.
Eventually they both relaxed, and soon after the date they were spending more time together both in groups and on their own. They discovered that they had both grown up with tight-knit extended families and a love of the outdoors — although hers evolved into vegetarianism, while he became a hunter.
Within a month they considered themselves a couple, but he could feel her holding back. “I think she was still a little wary of my intentions, I guess,” he says.
In fact, it was just Katie’s cautious way. It takes her a while to let someone in fully, but once she does, she is fiercely loyal.
“It took me a little bit longer to get used to and be comfortable with him,” she says. “It’s funny, when you’re growing up you hear all these stories that you meet the person and you know right away. It doesn’t always have to be like that. The more we hung out, we just got along. We just want to be with each other.”