In a lot of ways I felt like this punk kid bossing around other punk kids at the bookstore. But I was determined to do a good job. I was going to school full time as well at the time.
Once Daryl came back we settled in and got along great. He's a really funny guy and we would have great conversations about different very important spiritual things. Daryl introduced me to the majority of good Christian music that I listen to. He and I also share an affinity for Kanye West as well (much to his wife's chagrin). He used to have his mp3 player on at work early in the morning and would be belting out Gold Digger at the top of his lungs, although to his credit he does edit out the profanity.
Katie began working in customer service at my current company and worked with Dan. She decided without really knowing Dan or I that we would be a good match and she set us up.
Things were becoming increasingly dramatic at the store Daryl and I worked at. The employees liked to try to pit us against each other like mom and dad. No matter how many times we told them we talked to each other about all their drama they didn't believe that we actually did. I was about at the end of my rope when Katie covertly recruited me to work at her company. I applied and interviewed and ultimately had to tell Daryl that his wife snatched me right out from under his nose. In fact, when I told him I had to talk to him he literally said, "You better not be telling me that Katie got you a job at
So I left the bookstore as my main job (although I still help out from time to time) and started working with Katie. She and I were already borderline friends and working together just sealed the deal. We still work for the same company, she just moved into another department.
The four of us, Katie and Daryl, Dan and I, would hang out and go out for birthdays and just to hang out. We played Wii a lot and just generally had a good time. Daryl and I would continue to have conversations about very important spiritual topics and Katie and I started talking about those things too.
I would also occasionally get caught in between the two of them when they would argue. It was never truly awful, I just felt uncomfortable because I was pretty sure I shouldn't really be in the middle of what was a discussion between a husband and a wife. Eventually I told them both that and it's been lovely ever since.
They helped plant a Saturday night church at their church (I never can explain it right...) and Katie runs children's and Daryl sings on the worship team and runs the sound/projection stuff (that's not the technical name but I don't know the technical name) It's been really awesome to see that church grow and Katie and Daryl grow through their leading at the church. I get to visit occasionally and always have a great experience.
It's sort of hard to quantify what it is that I enjoy so much about my friendships with Daryl and Katie. The friendships are at the same time sarcastic and hilarious as serious and thought provoking.
Daryl and I have our differences, most recently about the death penalty but I love having the conversations with him about it because I trust him, even if I don't agree with his theology. Just the musical experiences he has given me through introducing me to David Crowder, Leeland, Tenth Avenue North and so many others has changed me. The lyrics and just basic music has touched me so deeply and Daryl seemed to introduce them all to me at just the right time. He's forced me to really think through why I believe things and if I really should because of the "debates" we have had at the book store and over dinner. We both have a similar sense of humor and it was an absolute blast getting to work with (and hang out with) someone that you laughed so hard with.
Daryl is a really nice guy. Sometimes its to his detriment that he is a nice guy because he can have a tendency to let things go or not mention that he's upset until he's about to blow. But I believe that at the core of that is a true desire to please people and help them get along. He has a huge heart and like anyone with a heart a little to large for their body knows that can lead to disappointment and hurt. He handles it well though, most of the time.
Katie and I got to be friends over the phone and then working together. We have conversations about things like the definition of gossip, legalism, shoes and purses. It runs the gamut. Katie is very important because she has an i-Phone.
Once when Daryl was out of town Katie, Dan and I went out to dinner. After we were going to follow her out to their old house to hang out. About halfway to the middle of nowhere Katie calls my phone and says, "Don't worry, I'm not going to kill you and chop you up. We're almost to the house." Dan looked at me and said, "Wouldn't it be funny if she did. We would totally look at each other in heaven and say, 'I did NOT see that coming!'"
I get to climb up on my soapbox with Katie, which is my favorite past time some days. She lets me spout off for awhile and then she'll say, but what about.... and I'm done in. I love the perspective she brings to things and the way she laughs at herself and life in general. At least with me, it's very rare to see Katie in a bad mood or dejected about things. I mean, she gets upset or worn out sometimes...but it's rare that I see it last long. I love that about her.
Through Daryl and Katie I've learned to hold my own and really refine what it is exactly that I believe and why. I've learned to laugh at myself and how to be better about not cussing in front of kids (sorry Charlie and Sydney!) I learned how to kick ass (there's that darn cussing) at the Wii at their house, theirs was the first Wii I ever played. I've learned to be careful not only what I say, but how I say it because that send a stronger message sometimes then the words you actually speak. I learned how to deliver the line "that's what she said" flawlessly. Daryl and Katie have welcomed me into their home on holidays and even sent me home with leftovers. In general I rarely feel like the 3rd wheel in a coupled up situation. But with these two my friendships with both of them seem to make it even less likely, I would even venture to say that in all the hours I've spent hanging out with them together I've never felt that way.
I'm really glad that I met Daryl and Katie and that we still all talk and hang out. I look forward to many more discussions, laughter and fierce Wii competitions to come.