Crazy about dimples, crazy about each other

Ella Schuellerman, Arts & Life Editor

Picture this. It’s 1993. It’s the start of a crisp, fresh, fall semester at John Carroll University and college move-in day is in full swing. Students from all over pile into Pacelli, Hamlin and Campion Hall. No air conditioning then, no air conditioning now. Unbeknownst to two students who’d end up falling for a lifetime in love, one was assigned to the basement of Campion and one to the first floor. 

Renee Laube finished settling into her dorm and wanted to stop to say hello to an old high school friend who was a transferring junior. “I connected with Jamie Wheeler a few weeks before school was going to start. Coincidently, that friend was going to be living right below my floor,” said Renee. 

“As I went down the stairs to see my friend, I ended up meeting his roommate, who was also a transfer student. His name was Tim.” 

And that is the story of how Renee met Tim. In her words, it was an “oh wow.” moment. It was an “everything is going to change” moment. 

Tim recalls asking his new, luck-of-the-lottery roommate about the vivacious woman  who had just left their room. “Who was that?” an enamored Tim asked, only to find out that she was a taken woman — off limits because of a boyfriend from Slippery Rock University, who just happened to be friends with Wheeler. 

While it was not the answer Tim was hoping for, he wasn’t worried. “I looked back at my roommate and laughed. I asked, ‘What in the world is Slippery Rock?’ I asked how far of a drive it is. He said two hours. I smiled and told him, ‘This is going to be your buddy’s problem, not mine.’”

Renee ended up breaking up with her boyfriend a mere week later. “You know, it always sounds cliche, it was kind of a love-at-first-sight moment. I walked in and out of there and knew everything was going to change,” laughed Renee. Their inseparable bond started right then and there. 

Renee and Tim Laube (pictured above) visiting Chicago, Illinois. The couple has always loved traveling and exploring new places together. (Renee Laube)

The quick rush of infatuation was almost too much. “We quickly started dating and actually quickly broke up by the time Thanksgiving of ’93 rolled around,” said Renee. “I know what you’re thinking; is the story taking a tragic turn?”

To spoil the ending, this was not the end. Sometimes the best kind of love stories start with a basis of friendship, and that was exactly the case for Renee and Tim. 

Throughout the school year and their senior year, these friends kept in touch. They would have the typical run-ins a small campus like John Carroll brings and once graduation of 1995 came around, Tim moved to Boston for work then to Pittsburgh and Detroit. 

Never losing touch or friendship throughout those years, Tim finally returned to Cleveland in 1998. From that point on, Renee and Tim were inseparable. By August 1998, they were engaged. In October 1999, they were married. Their first child, John Carroll junior Catherine Laube ’22 was born in September 2000. Their second daughter, Anne Laube, is a junior in high school with a special university already on her college scouting list. Spoiler alert: It’s John Carroll.

“Throughout those years we were not together romantically, we stayed friends. I would try to visit her as I moved around these various places,” said Tim. “We stayed close, we stayed friends. Then, when I was back in Cleveland, I knew that was when it was meant to happen. That’s when I knew we were going to be really together for good.” 

When The Carroll News asked what drives them absolutely crazy about one another, Renee exclaimed, “I absolutely go crazy for Tim’s smile. He has these great dimples with that smile.” While some back and forth about dirty dishes or laundry was expected, their responses for one of the most anticipated questions was instead full of charm and collective appreciation for each other. 

“Nothing drives me nuts about Renee. She puts up with me. Her patience is something I love most about her,” said Tim.

When they moved Catherine into the basement of Campion Hall in fall 2018, the couple felt the fluttering memory of their unexpected introduction some 20 years before. It started right next door to where their first born daughter’s very first dorm room would be. 

They remind their daughters frequently that whatever is meant to be, will be. “You never know what is going to happen. Our story flourished because of a core of friendship,” said Renee. While Catherine and Anna shrug off this frequent lesson of love, their parents are the perfect example of it being the absolute truth. That it is possible. Love can come back and thrive. The Laubes’ love story is one that reminds us that the young love we let go may catch up to us once again. It may end up being that cliche happily ever after, after all.