When Susie Rindoks met football player Matt Light during her junior year at Purdue University, he behaved toward her like a fifth-grader with a crush. He picked on her, teased her and behaved "like a jerk," says the petite former pre-law student. "It took him eight months to work up the courage to share his feelings."
At the time, Susie was waitressing at Chumley's, a local campus hangout. Matt showed up everyday, like clockwork, mooning over but never asking the pretty brunette for a date. When Susie's mother appeared at the restaurant one afternoon, Matt marched right up to her and declared, "Hi, I'm Matt Light, and I'm going to marry your daughter." Susie's mother looked at him and replied, "Stand in line, buddy."
It turns out Matt was right. Susie married her football player soon after graduation and the couple settled in Matt's hometown of Greenville, Ohio. When Matt joined the New England Patriots as a left tackle in 2001, the Lights purchased a condominium near the Patriots' stadium.
The Lights are a study in contrasts, Susie says. She's neat. He's sloppy. Matt is a red meat, hard liquor kind of guy. She perfers vegetables and is a "wine and fruity drinks" type of girl. Matt's taste in furniture runs to the big and dark. Her preference is more contemporary. The one thing the couple is in complete agreement on is their devotion to their two-year-old daughter, Grace.
How does Susie feel about Matt's makeover? She insists she likes her husband grizzly ("I think it's manly," she declares). But Susie was also pleasantly surprised by her husband's new look. "One of our friends said he looks like a Ken doll," she says with a laugh. "His hair is perfect, and I even like the highlights, which I was opposed to at first."
With part two of our Matt Light makeover appearing in the Sunday Globe Magazine next week, readers can decide for themselves whether Matt Light looks better as an unkempt cowboy or a smoothfaced metrosexual.