Powers of Persuasion
It was not that Kristy Irvine Ryan was bossy, so much as irresistible. In college, if a friend was homesick, Ms. Ryan would drag him out for a beer. If someone was tired on a Sunday morning, it was Ms. Ryan who persuaded her to go to church.
When her best friend, Meredith O'Neill, said she wanted to get pregnant as soon as she was married, Ms. Ryan ordered her to wait until next June, when she and her husband, Brendan Ryan, were planning to conceive.
"She said she could see the two of us sitting by the pool, in our ninth month, when you're allowed to have a glass of wine," Ms. O'Neill said.
June would have been one year after the Ryan's wedding, which came after years of courtship.
"Are you sure you're going to go through with this?" the men on Ms. Ryan's trading desk at Sandler O'Neill & Partners would tease when her future husband called. "Dead man walking," they would say jokingly, knowing how tough Ms. Ryan, 30, could be.
There was never a question that the two, who grew up in Huntington Bay, N.Y., would be married, even though Ms. Ryan had left the area for college. Right after graduation, she informed her friends. "But you're not even dating Brendan Ryan," Ms. O'Neill pointed out.
The two of them went to Europe for the summer. When they returned, Ms. O'Neill recalled, there was Mr. Ryan at the airport, flowers in hand.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 19, 2001.