Saturday, March 01, 2008

Our Other Anniversary

Back in 1993, Chip and I (and Tiffany) were innocently cohabitating in a rented condo on the first floor of the Mayfair, the building right next to Outback Steakhouse on Union. (Although back then, it was a Po Folks.) We each had our own room and our own significant other, and we were great friends but nothing more.

In the fall of 1993, our respective relationships both ended. We hung out a lot, to ease the pain of being alone. We were both glad to have another friend (besides Tiff) to rely on during this rough time, but that was the extent of it.

As 1994 dawned, we hung out a lot more, not always with other friends. Attitudes were shifting, but only very privately. I didn’t feel comfortable talking to anyone about the feelings I was developing for Chip, since I didn’t want to make our friendship awkward for us or for others. But that February, things changed. I remember feeling especially flirty with him during the ice storm of ’94, although I wasn’t sure if he was flirting back or not. Then there was Valentine’s Day- he and I and two other single friends went on a sad-sack, “we don’t have dates” double date. Chip and Lori were paired up, and me and Curt. But Chip didn’t just buy a card for Lori- he unexpectedly bought one for me too. And wrote something flirty in it. Hmmmm.


Around this time, Reality Bites came out. A movie we could relate to, about people our age who were struggling with finding their place in the world, people who drank too much Diet Coke and smoked too many cigarettes (ok, maybe only one of us identified with that), but most importantly a movie about best friends who were really in love with each other. Why yes, Chip, we should go see that movie. It was a loaded proposition, one we both knew carried a lot of weight but that we weren’t ready to talk about. That day I went to the Limited and bought a new skirt to wear. It was our first date, but no one knew it- not even us. I still have that skirt.

A couple of weeks later, Rhodes was having a particularly early Spring Break. Tiffany and Lori (& Libby?) planned a trip to. . . the beach? Dallas? Somewhere. Chip and I decided we couldn’t afford to take that kind of time off work, that we’d just stay home. Just the two of us. We spent a few days hanging out the way we normally did, then Chip suggested we go up to Nashville for the night, to see his parents and probably to see some band play or go to a particular restaurant or something. I don’t remember the specifics, just the overwhelming feeling that we were moving out of our natural habitat in order to make this easier to confront. And we did.
“Stephanie, do you ever think about what it would be like if we were more than friends?”
“Actually, Chip, I think about it all the time.”

And just like that, we were a couple. For as long as we both shall live.

12 comments:

RJA said...

So ... what happened in Nashville?

Anonymous said...

i love that picture.

carrie

Anonymous said...

"How can that be you?"
-Connor

Elizabeth Alley said...

lucky for you that Chip wasn't the massive tool Ethan Hawke's character was. (that is my snarky comment to cover up how teary-eyed i got when i read your post.)

katherine said...

i got teary-eyed too!

Melissa said...

Y'all are just all kinds of adorable.

Melissa said...

Very sweet! Shawn and
I have a similar story- friends first and all. We should all hang out some time and swap tales :)

Kerry said...

Do you have to be so adorable all the time?

Anonymous said...

You have to take the same pic of Connor and Chloe at in 16 or so years. They are totally going to look like you two. Congrats. Nikki

Cathy said...

Such a great story! It sure beats the drama of the aftermath from telling Tiff. So worth it, though!

Anonymous said...

Its sooo funny how "The Ice Storm of 94" plays a roll in all our lives. Phil and I refer to it all the time. Congrats... very cute story.

Shelby said...

Shelby...