Friday, December 18, 2009

The First Decade

Recently I realized that both my brother and a very close friend moved away from Memphis about ten years ago. This was shocking, because I always think about it like they just moved, and will be back any time. But they really live in these other places! Ten years is a long time, and they are definitely established somewhere else.

But here we are at the end of the Aughts. (I’ve enjoyed calling them that!) It has certainly been fullest decade of my relatively young life. I’ve had fun glancing over all the “Best of the 00s!” lists out there and reminiscing. My favorite decade retrospective has been the “Decadium” series on Deadspin, written by Will Leitch. I found it fascinating that the stuff from 2000 seemed like a million years ago, but by the time we got to 2003 it was like all that just happened yesterday. (I’m sure it’s no coincidence that 2003 is when I had my first kid- since then, I have definitely entered the “time flies!” portion of adulthood.) It inspired me to write my own history of the Aughts.

This won’t be a retelling of pop culture milestones, or memories of the Connor’s first steps or Chloe’s first words. This is a retrospective of the happiest ten years of my life, the decade I’ve been married to Chip Chockley. On this day in 1999, I married the love of my life. Here are a few of the high (and low) lights of my time as a Chockley.

2000- I begin my teaching career at Snowden. Chip graduates from law school. We go to Cancun for a week to celebrate*. He gets a job at a firm I’ll call Asshole & Partner, PC. In the fall I move to Keystone Elementary in Rockin’ Raleigh. Chip celebrates our first anniversary by losing his wedding ring.
*Assume that any vacation we took this decade was largely if not wholly funded by Chip’s parents.

2001- We buy our first home in April. In May, my car dies and we add a car payment on top of the new mortgage. But no worries, unless one of us gets fired or something. Chip gets fired or something. I’m pregnant and really hoping he finds work soon. He does. Chip and I agree to keep my 5-yr-old cousin for a few months while his mom gets some stuff together. Chip’s sister is diagnosed with a kidney disease and goes off to college in New York City. 9/11 happens. I have a miscarriage. My cousin moves back home around Christmas. I talk Chip into letting me get a cat. We celebrate New Year’s Eve like nobody’s business, bidding adieu to the worst year in recorded history.

2002- We actually acquire Clark (the aforementioned cat) at the beginning of January. We start watching Alias. We get an HD TV. Chip turns 30. I have another miscarriage. I start working at Rhodes. I get pregnant and it finally sticks.

2003- We go to Austin to visit Scott and Amy the same week that this war we’re still fighting starts. The security on the trip is home is remarkably different from that on the trip out. Connor is born. I turn 30. We start paying for daycare and our finances will never be the same.

2004- We thank the heavens that we have a TiVo, as Chip is upstairs giving Connor a bath during halftime of the Super Bowl. Friends ends. We take Connor to his first political rally. We lose the election. I change jobs but stay at Rhodes.

2005- We’re finally ready for a long weekend away from Connor, and visit pre-Katrina NOLA for the last time. Connor turns two, and I convince Chip that it's time to have another one. We realize Shannon is right and start listening to Death Cab for Cutie.

2006- I don’t get to attend 311 Day in Memphis. I have a baby four days later. Rock n Romp debuts, a scant two weeks after Chloe does. An October trip to Seaside changes our lives forever, as all four members of the family realize we belong on a beach as often as possible. I start Weight Watchers.

2007- Prince plays halftime of the Super Bowl, but I have to watch it from a work conference. Chip becomes a picture-taking fool after getting a real camera the previous Christmas. My summer at work sucks thanks to a scanning project that scarred me for life. Another blissful fall trip to the beach erases the pain. We enjoy our first ravioli-making experience with the Alleys. We try but cannot sell our house.

2008- We spend our first long weekend away from the kids since having Chloe, but sadly we are not together. Happily, we are at bachelor/bachelorette parties- in the two most dangerous cities in the country! Tigers lose to Kansas. Shannon and Carrie get married. Chip stands in the optional school line at 4:00 in the morning, but we still get stuck on Snowden’s waiting list. Many tears/ulcers/gray hairs later, Connor secures a spot the Friday before Kindergarten starts. Kindergarten! Two beach trips, one with friends in the summer and one with unexcused absences from school in the fall. Totally worth it.

2009- Our beach trip is moved to summer, where we celebrate Connor's birthday and learn of Michael Jackson's death. The kids have been obsessed with him ever since. My career as a soccer mom begins, as Connor plays t-ball and basketball. Finally- iPhones! Cory and Chris get married. Tiffany and Mark get married. Shannon and Carrie get pregnant. And tonight, we celebrate ten years of wedded bliss at our favorite Memphis restaurant, Iris.

I love you Chip, and look forward to the next several decades by your side!


Unknown said...

I was moved to tears by your narrative. I love you guys, and hope you have a great celebration today!

JenLF said...

Wow, ten years! Congratulations to you both!

But I thought Chip lost his wedding ring on New Year's Eve, a few weeks after your anniversary... ;-)

Stan said...

OMG that was an awesome recount! I love that you included the low points as well, they are so important in making you the amazing couple you are today. It is impossible that Connor was that small! Happy Anniversary!

Unknown said...

Congratulations to Sony, the NFL, TiVo, Connor, Death Cab for Cutie, Chloe, Clark, NBC, Mark & Tiffany, Apple, Shannon & Carrie, 30-A, and Chip and Stephanie Chockley on a great decade!

Memphisotan said...

Happy anniversary, you crazy kids! Having lived in Memphis ten years, I concur that it is a loooong time!

Stacey Greenberg said...

Man, that was a lot to take in!

I'm still a little stuck on the Austin pic and your long, wavy, blonde hair!

Congrats on ten years! And best wishes for many more!

Stanfill said...

congrats you two!

Tiffany said...

Gee, you sure know how to make a girl cry! Although I am sure I did not say this at the time (I was a pathetic, selfish 20 something), but I am glad that you guys met and fell in love at our awesome apartment on Union. And I am glad we are all still here together. Love you guys! Cheers!