The Story: Jason and I were in the same homeroom all four years of high school. He was also my Student Council alternate the entire time. Years later he said he did it because it looked good on his resume. Well, that, and he knew that he’d never really have to go since I was always there.
After high school, Jay joined the military and I would see him occasionally when he came home on leave since we had friends in common.
When we were about 24, our mutual best friend, Jeff, started dating a girl named Amy. It turned out that Amy was someone I had grown up dancing with and it wasn’t long before the four of us were pretty much inseparable. Jeff and Amy worked hard for a long time to set the two of us up but we put them off, telling them that we were having enough fun spending time together and why did we need to mess with the dynamics.
Then, maybe nine months later, nature took its own course and Jay and I started looking at each other sideways – much to Jeff and Amy’s delight. This happened just before my 25th birthday, for which I had decided to throw myself a fantastic party. (See an original, recently unearthed, invitation for that party below!)
The party started with dinner for about 12 of us at Sonsie. At the time, this was the place to see and be seen. We found ourselves in a booth right at the center of the restaurant, the center of the entire scene.
That night, Adam Oates, who was the star center for the Boston Bruins in that era, was having dinner a few tables over. When he heard that it was my birthday, he sent over a bottle of champagne to celebrate. After dinner, we all adjourned to Zanzibar, where our great friend Tony was the manager and had reserved the Crescent Club – the upstairs VIP room – for the party, complete with open bar.
I’m quite sure there was someone at the party who thought he was my date that night but Jay and I pretty much only had eyes for each other at that point – and for about the next two and a half years, too.
We commuted from Boston to Connecticut for a while and moved in together in Boston the following year.
Jason was the first man I truly fell in love with. He was the first man I lived with and he’s the only one I have ever talked about getting married with. He’s also the last boyfriend I had who was truly and completely my best friend, above all others.
Our years together were a blast, right up until the end, which was a total disaster. We were young and beautiful, successful and social and fabulous. We had more fun than any two people have a right to. We had great friends and great fun – everything from VIP access to a good number of clubs in Boston to mountain bike riding and camping and white-water rafting. We did it all and the stories could fill a volume on their own.
The end, though, wasn’t so much fun. We were young and immature and didn’t do a very good job of handling the breakdown of what had been such a wonderful relationship. When he left, I was absolutely devastated and it took me more than a year and a half to recover and it was almost five years before I had another relationship.
Time and tide heal all wounds, however, and Jay and I reconnected on Facebook a few years ago, where we have rekindled our friendship.
Last winter, I had the opportunity to hang out with him one evening after he had been skiing and was passing back through Manchester. We hadn’t seen much of each other in about a dozen years. The first 10 minutes were a little awkward and then, without so much as a hiccup, it was the Steph and Jay show all over again.
My girlfriends who saw us out that night gave me the raised eyebrow and the “so what about this guy?” question, but Jay has been happily with Amy for more than eight years now.
Interestingly, about two years ago, I was watching a Bruins game with Carl and he pointed out a “hot Asian girl” who always sat behind the Bruins bench. He said that there was even talk about this girl on some of the Bruins chat rooms and bulletin boards, which he pulled up and showed me.
Now that I actually had something to look at besides the game, I was pretty interested in watching and checking out this girl – and that’s when the strangest thing happened. Sitting right next to this beautiful Asian woman was a handsome man who looked very familiar to me. At this point, you would have thought I was actually interested in the game, I was watching so intently.
It took almost a full period of play (and several camera shots of the Bruins bench) for me to muster up the gumption to tell Carl that I knew the girl…and her boyfriend. I’m not sure if he believed me at first when I told him it was Jason and Amy, but a quick Facebook message to Jay confirmed my guess.
While Jason was not a huge Bruins fan in earlier years, Amy was a rabid fan and season-ticket holder for many years and now you can catch them catching home games when the camera pans at just the right angle!
The Drink: When I asked Jay what we should have to drink to celebrate, we couldn’t come up with anything specific that we used to drink. I’m sure we used to drink everything. His idea, though, was to go to Sonsie and celebrate the 15th anniversary of my 25th birthday, which I thought was completely inspired.