My first road trip with Shawn Newby

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Our love story continues.


Upon returning from New York City after our whirlwind weekend, the temperature of our friendship had changed. I found myself sitting with Shawn in our class together, across him for coffee, next to him at chapel, and we even volunteered together once a week. We'd walk to Cabrini Green together, then separate for our individual assignments (I taught hip hop dance, he taught guitar). Then we'd walk back together and grab dinner. We were exchanging calls, emails, texts, and Facebook messages quite a bit. And yet even with all these things that others would consider signs, I was in denial that there was more there than just friendship.

Lots of friends - including my roommate - approached me asking me if we were dating. I'd been getting that question for a while now, and eventually, I thought they'd stop asking. I'd say "no, we're just friends" because I still didn't feel like I had any real evidence that he thought otherwise.

Oh, the suspense.

So a few weeks after New York, Shawn told me that his brother Erik was having his senior art show in Indiana, and was wondering if I would be able to drive him there (I had my car at school, Shawn didn't). To my surprise and his, I immediately said, "Sure!" then almost immediately thought to myself, "did I just say yes?"

I vividly remember the morning we were to leave, I went into Ilene's office and was pacing with nervous energy. She was trying to tell me it'll be fine, he's just a good friend, and then he texted me to ask my opinion on what color tie he should bring. For whatever reason, that freaked me out. I thought for sure he must like me - why else would he care my opinion on his tie color?

Of course all this time I was hoping that he liked me. To be honest, that's how I spent most of my college days. I didn't always want a boyfriend, I just wanted someone to like me. I guess I enjoyed the chase and the drama. And yes, I'll be advising any future daughter of mine to not be this way.

We had a lengthy but wonderful drive down to snowy Indiana and on the way, Shawn just happened to mention that his parents were going to be there. I hadn't known this beforehand (and was especially surprised because they live in Germany!), and I became even more nervous. A girl has to know where a relationship stands before she meets the parents, right?

The weekend was wonderful and I got along with his parents great. On the way back, Shawn told me that both parents had taken him aside during the weekend to tell him how much they were impressed with me. (And still, we've yet to actually "define the relationship"). Apparently, they'd never told him this about any other girl before.

So as we drove the hours back to Chicago, I tried to break up the tension that was building in my heart and mind, and I pulled out a Seinfeld book. I used to love that thing on road trips growing up, and so I started reading passages from it, and could barely get through it without dying laughing. As we laughed together for hours, Shawn's hand somehow ended up on my knee. And then my hand ended up on top of his hand. And then, somehow, we were holding hands. Without gloves this time. Under an open Seinfeld book. Of course we didn't talk about relationships or the fact that we were holding hands. We just kept laughing with Seinfeld.

And while I may seem like the most clueless girl in America at this point, when I came back, I still denied that he had feelings for me because he hadn't actually told me he did. When my roommate cross examined me upon returning from the weekend, she looked for all the signs that there must be something more there. And with a straight face, I told her, "I think he just wants to be friends."

Uhh yeah.

To be continued, of course.


  1. Oh my goodness. That is so cute. :) Thanks for sharing Whitney!

  2. I just think it's so funny that you really didn't think he liked you at this point. :)

  3. Hi Whitney! Your husband, Shawn, gave me the link to your blog. I work for a title company that is one of his clients and we got on the topic of blogging. I just LOVE your blog. Its so cute! I love to decorate, cook, etc also and this blog will be frequently visited by me for tips and ideas. We love having shawn as our rep. He's so nice! Keep the good posts coming! :)

    Anna Rowland

  4. I am loving these stories :) Hand holding and Seinfeld - perfection. You know my husband had never seen the show until right after we were married - he addicted.

  5. You two are darling. I love your story...especially that you brought a Seinfeld book on the trip! I have a Seinfeld book, Seinlanguage. Is that the one you have? I love it! And Chris and I listen to his "I'm telling you for the last time" cd together too. Love it!

  6. Lol, this part of your story is so Moody. :) I had a similar story, though not with the man I ended up marrying! I was out at the lighting of the city with "a friend" that I definitely liked. After the crowds cleared out and we walked and talked, he took my hand... and we kept walking and talking... and kept walking and talking. I was just determined to not go back to Moody without knowing what the hands meant, but I didn't want to start that conversation!

    I finally did - lifted up the clasped hands and said... "soo... what is this?"

    Actually it was a little bit of a mood killer because I too, loved the chase and was less eager to commit (though I am thankful for that in some ways - glad I didn't just commit haphazardly). He ended up asking me out before the night was over and I said not yet, and after a few months it was clear he wasn't willing to wait around to see if he could change my "not yet" answer.

    So ... there's another Moody story. :)

  7. hahah just read this - and i loved it! i remember that conversation in my office! i remember thinking "surely he likes whit! how could he not?!" but then you were so freaked out that you're right we came to the conclusion that he's just a friend. oh puh-lease. ;) i loved this! these memories are so fun to think back to!

  8. You have me laughing SO hard over here!!! Yes, most clueless girl in America for sure. But I know the feeling! I love reading your love story. I'm thinking I should pause and read it over a couple of days but it's just too good!

  9. tooo lovly story !thanks for sharing with us.


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