Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Today is the birthday for one of my favorite people ever - Clay!
I first met Clay our very first semester in Auburn. I was dating one of his pledge brothers so I met Clay early in the semester, and ended up getting to know him better than I did the guy I was dating. Smart move on my behalf. Clay and I had two classes together - some lame intro to business lecture (booo) and Organic Gardening, which is a post in and of itself. Basically, the class was a joke. The number of football players is indirectly proportionate to how seriously you should take the class, and I think our entire backfield was in that class with us. So all we did during class was whisper and draw, except Porter, who paid attention. So whenever "Pop Quiz Man" came around, Porter "helped" me, I "helped" Clay and Clay "helped" Bo. It was a nice little system. I also credit Clay with being the only one to correctly predict this victory. He's an intuitive one.

After that dude and I broke up, Clay and I became even better friends. I remember he called me over Christmas break and told me he was considering transferring to a college back home. I cried hard and then called Shealy and we hopped in a car to go visit him and his sweet family in Chattanooga. Then a group of us went to the Chick Fil A bowl in Atlanta on New Year's Eve. Luckily Clay stayed at Auburn.

I batted my eyes hard enough and one of Clay's Fiji brothers invited me to attend their fraternity winter formal in Memphis. Clay was taking Shealy and so the four of us more or less double dated. It was an interesting weekend, but one I look back on fondly.

Shortly thereafter, Clay started dating someone. As happens when new relationships form, we started to grow apart a little bit. A little bit turned into a little bit more and eventually we kind of lost touch. We saw each other here and there, but our different activities took us in different directions.

Fast forward to our senior year, Clay started dating a hot little fox named Sarah, who also happened to be one of my good friends. I can't take credit for setting them up, but I took an interest in their relationship because I knew them both so well. Clay used me as an ally to get into the dorm once or twice to surprise Sarah.

Clay and I enjoyed our senior years so much, we decided to repeat them. One Tuesday in September, we found ourselves on the patio at Bodega for Truth and Tacos Tuesday (we added the Truth part). Over tacos and some cold drafts, we spilled our guts about how I'd hurt him, he'd hurt me, how others had hurt us, highs and lows of the past four years and how fast college flew by. Later that week, I sent him an e-mail that I've excerpted below:

"I started thinking, I guess after our little rendezvous at Taco Tuesday, how you really are one of my oldest college friends, and how fun it is that we can go a year or two without really being that close, and grow in our own separate ways, but get together whenever we want and laugh like it was still freshman year? That's fun. I am going to miss running into you here or there and hearing your voice, half southern drawl/half excitement, "LLLLLLLLLLJ!" I just want you to know that I am having so much fun getting close to you again, and it will be one of my favorite things about my final semester in college."
A few weeks later, he and Sarah were back together. Graduation rolled around and I left Auburn and sought a greener pasture. I was driving back from a job interview in said greener pasture when I got a phone call from Sarah. She and Clay were engaged! I got an even more fun phone call a few weeks later. "Hold on - are you there, Clay?" she said as I answered hello. "I'm here," was Clay's near sheepish reply. I could tell something was going on. "Okay. One, two, three WILL YOU SING AT OUR WEDDING??!!" Sarah shouted. I don't think Clay said anything because unlike Sarah and I, he was actually at work. I shouted "OF COURSE!" back.
Their wedding was such a fun weekend. They are both loved by so many people, including yours truly!
Claydawg, everything I wrote in that e-mail is still true. It's been cool watching your metamorphisis from fraternity boy into family man. Before my sister got married, you were the closest person I ever had to a brother. I hope you know that even though our visits are few and far between, you and your wife mean so much to me and always will.


  1. That was a good one, my dear. Clay doesn't post on blogs, so he wanted me to tell you thanks (I hope he understands how special it is to be on your blog) and we want to see you this weekend!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE YOU

  2. Very nice. Don't we all just love Clay and his "hot little fox!"

  3. good post. at first I was confused about the AU-UF game and how he could have predicted it after it happened, but then I realized that 2001 was your freshman year. that was my junior year of high school.

  4. and happy birthday clay

  5. Oh my gosh! I definitely came across those Chattanooga pictures a few weeks ago! How funny! And remembering formal and the "Memphis CD"...priceless! Thanks for writing this! I love the memories! Happy Birthday, Clay!

  6. despite what sarah says, i am learning this blog thing. this honestly is one of the nicest birthday gifts anyone has ever done for me. i enjoyed smiling reading this thing think back about all the good times in college. i appreciate it, lj, and i love you, girl.

  7. I forgot about those CDs. I can't believe we made four. Thank goodness for iPods and playlists.

    Clay, I know your favorite memory of all the ones mentioned was asking me to sing at your wedding. Admit it.

  8. I never could figure out why Lindsay dated that other Figi her freshman year and not Clay, the son of a preacher man...Happy Birthday Clay from Mrs. J!!!

  9. Just now getting to catch up on reading blogs and I cracked up at this post simply because my husband John tells countless hysterical stories about Mr. Pop Quiz Man!!


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