as promised, the wedding of bee…
what no one really tells you is that, as you get older, weddings aren’t just more frequent as your friends enter their 20s and settle down. weddings get increasingly… strange.
you walk down the aisle and stand at the altar, waiting for the bride, and you realize that the bride isn’t a cousin or a family friend or a neighbor but instead beth. and ironically at this moment, when she is at her most beautiful, you start remembering all of those humiliating moments together that make up your history. that time when you dressed in sailor suits for your high school production of “anything goes.” or when you bought those bright orange and pink terry-cloth tee-shirts at eastland mall. those moments are familiar, and this moment is both unfamiliar and exciting. because she’s there… that’s her… but this is different, right?
after all, beth and i have always joked that we were married long before any boys arrived on the scene. and in a way it felt like i was giving beth away along with her parents. that’s a little scary. this person you’ve shared your life with is on her way to share hers with someone else. and you wonder how things will change. and if you’ll still make home videos wearing matching old navy swimsuits. probably not.
but then she reaches the altar, kisses her parents, and joins brian. and it doesn’t really feel strange anymore. it feels right. because i’m lucky, and beth has found someone who doesn’t make the beth i know seem far away. she seems closer. finally, at this moment, beth is marrying the man who will always laugh when she invites me over and challenges me to a spaghetti-eating contest. he’ll probably even join in.
but he sure as hell won’t win. because i am the champion.
and once you’ve made this realization — that things aren’t different, only better — you can go and enjoy the reception like a rock star.