Mar 7, 2006

For the New Mrs. B...

A very good friend got married over the weekend. I enjoyed the wedding immensely, which is saying a lot since I'm not much of a wedding-person. I didn't cry...I told my bride-friend that she looked hot, and I got to have crazy fun with some friends from college. We temporarily forgot that we were supposedly-mature adults with real jobs and real bills and insurance, and we ran around & told goofy jokes, and giggled about what our newly-married friends would be doing that night (wink, wink). The best thing about the night was all the laughing.

And I had a very important duty. I was one of 3 gift attendants, the other 2 being said college friends. We took our jobs very seriously, as you can see in the pic. We even took very (un)serious oaths to defend the gifts against those who would damage or steal. And when no one tried anything, we made up fake stories to add some drama to the day, but Mrs. B. didn't fall for it, partly because she's pretty sharp, but mostly because she was rightfully caught up in being a bride.

During the ceremony all my cynicism flew out the window and I just sat there with a goofy grin the whole time, thinking about what a gift this marriage is. It seems especially wonderful, since my friend has gone through significant pain in her life, probably more by the time she was 20 than most people encounter by the time they're 60. For me, and everyone else who has known her, it is so special to look back over her life and see where God has led her, how he has redeemed the pain in her life into beauty, strength, and wisdom beyond her years. Her husband has also had his share of lows and such...part of the ceremony included a video the B's made of their stories, how God has shaped them through the years and eventually brought them together. I've gotten to meet Mr. B. He is strong, wise, kind, caring...and appropriately warped enough to complement my friend's (and my) sense of humor. I hope to know him better, and to know them as a couple...IF he promises to behave; that is, if he promises to be a good sport and put up with our silliness.

The wedding was held at the church I grew up in, which also happens to include the school I attended through 8th grade. There were so many memories for me, and even some people from "back in the day," whom I got to surprise simply by walking up to them; and when they said, "SkerriF!! You haven't changed a bit!!" I got to say with great enthusiasm, "It's SkerriB now!" That was fun. I told grade-school stories to my college friends and one of them commented, "You weren't kidding, you really grew up here!" It's true. Between church and school, I was there as much (and sometimes more than) I was home in those years.

Ms. G. was one of those people. She was in charge of the reception. Despite her disappointment in not receiving the promised "Yes I am the boss of you" shirt, she did a spectacular job ordering people around, making sure the evening went off without a hitch. We were 2 years apart in school, so we only knew of each other, and I don't think I'd seen her in about 15 years. It was neat to see her as an adult, a very capable leader with a wicked sense of humor (I hope the word "wicked" means what I want it to mean--hilarious, slightly warped, and something I get a kick out of). She made a great boss; and as a gift attendant, I was pleased that she was, in fact, the boss of me.

Ms. K. was another. She was the maid of honor. We were in the same class, although we didn't know each other well, as during those days she was in the cool-group, while I definitely was not. Frankly, given my social status back then, I've been relieved to find that, all things considered, the social "coolness-tiers" pretty much flattened out by college. Ms. K. and I reminisced some, mostly updating each other on the classmates we knew about. We sort of kept grinning at each other. I can't speak for her, but I know there was so much I wanted to say but didn't have words for. It is interesting to me that, even knowing each other only a little, we share such a complex history over just a few years of our lives. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but then again maybe not. I think if we lived in the same state we might be friends. Although maybe that's not all that profound, since we're both friends with the new Mrs. B.

It was her wedding, but it felt like such a gift to me, having known her for several years now, getting to share in her 'process' through these years and to participate in this special day. Plus, they served Mexican food, which is probably my all-time favorite. And no birdseed or bubbles. No, the B's gave out TOYS as wedding favors. Squishy light-up toys. There was no chicken dance; in fact, there was no dancing at all. Just dinner and conversation in a cool, dusky evening with zillions of little white lights strung about and Norah Jones crooning away in the background. A perfect evening.

Ahh, I feel like quite the cheeseball now, but I don't think I care. OK maybe I care a little bit, but it's worth it.

So thank you, the new Mrs. B., for including me in your special day, and for all the unexpected gifts I received from it as well.

A beautiful day, indeed...

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