Tuesday, February 24, 2004

In something less than four months, my best friend will be getting married. (This is a subject that is going to be much-hashed for the next few months, both here and in the livejournal, so just get out your easy chairs and lay up some snacks, kids.) Now, I go to lots of weddings: at least one a year, and sometimes up to eight. Mind you, these are weddings that I've been invited to, not even ones that I've been forced to gate-crash due to cake withdrawl or a dramatic lack of the electric slide. But Sarah is the first person I've known since I was four feet tall that I'm not related to who will be, you know, taking the Pepsi challenge. (Single or Married? Tastes great or Less filling?) And, childishly, I'm just not prepared for all the responsibility involved in having a married best friend. Buying couple gifts, remembering to inquire about the state of Jesse's backhair...these are changed that I'm just not prepared to deal with.

On an even more selfish level, there's the fact that for the past several years I've realized that Sarah is the sort of person that I've always wanted to be. She's that girl who remembers the gardener's birthday and bakes cookies for other people's grandmothers when they're sick. She handmakes all her cards for Christmas, Valentines Day, birthdays, Halloween, and, you know, Tuesdays. When I was rejected from grad school and sick with the despair, she bought me a plant with small yellow flowers and told me to pretend it was the dog that I wanted so badly. I've never met a person who didn't like her, and somehow I get to be lucky enough that she likes me as much as I like her.
Oh, I haven't always wanted to be Sarah. When we were twelve being uncool wasn't cool yet, and I wanted to be like someone much more glamourous; Claire Daines, likely, at that point. But now I want to be just like her, and so this marriage thing perplexes me. I have yet to see if I can even keep this myrtle tree of mine alive, and so the thought of sustaining a marriage is a terrifying prospect. Some day, certainly, but can't we start smaller? I'm distressed that we've reached the point in our lives in which it is possible to go somewhere that the other can't follow.

And of course, I'll have to give speeches: one at the rehearsal dinner and one at the reception. All jokes aside ('they're 20 minutes long each, and total they mention you twice and Jesse once') I'm just not prepared. How do you encompass not only ten years worth of friendship but a whole universe of love and respect? Oh, I'll do it; it's one of my duties as the tacit maid of honor. And I'll probably cry. And then I'll probably drink a lot from my hip flask, since it's a dry wedding. But it's not going to be easy.

Not for any of us.

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