So Maris got married last weekend. Remember how she had her engagement photos by Christy Tyler many many moons ago? And now she is married. Time zooms my friends, time zooms.
And now that it is all said and done, now that it all went beautifully, now that the I Do’s are over and there were no major catastrophes and the flowers were spectacular, now I can talk about it. (As I do, with everything…)
This is a really difficult post for me to write because it’s ridiculously emotional. So bare with me if it unravels a bit in places.
When Maris got engaged I was SO excited for her. Ridiculously, jump-around-in-my-dining-room excited. When she called me I thought that either catastrophe had occurred or she was engaged. I was really stoked that it was the good one. Alex proposed in March of 2011, before Kamel and I had gotten married.
During my engagement Maris had really helped me with decisions on the pretty things, had been there while I vented frustrations and been totally 100% gung-ho for any artistically-minded decision Kamel and I made for our ceremony, reception, anything. She had flown out from Chicago for every wedding event and had always had the attitude of, “What do you need?” So, hot damn, I was going to do the same for her!
But, there’s something about my friends that I don’t talk about very often publicly but that I feel and worry about and feel stung by more then I want to admit: They all have sisters.
My best friends, who are part of who I am deep down inside, who I love very very much, who are my biggest cheer leaders, who have been to every major life event, who I would not be Lauren without… have real life sisters. And I don’t have any siblings at all, let alone a sister. So sometimes it’s clear that family comes first and I take second position. But what happens when they are my family?
There were some things about Maris’s engagement that made me feel things I didn’t expect. I realized that my best friend’s wedding wasn’t going to be like my wedding just because we were close. That was kind of hard for me. Irrationally difficult. Though I did my best to shove it way deep down, I wasn’t always successful. So in order to not put any kind of shadow onto the wedding Maris had wanted and dreamed about for such a long time, I actively took a step back, watched her sister run the show, decided that it was my job to be supportive of the decisions Maris made instead of being an active participant in those decisions. I was going to show up on her wedding day with a, “What do you need?” attitude and stand at the front of the room with her while she did her thing, and watch from the side lines.
It wasn’t always easy, it wasn’t always easy last weekend even though there was so much joy. It sounds crazy but there is a certain amount of melancholy as a bystander to a wedding that I didn’t know about. Especially when you’re watching someone so close to you take a step forward. Maybe that’s why there are so many tears at these things. Forward sometimes feels like they are walking a bit away from you, even if it’s not totally true.
The relationship I have with my best friends isn’t … normal. Most people don’t understand it. Sometimes that makes me prickle and sometimes I understand. Most people have friends and they hang out and they keep tabs on each other and they are around for the good things. But my best friends, whether I always like it or not, are there for all of the good and all of the bad. We survive epic fights and we make epic memories. We are our biggest cheer leaders and we can also hurt each other terribly. So it made sense to me, though it also stung a bit, when Maris’s sister made a totally benign comment that the 4 of us needing our own professional photo together with Maris before the wedding was… funny. It is funny. It’s weird. We’re weird. We are closer than we should be, but I love it and I am so incredibly blessed because of it.
Watching Maris get married was like getting married again. Not that I feel wed to Alex, but I felt just as overwhelmed as I did on my own wedding day, but different. I cried during the rehearsal, during the wedding, during the reception. I struggled not to cry when I read Maris’s sister’s toast before we were even dressed. When I read what Maris’s sister had wrote my first thought was, “Holy shit that was good.” And my second thought, the even louder thought, was, “I wish someone would say this about me.” That sounds sort of depressing and selfish, but if you had read or heard that speech I bet you would have felt the same. It was lovely.
When I heard Maris’s sister read her speech at the reception, I cried… a lot. But not because I wanted someone to say that to me, because I felt all of those things about Maris too. And it was beautiful and totally spot on.
It makes me really sad that I will never be a maid of honor. This is one of those things that is stupid when you say out loud, but means something when you think about it. I had 3 maids of honor, but they all have sisters.
I have never had the chance to watch someone so close to me do something that simultaneously scares the shit out of them, thrills them, and is what they’ve wanted for years. Not until this weekend. And I was so happy to see it. I was so happy for her. She walked down the aisle and she said her vows, and they were beautiful, and she made her choice and then she danced like a goofball and sang along with the music and loved on her husband and did it all in front of everyone she knows and cares for and I was so proud of her.
I am really proud of her.