Off to See the World

So I Wasn’t in NY Just to Sight See and Take Strange Pictures for You…

Yes, we’re still in New York for today. Exciting things rarely happen in my life (outside of my imagination, that is), so I am obligated to make the most of them when they do occur. Plus, we’re covering everyone’s favorite topic today…

No! Not that favorite topic! Jeezo-peezo, drag your minds out of the gutter!

No, the best part of the trip was not the food (although that was pretty amazing). It was not the excitement or every monument we managed to see. It was not even the Strand book store, which boasts 18 miles of books. 18 miles. Of books. I was ready to move right into the fiction wing with a steaming cappuccino and live there forever.

No, the best part of the trip for me was the wedding.

Yes, that was the entire reason we traversed the country to visit the Big Apple. My friend of twenty-one years married her college sweetheart, and it was definitely one of the best weddings I’ve ever been to, for multiple reasons.

The main reason was the truffled mac-and-cheese appetizers at the reception.

Just kidding. Although those were pretty life-changing.

Another reason was the large concentration of dancers and theatre people in the crowd. My friend works in the dance industry and her husband works in theatre, guaranteeing a colorful guest list who will break it all down on the dance floor nonstop. Not only that, but they will make you feel like you, too, can bust a move with the best of them. Even when no, you truly have no dance skills other than the ability to remain upright 70% of the time. I haven’t danced so much since my show choir rocked out to songs from every decade in the twentieth century.

Yes, I was in show choir. Stop making fun of me.

But the real reason this wedding was the best?

It’s not easy to describe…

* * *

I haven’t cried so much at a wedding since my early-college days, when at twenty-two years old the mere sight of a blushing bride had the power to convince me I would live out my days alone and unloved.

*Ahem,* that’s a completely different story altogether, though.

This time, I was crying because my best friend was getting married.

She was so joyful. These are moments you hope for for your dearest friends, whom you protect at all costs, whom you love through turmoil and laughter, for whom you cheer and with whom you grieve – with whom you journey through life.

See, it’s rare to have someone in your life for so long that you cherish memories of playing Barbies and dominating as a handball duo. How many girls get a best friend who shares your love for the Judy Blume cannon and swears with you that Just as Long as We’re Together would always be her best work? With how many friends do you get to laugh when revisiting the photographs of the time you both had to dress up as U.S. presidents in the fifth grade (Harry Truman and Teddy Roosevelt, respectively. She was adorable in a little sport coat. I, on the other hand, got a lot of grief for my penciled-in mustache and Rough-Rider hat. I’ve never done things by halves.)?

I remember when she told me her parents were getting divorced, and I didn’t even really know what divorce was – but I listened and then gave her some of my cookies from lunch because that’s what friends do when they’re hurting. We would make up comic skits and perform them in front of the entire fifth grade class, much like the fledgling drama queens we would become – young Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, perhaps? Hey, you dream big when you’re that new to the world, when every concept you absorb is fresh and every lesson is an epiphany of divine proportions. I remember planning our futures together before we’d even hit ten years old; she wanted six kids (whom she had all named already), and I wanted to be an Academy Award winning actress.

Some things never change.

I remember the very first time I met her, when I was the shy, awkward new girl at school and I asked her if she would be my friend. I asked her because she was the only person to show me genuine kindness. Third grade is so simple. Not easy, but simple.

Where did the time go? We are women now. We have careers (well, she has a career – I have a pipe dream I’m chasing. Same concept, different kind of paycheck). We will have children soon.

When I saw her dancing at the wedding, the audience circled around her like a magnetic force, tears poured down my face. I saw that little girl with the curly blond ponytail and the infectious smile, twirling for all to behold, laughing loudly.

I laughed along with her from the audience.

That’s just what friends do.



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