Sit down, I have some NEWS.
Wonderful, Happy, Beautiful news!
My oldest, dearest, greatest, loveliest friend of all IS GETTING MARRIED! Apart from the obvious girly excitement this news brings with it, I am most happy because the man she is marrying loves her in the absolute, deep, forever kind of way. And NOTHING is better than knowing that someone close to your heart gets to be lucky enough to experience that kind of love. I squealed when she told me. I cried. I screamed, LOUDLY. I carried on to the point where Joel came rushing into to the room to check that I hadn’t set fire to myself, or accidentally chopped off my own arm.
Yes Joel, everything is fine. Please don’t interrupt me right now because I HAVE AN ENGAGEMENT TO CELEBRATE!
Eventually I calmed down. Still smiling ear to ear, but calm.
A week passed. I wondered how she was going, this friend of mine, in the flurry of excitement that was sure to explode right in front of her very eyes. I had an inkling that it would be overwhelming for her, because if engagement news was anything like baby news, The Questions would immediately begin and, just between you and me, The Questions can swallow you up in their well-meaning but un-swallow-able intensity.
O My God! Tell me everything!
How did he propose?
When was it?
Where was it?
How was it?
When will you get married?
Where will you get married?
Who will your bridesmaids be?
Any dresses in mind?
How many people are coming?
Oh The Questions. They are full and plenty.
The other day, my friend was asked, And how will you have your hair?
She replied, frazzled and overwhelmed, Um…..Up? I guess?
Now, don’t get me wrong, my friend LOVES weddings. She is THE go-to girl with anything even remotely wedding-ish. In fact, if I ever get married (yes, friends, I am currently living in sin), she will be the person I will turn to when I’m needing to be guided through the scary terrain of Wedding Planning.
However, even she was feeling it. You know, overwhelmed.
And can I just say, holy moly, she’s been engaged for one week, people. EVERYONE RELAX!
This kind of frenzy is one of the exact reasons I have, to date, avoided getting married. I find the fanfare and the hoo-ha and the pleasing everyone else and the drama of it all a little too much, and to be honest, I think that it diminishes what the celebration is actually for. The location, the linen, the flowers, the place settings, is that really what we care about first? Should not the questions be:
1. Oh honey, how are you feeling?
2. What was the first thought you had when he asked you to marry him?
3. When did you know, you know, that he was The One? And how did you know?
Because, the way I see it, we get married to have marriages. Not weddings. Yes, weddings are fun. They are beautiful public displays of commitment and deep love. But they are one day. Maybe my friend will have her hair up on that one day, but then it will be down, and possibly poking out sideways, and then short and long and sometimes greasy and sometimes wispy and then fancy and straight and maybe even curly. But eventually it will be grey. And so will his.
May we not lose sight of the fact that weddings celebrate marriages. And marriages are made up of days where there is no photographer, no flowers, no dresses, no table settings. They are long, beautiful, complicated, messy, delicate journeys two people take; two people who are willing enough to look into each other’s eyes and say with all of their hearts I will love you. Always. Even when I’m not sure how to. Even when I’m not sure I want to. Even when I’m angry. And tired. Even when you’re angry and tired. I will love you because that is just how much you matter.
So, to my beautiful, oldest, forever kind of friend, yesterday when the three of us hugged in the kitchen and cried, that was me saying I am so happy I can’t even talk. Because that fiance of yours? He’s the bees nees. And your marriage? I know from the very bottom of my heart that it will last forever.
No matter which turns your hair may take. 🙂