Monday, July 16, 2007

Friends and a Wedding

I ducked away from Marlboro this weekend to see one of my best friends get married. Our friendship started because we had neighboring lockers for seven years while growing up in Ann Arbor, and over time, she and her family have become to feel like extended family to me. It was an event that I had blocked out on my calendar for almost 18 months, and I was not going to miss it.

It was a truly joyous occasion, filled with all of the emotion and intensity that such events provide. The best part about weddings is that they are a chance to reunite and celebrate with loved ones, and most of my closest and best friends from my youth in Ann Arbor were present. Sitting at my dinner table after the ceremony, listening to toast after toast and watching slideshows of embarrassing photos from our pasts, I felt my eyes water as my heart surged with gratitude and pride for my friends. People who are friends for life are rare and precious, and these guys have been there for so many milestones and changes. We continue to grow together as we talk each other through our career beginnings and changes, our pregnancies, our first children, our weddings, and our advanced degrees. I am so proud of each and every one of these people, who are out there accomplishing great things and trying to make our world a better place either through dealing with the present, trying to understand ourselves better through the past, or envisioning a better future.

Weddings are always bittersweet for me, because it is such a heterosexually-based and tradition-saturated ritual. With all of the intellectual debate and political furor over the issue of gay marriage, the emotional reality of the subject gets lost. During the reception on Saturday, I looked over at Jeremy and saw a surprised joy in his eyes that he was so included by my friends and their families in the event and that they have truly come to regard him as one of the clan. I also saw the sadness in his eyes that his family will never be able to celebrate our union in any way whatsoever. His parents refuse to meet me to this day. It is painful for me to think that I am not even sure how my own parents will deal with such a public affirmation and celebration of our relationship and commitment to each other. When confronted with tuxedos, white gowns, teary-eyed parents filled with pride, and three-tiered cakes wedding cakes, it is hard to avoid having such thoughts creep in to the mind and mix in with the joy and happiness that I feel for my loved ones who are celebrating their vows.

To the bride and groom (who we also have come to adore as one of the clan), I wish all the best for an incredibly beautiful future together. And to my friends from home, I am so grateful for our friendships and our time together, and I am so proud of all that you do – you are incredible people and we are lucky to be loved by you.

1 comment:

Lou said...

When it comes to the stuff about your group of friends I think we both know that I can relate. In part I think Greenhills played a role in it but we're also both so lucky to know the quality individuals we know.

I'm just as lucky to have you as my brother and equally proud. =]