Make new friends,
but keep the old.
One is silver,
the other is gold.

I’ve been thinking about this song today.  I saw the movie Bridesmaids last night and it made me think about my friends…my old friends.  The movie was more about friendship than I thought it would be.  It was also more about bodily functions than I thought it would be too and I seriously thought I would lose control of mine during some parts because I was laughing so hard. Actually, I guess it wasn’t the movie that started me thinking about old times it was a message from a friend I got on Thursday night.  She asked me to be her cover so she could surprise her husband.  The story was that I was traveling with Justin to a writing/blogging conference in NYC and we were going to meet for dinner.  The weird thing was that she hadn’t read my post about actually going to a writing conference.  I was writing it while she was emailing me about it.  It makes me smile that after so many years apart we are still on the same wavelength. And it cracks me up that we’ve both continued to make up stories and it only feels right if we throw the other person’s name in it along with our own.

So the movie and the coincidental emails have made me remember.  I’ve been remembering my wedding and MY fabulous bridesmaids and all the wacky things that happened.  (If you are one of Justin’s ND friends that will be featured in the upcoming paragraphs I promise I will not use your name although I am sure no one has forgotten what it is!)  It all started on a Thursday afternoon when we all drove down to South Bend for the big celebration weekend.  Justin had his bachelor party and I had a quieter get together with all of my bridesmaids.  It was Thursday night and the late ’90’s so we had to watch Friends.  It was the episode right after the big kiss, Ross and Rachel’s first kiss.  Not even a wedding would have stopped us from watching our show.  The next morning we went to get our nails done and while we were there my dad picked my dress up at the dry cleaners.  It had been shipped from New York and needed to be steamed.  Unbeknownst to me, the dry cleaners had pressed all of the pleats out of the top of the dress and my dad and godmother were frantically looking for a seamstress to fix it.  They found a little old lady who stayed up until well after my rehearsal dinner and fixed the whole dress.  She didn’t even want us to pay her.  I am sure my dad gave her something but she insisted it was free of charge.  We must have looked and been really desperate.

After our rehearsal dinner Justin’s friends went out.  They ended up in Denny’s and one of them decided to make snow angels on the floor….next to a policeman.  He was arrested and promptly taken to jail.  Our wedding was at 11 so that meant we all had to be up and going pretty early.  Justin was woken up by a phone call from jail asking him to bail his friend out.  He said no and the duty fell to someone else.  But he was our first reader in the wedding so Justin ran around looking for someone to replace him.  Justin’s uncle was next in line but since he wasn’t Catholic he was nervous because he really thought the reading was in Latin.  Upon finding out that it was in English he agreed to fill in.

I went to put my gloves on before I walked down the aisle and realized I had two left gloves.  There was absolutely nothing I could do and everyone around me held their breath.  I held it together for the dress debacle and the arrested reader but no one thought I would keep it together then.  But I did and you can see my two left hands in many of our wedding pictures.  My fingers look all floppy and out of place around my bouquet.

Justin’s friend made it to the wedding.  And we all made it to the reception.  But almost not through it.  My verbose father gave a toast that mentioned all 132 guests at the wedding. He even mentioned the guy who had just left jail. I remember starving and watching the waiters behind the doors waiting to bring out the food.  As I look back I feel lucky to have had a dad that was so articulate and had the ability to make everyone feel welcome.

It was a Notre Dame wedding so the alcohol flowed freely.  One of my bridesmaid’s dates ate her bouquet of calla lilies and I even smoked a cigar in my dress.  Justin requested firewater at the wedding for his friends but I am pretty confident my dad drank it all.  At one point he came up to me and told me to smell his cinnammony breath.  He thought it made him attractive to the ladies…..

On the way back to the hotel and the game watch party – remember it was a Notre Dame wedding, the guy who got arrested also put the moves on Justin’s sister.  He was scoring lots of points.  But now let me get back to my friends, my bridesmaids.  I had been so nervous and had not had a lot to eat for the last few days or weeks and Caryn knew that.  As I was changing out of my dress she showed up with two bags of Doritos – Cool Ranch and Nacho.  (These were the olden days and we only had two flavors.)  Caryn knew just what I wanted.  And I will never forget that.  So somehow after all these years and miles apart we can still help the other out.  I can’t buy her Big Macs when she’s hungry anymore but I can provide her a cover which has always been my role and sometimes I have been better at it than others.  But that’s a story for another time. 

A circle is round,
it has no end.
That’s how long,
I will be your friend.

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