Meredith Is An Adult, Too.

When I moved to Boston for grad school six years ago, I barely knew anyone, save from one friend who moved with me at the same time.  Having stayed in my hometown for undergrad (which I attended with my high school sweetheart), I’d never really had to do the whole moving-to-a-brand-new-city, making-all-new-friends thing.  I figured I’d be amongst like-minded people in my Master’s program and would be fast friends with everyone in it.  And while I did make a number of good friends, none of them were quite like Meredith.

Meredith is like nobody else I met in grad school.  She can sing Carole King at karaoke like no other (except maybe Carole King).  She introduced me to Teen Girl Squad and unconventional vocal warm-ups.*  While I was (melodramatically) mourning the end of a relationship, she insisted on coming over and cooking for me rather than let me mope on the couch, living on cheese slices, pita chips and Harry Potter.  She is witty and sarcastic yet loyal and kind.

In short, she is everything I needed in a friend.

The night I got engaged. Check my swollen ring finger.

The day we became Masters.

Bride and bridesmaid.

Of course,  grad school came to an end, and with our brand new, somewhat useless degrees in hand, we set off to figure out what to do next.  As it turned out, that meant Meredith would move to Texas to teach high school theater: pretty kick-ass, career-wise, but not so great for me.  We bridesmaided for each other’s weddings (three months apart), and then suddenly three years had gone by.  Finally, this was remedied two weeks ago when she flew up to Boston.  I took two days off from work and had myself a mighty fine catching-up staycation.

There were beers to be drank.

Armpits to be aired.

Laughs to be had.

Needless to say, it was so good to have her visit.  It was like three years hadn’t happened, which is pretty much what I’d expected.  It’s good to know that some things don’t change, regardless of Texas or marriage or whatever else.

And, and, and!  Today is Meredith’s thirtieth birthday.  And while she may not like to admit it, Meredith is just the kind of adult I strive to be.  So the happiest of birthdays to you, dear Meredith.  May we continue to grow into kick-ass grown-ups, together.

 

* “I bite the heads off puppies, and their warm blood drips all over my new shoes.”

And P.S. She blogs too, guys.

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Matron of Honor’d!

Some weekends are busier than others: sometimes the most I accomplish is a shower and a glass of wine.  But last weekend?  Not only did I shower (twice!) and have a number of glasses of wine, but I emerged with a husband a year older, a married sister, and a new freakin’ brother.  What a weekend indeed.

Friday we opened our humble home to 30+ of our nearest and dearest to help celebrate the hubby’s 34th birthday.  It was the quintessential ugly party,* with loud talking, group hugging, and a fridge full of High Lifes.  My special man specifically asked for a cake with a unicorn on it, so I (best wife ever) made that happen.  And, I learned, that this is what happens when the nice lady on the phone at the Shaw’s bakery says, “yeah, I’ll just draw a horse with a horn on it”:

Narwhalicorn. Photo by Shannon Bullard Sweetser.

And yes, that is a horse with a horn on it!  Perhaps we should have discussed further where exactly the horn should go.  Still, a narwhalicorn-y good time was had by all, and I also managed to not burn down the house/myself alive while lighting 34 birthday candles.  Perhaps my favorite part was when, at a particularly noisy, crowded moment, my parents appeared at the door, looking somewhat shell-shocked after their 7-hour drive from NY.  The great thing about them, though, is that they can make themselves comfortable in pretty much any social situation, including an apartment full of 20- and 30-somethings with beers.  I remember one party a few years ago at my old apartment in Allston where my dad spent almost the entire night at our kitchen table talking about poetry with my friend Adam.

(In fact, there’s a picture…)

Candlelit discussions (with beer) in 2007.

In short, my parents are awesome, and my friends think so too.

And yes, it’s now official: there are no more unmarried folk in my family.  We managed to marry my sister off withut a hitch (ha), despite my own pre-wedding stress (way more than before own wedding – go figure).  In a lot of ways, the wedding was the polar opposite of ours (well-organized, a traditional ceremony, a chuppah that stayed up, no inmates shouting vulgarities…**), but it actually felt just as relaxed and fun as ours was.  There were unexpected moments, too: the rabbi quoted Garrison Keillor and the bride and groom danced to the Rolling Stones’ cover of Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now).”  Most importantly, though (to me), I delivered my first/maybe only Matron of Honor speech.  It was hard figuring out what exactly to say to my sister and her new husband; I felt like I could’ve spent hours talking about our childhood, and how bad I feel about the years we didn’t get along, and the person I know her to be that not everyone else gets to see all the time.  Instead, I did the best I could to convey all that in a tidy 5-ish minutes, and wrapped it all up with this:

I may not be much of an expert on marriage yet, but I do know that you two obviously care so much about each other’s happiness, and in my very humble experience, that’s really important.  As for everything else?  We’ll all figure that out as we go.  You two have the perfect people around you to help you learn.  

I’ll leave you with something I recently read in a book by Rebecca Woolf, which I think serves as the perfect blessing:

“Marriage isn’t about genetic perfection.  Marriage is about the half-eaten cake in the fridge.  ‘I made it for you, but then I got hungry.’  It’s about the late- night snack runs, even if they’re the wrong kind of snacks.  It’s about trying.  And messing up.  And falling down.  And getting up.  And making up… Marriage is about the flowers that grow wild in the sidewalk cracks, often disguised as weeds and equally hard to manage.  Blooming year-round.  Dandelions with wishes to blow against the wind if you believe.  And I do.”

I’m not one to toot my own horn, but there were very few dry eyes in the place.

And now, I give you the obligatory photo recap:

Mister and Missus. Photo by Brandon Vick.

Sisters. Photo by Brandon Vick.

The b-maids. Photo by Mary Corcoran.

Photo by Brandon Vick.

Dancing with my mama. Photo by Mary Corcoran Photography.

Dad! Photo by Mary Corcoran.

I made them cry! Photo by Brandon Vick

(Not pictured: adorable twin flower girls, me making ugly crying faces, and the wound I gave myself with my own heel while dancing the Hora.)

All in all, a productive weekend, I’d say.  And lots more to talk about soon, everyone.  Exciting things on the horizon.

* An “ugly party,” according to Cat Rocketship of Offbeat Home, is “all about friends. A good ugly party will make newbies in your social circle feel like they’ve made new friends, you’ll have a sticky kitchen floor, and an ugly party will probably leave a few old friends asleep on a futon. ”  Read this article for more.  (Seriously – these are my favorite kinds of parties)

** Another story for another day.