June 23, 2011 | 2:51 pm
Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
As much as I would like to continue the discussion about how beautiful and thin I am, even I am sick of the subject. I am flying to Paris today for the wedding of one of my best friends in the whole world. I will only be in France for the weekend but I’ve been thinking a lot about marriage in anticipation of this trip.
I am lucky to have some of the most incredible friends and many of them date back a long time but Tess is officially the longest. Our moms met when they were pregnant with us taking Jane Fonda’s exercise class and became friends. Tess and I were born a week apart and essentially grew up together. She remains one of my closest friends and I’m the un-official maid of honor (she’s not really having a bridal party). But this is officially the first of my good friends to get married (although I think I have two that are about to follow suit) and it’s making me sad. I feel like I’m about to lose something in my life.
Tess is about to be a wife. Except it literally feels like last night that she was on my trundle bed for a sleepover and my mom was coming in to tell us to stop talking and go to bed, and as soon as she would leave we would burst out laughing again. Now she will no longer be a single girl ever again.
It’s reminding me of a feeling I distinctly remember at the tender age of 16. Tess was the first of us to have a boyfriend and I went with her to pick out a pocket watch for her boyfriend Jonathon’s birthday. I was excited for her and pressing her for all the details of what having a boyfriend was like. What do you guys do when you’re together? How far have you gone? Does he write you notes in class? We went into a sketchy pawn shop in the Valley and looked at all the scratched gold watches. When the guy went to ring us up, the watch was 50$. She paid it and all of the sudden I felt like things would never be the same again. She was spending 50$ on a boy?! Neither one of us got much in the way of allowance and Tess especially could be a bit miserly at times so I couldn’t believe this. I knew she had never spent that much on my presents or anyone’s present. I had never seen her spend 50$ on anything ever before. Had she ever gone this out of her way to get me something? All of the sudden, boys had entered our life and I wasn’t the most important relationship in her life anymore. I couldn’t believe it. There was a boy between us.
Of course within a few months that relationship was over and Tess and I stayed best friends without much really changing. And Tess has always been a great friend to me both in and out of relationships over the years. But I guess it hit me at that moment, that no matter how close you are to your friends, when you get married, you’re marrying your closest friend and you vow to always put that person first. As it should be – you build a life and a family together with your spouse not your BFF. But it’s just so concrete now. He comes before me.
So I’m still sad. I feel like I’m losing one of my friends – not completely, just a little, like she’s moving far way and I know I’m being selfish but I can’t help it - I don’t want her to go. Once she leaves for this journey nothing will ever be the same. She is about to pledge herself to this man and it scares me a little. I’m not ready! But she is - she’s getting married after all. I just don’t want things to change. But I fear soon I’ll need to make the same journey myself or get left in the dust.
I just want to stay the way I remember us. Getting in trouble in Ballet class for talking, making our own perfume out of water and eucalyptus leaves, dancing around her living room while her Dad videotaped us, getting our first pair of high heels. I have so many vivid memories of when I was young but the scary thing is, I’m much closer in age to being the mom in those memories now than the kid.
But at the end of the day, so much of our youth was about finding someone to love us. And now she has. And I adore her fiancé. And I have no doubt that he will love her forever. And when I see how happy she is, sometimes I get so happy for her, it feels like it’s all happening to me. She’s about to be a bride and wear a wedding dress. It’s really happening to her and it couldn’t have happened in a more perfect way with a more perfect guy.
Once in college I had a crazy roommate with an even wilder mother who had been through a few marriages. But I’ll never forget some sage advice she handed out frequently, “girlfriends are like cockroaches. They were there before the men, they’ll be there after the men.”
I don’t think in this case, there will be after the men. But maybe it should just be amended and we could say “They were there before the men, and they’ll be there with the men.”
My best friend will be married. It’s the end of an era for us. But the beginning of something so new and magical and so exciting for her that I can only assume, it will all keep getting better for both of us. A bientot et Felicitations pour mes amies! Grosses Bissous!
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