This past long weekend could have been emotionally disastrous for me, and incredibly boring and uncomfortable for Andrew. But, in an unexpected turn of events, it ended up being a lot of fun for the both of us.
A close friend from college got married Saturday. We had lost touch for a number of years, and finally reconnected a year and a half ago. So this weekend was like being thrown in the pool of memories of things I wasn't a part of, recounted by the loads of friends I wasn't one of. Sink or swim - deal with it and move on, or let it get to me and ruin the weekend. Throw in some PMS and a partial crown that decided it didn't want to come along for the weekend (resulting in a last-minute trip to the dentist the day we were leaving, and an exposed tooth that at least got filed down so it wasn't cutting up my tongue anymore). Like I said, could have been disastrous.
But it wasn't. Sure, I was emotional - but I kept it in check and it only really got out during the ceremony and the father-daughter dance. That was more due to the bittersweetness of my friend being able to have her father walk her down the aisle and dance with him at the reception, when I didn't have my dad around anymore to do that for me. It was all countered by the great people we got to hang out with after the ceremony.
The seating arrangement put us with some really cool couples that were lots of fun to talk with - and later dance with and drink with. So much so, that a bunch of us went back to the bridal party cabin after the reception ended, and hung out for another 4 hours - chatting, drinking, eating, laughing. Andrew stayed true to form and made 3 batches of impromptu nachos, earning him the nickname of Nacho Man (sung to the Macho Man tune, of course). He was very popular.
What was so exciting, was to be in a group of people that we really didn't know before this weekend, but ended up really getting along with. No need to pretend to be interested, or feel the need to retreat to the comfort of spousal conversation. And it was almost all couples, which is extremely rare for us. Don't get me wrong - we absolutely adore our single friends. In fact, often we're surprised they don't mind hanging out with the old married couple. But too often we see friends in relationships we know are unhappy or unhealthy, or they bemoan the lack of plausible life partners. And we don't like to see our friends unhappy.
So to spend an evening with so many couples who were fun and interesting, and who you could tell were so happy together and complemented each other really well - it was encouraging. Especially with all the stories about these people making really poor decisions about relationships, and struggling to find someone. It made me feel like maybe all wasn't wrong with the world, and that those people who are ready for it, will find it.
Now maybe the romanticism of the wedding overshadowed some of this. Or maybe it was the large amounts of alcohol consumed, making everything rosy and shiny. Except that, in the light of the next morning (erm, afternoon for some of us), it was still there. And how often do you get to say to 4 couples "We should do this again sometime soon" and really mean it - for both halves of the couples!? With how picky Andrew and I are about friends, and therefore how limited the number of them is, it's a pretty big deal.