The Things I Got
I went to see two of my friends get married. I got more than I expected.
I got to see my very good friends Lindsay and Ashley get married this weekend. I got to see a funny, touching ceremony, be part of a deliriously happy reception and see two truly astonishing people commit to the notion that life together is better than life apart.
I got a whole lot more than that.
I got a bag full of Russian River beers and the chance to share as many as I could with the friend who worked so hard to get them. I got two signed baseball cards and the memory of the 1986 Topps complete set I treasured as a kid. I got a gift bag full of things thoughtful and funny. I got a new tie and the chance to wear my favorite suit.
I got a handwritten note that touched me.
I got new dress shoes, horrible blisters and a reminder that new shoes, like new husbands, are better after an initial breaking-in period.
I got the opportunity to laugh again with some old friends. I got to make some new friends too. I got to hear about life in Africa and New Zealand and London and Afghanistan and Cody, Wyoming.
I got to hear a great story about sleepwalking that I’ll be able to tell for years. I got to tell one about pink soap that others will be telling for years themselves.
My wife and I got to spend time with our daughter as an adult, which was amazing and fun and meaningful to us. Eventually she got tired of us but it didn’t matter by then.
I got to ride on a school bus. I got to see the bride and groom arrive in a helicopter. I got to go to the fabric store and buy glue sticks and a garter belt. These weren’t even the craziest parts of the weekend.
I got drunk. I got a hangover. I got disappointed in myself. I got up and did it all over again.
I got reminded that one of my friends is a seriously great wedding reception dancer who still knows all the words to Push It. I also got reminded that I am not a great dancer, but maybe being great, or even passable, isn’t the point of dancing at a wedding reception anyway.
I got to stand up before 200 people and give a speech about how much my friends mean to me and how happy I am for them. I got to make my wife cry during, which, never, ever happens. I got told by a good number of people that my speech was great, which made me insufferably proud of myself for a short while. I got a little carried away.
I found out that my wife cried in part because of something I had done. I got sad about that.
We got past that and we got on the dance floor. I got to make her happy, then really, really angry, then happy again. All in the span of a few hours.
My wife is not typically an outwardly emotional person. I got a sense that being married to me is not all that easy.
I got reminded of why I got married in the first place, how much I love my wife and family and how easy it is to take that for granted on any given weekday. I got a chance to think on that a lot.
I got home to find out I accidentally left the grill on for 96 straight hours. Our gas bill is going to be ridiculous but at least the house didn’t burn down. I got to thank God for that.
My friends got married in the sunshine in front of their closest friends and family in the world. They got exactly what they wanted. And they’ve got each other now.
I got more than I deserved. I wish I could do it again.