Tomorrow night, my best friend from childhood is getting married. I've known her since I was five. She was my first buddy in kindergarten. Our moms and dads met at Parents' Night and our families have been close ever since. And I know I've been talking about it for a year and a half, but for some reason it's only just now hitting me. I'm crying just a little.
I don't even know if she knows this, and I don't think I've ever admitted it here, but the night she got engaged was also the night of the worst break up of my life. She called me to tell me the good news as I was running out the door to head to my boyfriend's apartment. As soon as I got in the cab, I began to cry. It seemed like all of my friends were settling down with men who were making these great declarations of love, and I was with someone who didn't even know if he ever wanted to get married. Everything suddenly snapped into focus. I got to his apartment and told him that I loved him and that I deserved to be with someone who wanted to spend the rest of their life with me. He stared at me in disbelief. He had nothing to say in return. And so I very calmly said, "Okay," and began to gather all of my things and pack my bags. I kept a lot of stuff there so this was no easy feat. He kept telling me to stop, that he needed time to think, but I couldn't. I packed four big bags and let him hug me and kiss me as I stood in the doorway frozen. I have never been so numb in my life.
I headed to the street, the weight of the world and lots of clothing on my shoulders. I looked like a hobo in a Burberry coat. I got in a cab, emailed my dad to let him know that we'd broken up, and went home.
I didn't realize it until recently, but it affected me so much more profoundly than I was ever willing to admit. It made me terrified of commitment. I thought if he didn't want to spend the rest of his life with me, no one would. I literally began to believe that every man was out to get me, and several proved me right!
I've learned a lot since then. I've always known that I want to get married and have kids. When we broke up, I told him it was because I knew he would never marry me. That was true then and it's still true now, but in the bigger picture I was afraid he would never love me the way I wanted to be loved. Love and marriage are not always exclusive. I didn't know that back then, but I get it now.
This weekend, however, I get to celebrate both. And I couldn't be happier for my dear friend who is marrying the love of her life. Her fiancé has been in love with her since the sixth grade. They made a pact when they were younger that if they were both single at 25, they'd date, get engaged at 26, and get married at 27. It all happened. How about that.
I see the sun coming down; I know it's all better now...