A week from now I will be in the air somewhere over the Atlantic, on my way to party with some of my favorite people in the entire world, in a place that I’ve been assured is one of the most beautiful locations in the entire world. I am one lucky dame. I’ll be hanging out with:
The Bestie: We’re yin and yang. She sees a tree and climbs to the top just to be there; I get nervous just crossing the street at the crosswalk. She walks into a party and chats happily with everyone, even people she’s never met before. I get overwhelmed half way through the party, and hide in the back room, nursing my beer and reading a book. She taught me how to ride a bike (at 19), gave me all the best reasons to go dancing instead of studying, instinctively knew when to prod me into action and when to leave me alone. I don’t know if I’ve been as good of a friend, being the crabby little weirdo that I am, but we’ve shared enough laughter to last a lifetime, and we’re only just beginning. I’m very excited to see her again, even though we just met up at another wedding last month.
The Bride: Seriously one of the most beautiful and intriguing women I’ve ever met. The Bestie and I lived together for two years (sharing first a dorm room, then another room in a house, with no arguments – a rare feat for freshman year roommates from VERY different backgrounds, connected by a computer matching system). We decided it was time to move into our own apartment, with separate rooms, but needed a third person. Bestie introduced me to Bride, and magic happened pretty much immediately. She made, and makes, everything work perfectly for the three of us. She’s both a wild woman and an analyst. A night of drinking can turn into a conversation about string theory, fate, the touch of faerie in the everyday realm, or some controversial new street artist that would never have gotten a second look from me. We’ve shared some great adventures, the three of us, the two of us, the two of them, and somehow no one ends up being the third wheel. The Bride has lived in Europe since she and Bestie graduated architecture school in 2004. It’s been amazing to get to visit her, and this time will be no different, despite change of locale. It’s funny that though time and distance separate us, our relationship has stayed strong. It’s different now, but I’m hoping we’ll all get to be bitchy old ladies together, drinking wine on a topless beach somewhere, scaring young men with our saggy old tits. Except for Bestie. She’s going to have great tits forever, the bitch.
The Bride’s Bestie: I’m so happy she’ll be able to come to the wedding! At first, it seemed as though a pretty intense health scare might keep her in the US, but everything’s looking up and she’s going to make it to hang out with us, after all. I’ve only seen BB a few times, but we keep up through Facebook, and she’s amazing. It’s not often that you meet someone who is devastatingly gorgeous AND devastatingly kind, but BB is that lady. She’s had a pretty crazy life, from modeling in her youth, to being on TV, to selling celebrity real estate, and now she’s finishing up her college degree and doing all kinds of amazing student government work. She and her husband promote the arts in her hometown, and regularly raise funds for the underprivileged in our country and across the world, fighting malaria and for women’s rights. It sounds out of this world, but that’s just BB – amazing. Also, she’s one hell of a party girl, so this wedding just got kicked up another notch!
The Partner: The Bride’s business partner from her old firm in Austria, Partner is a riot. She’s a native German speaker, but speaks English well. Even so, she’s been quiet, even terse, the handful of times I’ve gotten to hang out with her. She’s definitely not a big talker (at least not in English), but when she does, it’s with wit and skill. She says what she thinks, a trait I love in others (this also means that I try not to piss her off!). She’s very sporty, a long, lithe woman with sun-kissed skin, sparkling eyes, and a slightly weathered demeanor that belies her life as an outdoors-person. Not sure if her girlfriend will be coming to the wedding, as well, but I’ve been curious to meet Partner’s other half.
The Mom: I love, love, love The Bride’s mom. She’s amazing in so many ways, and though I adore my own mother, if I had been able to build a perfect mom, this Mom wouldn’t be too far off from the characteristics I’d choose. Like me, she’s crazy about medieval history, and is actually a retired professor of Germanic history with a focus on medieval bits. She recently walked the Camino de Compostela, something I’ve wanted to do for years, and will do one day in the not too distant future. She also writes, and we’ve been buddies for NaNoWriMo for a couple of years now. Plus, she’s also very laid back, digs a glass of red wine, and is a fascinating conversationalist. I’m psyched to be in her presence for a few days.
The Sister: Likewise, I’m happy about hanging out with The Bride’s sister. She’s intimidating, some might say scary in her intense forwardness, but I admire her and look forward to getting to know her better. She’s all grown up with two kids, a husband, and a PhD, but she’s still the girl I’d choose if I was looking for a partner in crime and couldn’t find Bestie or Bride in time. Hell, I might choose her over those two – I think she might have less scruples of hurting someone than they would. I’m picturing us in some kind of Mad Max scenario, running down bad guys on some dusty road in the outback. Luckily, this vacation is all about beaches and gelato, so most likely no crime in my immediate future. It’s going to be great to down some wine and talk trash with Sister.
Bestie’s Hubby: I didn’t dig Hubby when we first met (Bestie and I were once again living together, three years after graduating from undergrad), but he’s grown on me. He’s so very different from the kind of guys I was used to meeting, acting silly in sobering situations, saying the first thing that comes to mind always, generally annoying the shit out of me for much of the first couple of years I knew him. But then they got married, and I had to like him or else. And though at first I was dismayed at trying to find a way to make this happen, all of a sudden it turned out that he was really fun to hang out with when I stopped being so uptight. To be fair, I think Bestie has rubbed off on him, and he’s grown up a bit since they got together. The last couple of times we’ve hung out, we’ve had some nice conversations, and it’s been a pleasure to be around him. He makes Bestie laugh, and now he makes me laugh too. That’s pretty cool in my book.
Of course, there will be many more people. The Bride’s fiance, whom I’ve only met once but liked very much. His entire family, all from this small Croatian town that we’ll be visiting. The rest of The Bride’s family, and more friends from all over the world that I haven’t met yet, but can’t wait to get to know. This is going to be an absolute blast!