Wait… WHO’S Getting Married?!

 

I find it intriguing how sometimes the reality of a particular situation doesn’t come into focus until some seemingly trivial detail is revealed. How, despite all the larger, more obvious signs, something that *should* just be another piece of the puzzle becomes the one to make it all so clear. Such an instance occurred recently, when I was suddenly hit with the following realization:

My best friend is getting married.

Now this is not exactly newsworthy these days, as he and his lovely bride-to-be have been engaged since Christmas 2004. You would have thought that in the 14 months since then, the whole concept might have sunk in, but in truth, it hadn’t. Nor did it truly hit home when he asked me to be his best man. Of course that might have to do more with the manner of his asking than anything else. We were sitting around our boy Tito’s place one afternoon, just some overgrown boys watching football and scratching themselves, when the subject of the wedding was being bandied about. defcon_1 lazily looked over to me, and with all the enthusiasm of a housecat being asked to play dead, simply said, “oh, by the way… you wanna be my best man?” I ask you, how can one say “no” to such a heartfelt request?

Then there was the actual wedding date. The revelation of that little nugget of information would *surely* have to be the act that snapped me to attention and made me realize that this whole “he’s getting married” thing was legit. Yeah… not so much. I just punched it into my calendar and life went on.

Not long ago we began talking about what he wanted for a bachelor party. Still didn’t seem real.

I recently partook of some leftover wedding cake samples. Nada. Nothing.

Even a month ago, when I was so frustrated with a case of incurable insomnia that I lay awake for another three hours working on my “Best Man Toast”, the concept that this goofball – who I have known since the days of pimples and premature erections – had actually found someone willing to be his *wife*, had not really taken root.

For the love of God, man, they even have a WEBSITE! Their very own sliver of the web devoted to all the cheesy details of their eventual nuptials! How did THAT not grab hold?! I mean, seriously!

So you can imagine my shock and surprise when yesterday, thanks to a simple little email from the bald wonder asking us to set aside the date of the wedding rehearsal, all of the reality hit me at once.

My best friend is getting married.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIEEEEEYYYYYAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

When did this happen?! HOW did this happen?! I mean, was I totally asleep at the wheel here? This is the same guy who I once busted in on as he was blissfully singing away to Whitney Houston while sitting cross-legged in his undies on the floor of his room. This is the same goober who once played a 6 person game of Monopoly by *himself*… AND LOST!! Let me put it this way: I’ve known the boy so long that I knew him when – get this – he actually had a full head of hair! INCONCEIVABLE!! I’ve watched his geekiness grow to such extreme heights that he now practically revels in it. Yet somehow, through all this, he managed to go out and get a beautiful woman to fall in love with him… AND I DIDN’T EVEN SEE IT COMING!

I’m stunned. Truly.

I could fill pages with stories of our friendship, some of which would make me laugh, some cringe, and others of which nobody but he or I would ever get the significance of. He’s been my true brother for more than half my life. It’s to the point now where I think we actually take our friendship for granted. We don’t hang out as much these days, and our interests have slowly grown in different directions. Life has put us on slightly different paths that simply just don’t cross with the same frequency they once did. In essence, we’re growing up. (None of which I blame on the girl, by the way. This isn’t one of THOSE kind of stories.) And yet he’s still my best friend. He’s still the guy I’d turn to when I needed a hand. Which I suppose is why I never really thought too deeply about the way he had asked me to be his best man. It wasn’t really a question that needed asking. It simply was.

And you know what? I’m okay with that. As much as I’d like to bemoan the loss of an innocence that his impending marriage signifies, it’s just not something I’m troubled by. I guess it’s because I believe in him. I believe in her. In them. I believe in what they have together. I see it every time I’m around them, and it seems like the right thing. Maybe I’m comforted by the fact that through it all, he’s still the same guy I grew up with. He still makes the same bad jokes, still loves the same things. While at the same time, he’s changed. He’s fuller now. He’s got the someone special to dote on. Someone who appreciates him in ways that his family, and even I, never could. Someone who not only doesn’t mock his geekdom, but who proudly sports an “I LOVE MY GEEK” t-shirt.

My best friend is getting married.

How cool is that?

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