I met Patricia when we were both quite young. She was 12 and I was 17. Obviously, there was a big age gap and we did not become friends. She was literally a giggling school girl. At 17, I considered myself very much the anti-conformist bad ass and I wanted no part of giggling school girls. It would have totally ruined my street cred.
I lived with my cousin, whom she had a huge crush on at the time. Whenever the phone rang, I knew it was her, giggling, on the other line. Back then, she was known as "Patty" and I can still hear her voice, squealing, coming across the line, "Hiiiiii, it's Patty!! (giggle)"
That was, oh, I don't know, about 15 years ago. She has been in and out of my life throughout the years. I watched her grow from that sweet, silly school girl in Sunday morning church services into a smiling, gushing waiter at Ruby Tuesdays. I saw her change from a guilty, secret crush into an exhausted but loving mother hen, then from a blossoming single gal into a mature responsible, love-struck fiancée. I've watched her blossom as she put away her childish ways, and slowly grown as a woman of God. In the past three years of our friendship, I have watched her change so much as a person, always striving to put the things she didn't like about herself in the past and become the person she wanted to be. Last weekend, I stood at her side and saw that she accomplished all of those things, and had become a truly beautiful person. Then I watched as she became a wife.
Her wedding was this past Sunday and I was a bridesmaid. It was the first time that I have been involved in a friend's wedding. Not many of my family and friends are married, and the ones that have gotten married have all run off to the courthouse. I never realized how magical a wedding can be when you care so much for the bride and groom. I had such an amazing time that weekend, being a part of the wedding, sharing such a special event with someone I care so much for. The bachelorette party was fun, it was innocent and tasteful. I had fun shopping for clothes to wear to all of the events: the bachelorette party, the rehearsal, the rehearsal dinner. Doing my make up, styling my hair...picking up champagne, cheese and crackers for us to snack on while the bridesmaids got ready for the wedding with the bride...I spent half the weekend laughing and smiling from the sheer joy of it all, and the other half crying and yawning from lack of sleep and emotional exhaustion! It was an experience I'll never forget!
I cried off an on throughout the entire weekend. I almost felt like I was watching one of my sisters grow up and get married! One of my sisters became engaged a few weeks ago and all I could think about during the bachelorette party, rehearsal, and wedding was how badly I wanted to watch my sister do these things. She is planning a trip to Vegas to be married by an Elvis impersonator and wants a total no-thrill event. But that isn't fair! I want to go wedding dress shopping with her. I want to pick out flowers with her, look at bridesmaid dresses, give my opinions on invitations...
I didn't do those things for my own wedding nine and a half years ago. I began to understand the severity of what I had robbed my family of, a day of joy and excitement and magic. So I have a secret plan. I am going to somehow convince my sister to make her wedding a big deal. Hopefully she doesn't read my blog and doesn't know what's coming.