You know, it's been a long time. A long time that we've been friends, a long time that I've gotten to know you, a long time since I used to get mad every time you and Deanna got the last seat on the bus because that one would bounce you the highest when our clinically insane bus driver would drive us down that back road with all the curves and bumps at about sixty miles an hour. That was fourteen years ago, and if anyone had asked me then if I would be attending your wedding, if I would count you as one my favorite people, I would have said "I don't know but that bitch needs to let me sit in that seat JUST FOR ONE FREAKING DAY, God!"
I was in the midst of a hormonal breakdown back then. LUCKILY THINGS HAVE CHANGED.
Amanda, you are one of the nicest, just sincerely nice people I have ever known. I know that sounds trite and meaningless, but I mean it an the most meaningful way, because no one I know is always nice. I'm not always nice, my kid is not always nice, and you are always nice. You are thoughtful and sweet and when I have a conversation with you I can see that you are not only listening to what I'm saying but also emoting, thinking about how I feel about whatever tripe I'm whining about that week, and it makes me feel immediately close to you.
I'm so glad that we're still friends, and that we can still talk like old friends when we see each other. It can be hard sometimes to hold onto what makes people want to be friends in the first place. When you and John moved away I prayed that we would still be buddies and feared that we wouldn't. Luckily I'm an idiot and besides the fact that we don't see each other as often, it didn't really change anything.
I'm not going to spout off any random marriage advice, because let's face it, I'm lucky that Jason has put up with me this long. You and John have been living together for a while now, so not that much will change. The main thing will be the mentality- knowing that the only way to break up now is an expensive legal procedure.
It's also about knowing that you live with someone who looked at you and thought, "I need to find some way to bind myself to that woman forever, because she is just that awesome." It's a beautiful thing, and I know that some people find marriage altogether unnecessary, and that's understandable. But I find it to be lovely and exciting and awe-inspiring that people are able to think that about each other- able to think that it's not enough to wake up every day looking at each other, not enough to eat most meals together or help each other with chores or go places together. Marriage is, at least some times, for people who want to go one step further, who want to cement that breathless feeling, that wiggle in the tummy with something spiritual and ceremonial that isn't just to let other people know how you feel, but also to let your girlfriend/boyfriend know how you feel.
Plus, if it doesn't work out, you're entitled to half of his shit. GO FOR THE TV, AMANDA.
I'm obviously kidding.
If Jason and I had more money, we would have gotten you guys awesome presents. Possibly a pair of Segways. As it is, we can offer you our friendship, support, and a pair of smiling faces. Oh, and three kids- if you guys are ever in the market for a few kids, call us. We can hook you up.