A word about getting back together with your ex

So here’s some gossip-worthy news, if you haven’t put two and two together yet: Taylor and I (yes, the boyfriend I was with for just shy of four years, then broke up with, then spent six months learning who I was without) are back together.

I’ll start by saying that I hate that terminology – the way you might characterize a sitcom romance. “They’re back together” like it’s just another ordinary day at the park, like it’s equally as temporary of a situation as the one that preceded it. “Back together” the same way that some wayward friend is “back in rehab” or “back to old habits.” More, even, than its temporal qualities – I hate that it implies regression. Why not “forward together” or “beginning anew”?

I’ll stop there – but suffice it to say that this hasn’t felt much like being “back” to anything.

It started in May. I was hesitant, the way that only a broken heart can be. Pessimistic and cynical, I treated the whole thing like a bubble about to pop. “This is nice,” I thought. “This will be nice for awhile. And when it all comes crashing down, well – at least I’ll know that I’ve gotten through it before, so I can do it again.” I traipsed through this new affair like a minefield. Sooner or later (and that inevitability weighed on me at every turn) this would have to end, and end badly.

In the meantime, though, I accepted love back into my life the way a recovering addict might entertain the idea of just one more heady dose of the good stuff: Yes, I’ll regret this later. I’ll be worse off afterward than I was before. But right now, right at this moment – isn’t it nice? Isn’t this delirious ecstasy absolutely, incontrovertibly worth it?

Because it was. It was better than I even let myself admit.

I feel I can best describe this sensation by likening it to an unfortunate stereotypically female trait of mine. Growing up, my mom always used the same car mechanic: a shop owned by a friendly pair of guys who were, coincidentally, both named Dave. My mom always took her car in to the Daves, and – when I got old enough – referred me to them as well.

Being only 16 at the time, and a typical girl when it came to cars, their garage was like the Starship Enterprise to me. How was it, that when I described a problem to them (with all the eloquent precision of: “Um… it goes ‘ee-err-ee-err’ when I first start it”), they were able to hoist my car up toward the rafters, dive elbows-deep into its greasy underbelly, make a few tweaks here and there and just fix it? The interworkings of my Toyota were as unfamiliar to me as the infinitesimal anatomy of a human brain cell, or the exorbitant vastness of the universe. I would stare at them, astonished, as they wiped their hands with a blue rag and told me I was all set.

It had all the makings of sorcery.

Which is why to this day, I still imagine auto shops to be a magical place where you bring broken things of all shapes and sizes to be tweaked, tinkered with, and tuned up – then returned to you in their best possible form. Things that otherwise would be doomed to remain unfixed forever can surely be mended at the hands of an adept mechanic.

This is what it felt like to be back in my relationship. Like I hadn’t actually ever left it – just placed it in the capable hands of some wizard at a relationship-fixing garage for awhile, letting the Daves do their work. And unbeknownst to me, my love life was undergoing heavy diagnostics. The engine was being polished, oil changed, brake pads replaced.

And when it was returned to me, it was like my beat-up old jalopy was back in the brightly-lit showroom of the dealership all those years ago. Its freshly-waxed paint gleamed and winked at me almost smugly – like, “What? You didn’t think I was still capable of this?”

It was, truly, even better than new, because it still bore all my favorite memories – the drive-ins, the road trips, the mistakes made and lessons learned. Everything we’d been through together had made it stronger, and the time apart made it invincible.

And it wasn’t the Daves I had to thank for this, of course; it was Taylor himself. He’d lifted the hood of that old clunker and brought out the toolbox – tuning and tightening what had become loose over the years, giving some much-needed TLC to parts that had rusted over from neglect.

At the risk of deviating too far from the metaphor (off the comfortable path of analogy and into the perilous jungle of factual testimony), Taylor had undergone a transformation and reinvested in ways I hadn’t thought possible… and without my involvement, no less.

Needless to say, coming back was like returning home and falling in love with a whole new person all at the same time.

Likewise, I’d gone through something of a personal upheaval myself. Small and lost in a new city, alone for the first time in my life, I’d faced truths about myself I can’t say I would have unearthed in a hundred years otherwise. I’d filled my life with enriching new experiences, animated new characters, and desires I hadn’t dared to voice before (like “I think I’d like to learn to play the guitar”). Questions about love, God, writing, life, and the human experience littered my journals in disorganized but impassioned scribbles. I was forced to face the question, with increasing urgency: “Who are you, Susie?” (The answer to which, you’d have to agree, would undoubtedly inform the success of any future relationship – romantic or otherwise.)

We were being simultaneously tweaked and tuned up, he and I –  and when we climbed back into that car, the engine purred.

I knew how this sounded. I’d been on the receiving end of this conversation before, and I knew what it was like. Sure things are better now, of course they are. It’s completely logical to think that people change, and two tumultuous souls can just split up for six months and come back to the world’s best relationship. Things are perfect, life is great, nothing could ever go wrong… call me when you wake up.

It was, frankly, too good to be true. Anyone listening would be doing so with jaded ears. Hell, if I were my own friend, I would be listening with jaded ears.

My friends were there, after all. They saw the hurt. They’ve heard these claims before. Like the addict trying to convince the world that after dozens and dozens of false alarms she is finally off the stuff for good (“really, this time, you guys!”) – the world shakes its head sadly, pats her on the knee and says sadly, “Sure, honey.” I heard my own initial skepticism echoed in my friends’ voices, and I didn’t blame them one bit.

But can you blame me, then, for being timid about sharing the news? I tiptoed around this conversation with my friends and family with such delicacy that it was months before the majority of them even knew. We gallivanted around Portland like convicted criminals, wearing hoods and sunglasses and peeking around corners for anyone who might recognize us. I waited until the last possible second to admit to myself – and, shortly thereafter, the world – that this could maybe possibly actually be real.

I made my final announcement in (characteristically) the most immature way possible – by posting a photo on social media with no explanation whatsoever, other than the hashtag “#bringontheinquisition.” Comments and texts flooded, and I answered their probing curiosities with as much grace as I could muster. I was honest when I conceded “You’re right, it is crazy. Maybe I am crazy. Maybe this is all a glorious hallucination, and I will wake up any minute.”

But it’s been five months now, and I haven’t woken up yet. Things are more wonderful than they ever have been, and I’ve stopped expecting the bubble to pop.

Don’t get me wrong; I have no delusions of perfection. I know that – like anything worth having in this life – love takes work. My love will not always be this glimmering display of glossy paint and a purring engine. It will take periodic check-ups and oil changes. The tires may need to be replaced.

But maybe the difference is in the acknowledgement that one broken carburetor isn’t enough to trash the whole car. Maybe it’s understanding that it takes two to tango, you get out what you put in, and the machine is only as valuable as the work you invest into it. Maybe it’s the recognition that it’s evolved from a junker to a rolls-royce… and that’s something worth protecting.

But in any case, this is me telling the world that – yes…

Taylor and I are back together.

Why Portland is the Greatest City in the World, No I’m Serious, Stop Arguing You’ve Already Lost.

So next week marks a full three months since I moved to Portland.

I know, I know, that’s not completely true. Technically I moved to the Portland area a little over a year ago, but aside from my god-awful daily commute, I didn’t do a whole lot of exploring in the City Proper. Which is nothing short of a travesty.

But since then, I’ve upheaved my whole life and plopped my lost little self down in the throbbing heart of the city… and believe you me – I’ve made up for lost time.

I considered trying to tally the number of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, food carts, and shows I’ve been to since beginning this exploration… but just the thought of that task overwhelms me.

Instead, I’m just going to sit down for a moment and explain to you how absolutely, unequivocally, head-over-heels in love I am with this incredible town.

Elizabeth Gilbert taught me that when keeping chickens, there are some circumstances where you have to introduce a new hen to the flock. And you can’t just toss it in with the old chickens, or they’ll see it as an invader – instead, you slip the new bird into the coop in the middle of the night while the others are asleep.

In the morning, when the chickens wake up, they don’t notice the newcomer – thinking, “She must have been here all the time, since I didn’t see her arrive.” The thing is, awakening in the flock, the newcomer herself doesn’t even remember that she’s a newcomer – thinking only, “I must have been here the whole time…”

This is exactly how I arrived in Portland.

Without further ado, here’s why Portland is the absolute best city on Earth, no arguments, I’m not even listening to you anymore:

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Friends. Before moving here, I was so nervous about starting a brand new life by myself, so worried that I wouldn’t know where to go or what to do, so terrified of being alone and so far from everything I knew and loved. I’ve had the same group of friends since I was 12 years old, and I’m not historically good with new people… so before the move, I caught myself awake in bed at 1am, reading articles entitled things like “How to Make Friends as an Adult.”

But as it turns out, Portland was basically built for people just like me. Want endless new activity options like haunted pub crawls and underwear bike rides? Check! Looking for somewhere with a rich culture, and inhabitants who are immensely passionate about art, music, craft beer, or all of the above? Check check! Need a city where 60% of the population are fellow transplants from other states, so literally everyone you meet is on a let’s-explore-and-try-new-things-and-go-on-adventures kick? Check, check, check! Living in Portland is like having a making-new-friends starter kit.

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Weirdness. They’re not kidding when they call Portland weird – the whole city is an island of misfit toys. If America were a high school lunchroom, Portland would be the table of eclecticism – it would include a few band geeks, some sign-carrying activists, brooding artists, gregarious performers, bookworms, that guy who goes barefoot because he thinks shoes are a sign of oppression, and probably a unicyclist. If the whole rest of the country asks you to fit into a stereotype (“Oh, you’re from San Diego? Do you surf?”), Portland is where stereotypes go to die. It’s the type of city to open its arms and say, “Yeah – we know you’re a freak. It’s cool, though, we are too. Come on in.”

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Weather. Speaking of San Diego, the main thing I was warned about here was the rain. In fact, it was more or less all I heard about. When I finally arrived here, and I kept hearing about the rain, I actually got really defensive about it. I told all my San Diego friends that it didn’t even rain that much, we actually went 125 days in a row last year without a single rainy day, and that it was beautiful and sunny a LOT of the time and that they shouldn’t believe everything they hear.

But as a bona fide Portlander now, I’m not going to say that anymore. In fact, I think I’m contractually obligated to tell you the following:

It rains. SO. MUCH. All day, every day. Portland is a horrible, gray, rainy city all the time. Tell your friends. No sunshine, EVER. Nothing to see here, people. Move along.

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People. The other thing? Portland people really are the best people in the world. I don’t know what it is, maybe there’s something in the water. Maybe we’re all just so relieved to finally fit in somewhere, maybe we’re all just collectively exploring who we are, maybe we’re just sharing this adventure together. But Portlanders are a special breed – legitimately kind, genuine and curious and dimensional.

And good people. Remember that time when a complete stranger went miles out of his way to help me change a flat tire? Remember Bearded Ryan, the superhero who embarked on a wild goose chase to track me down and return personal documents to me that he’d found on the side of the road? And of course, the person who had every right to screw me over, but instead left me a friendly reminder to be a better person:

These were all Portlanders. Do you get what I’m saying?

The city. You guys, I get to walk to work every day. Which is something I’ve never had the privilege of saying, and it’s freaking oh-my-god-crazy-fantastic.

Have you ever lived in a city before? I mean in an actual living, pulsating city with an actual heartbeat and a personality? Have you ever walked through that city by yourself on a lively evening? Have you done it in boots and a peacoat, with really good music in your headphones, and the kindest people on Earth nodding at you cheerfully as you pass?

I have!

The country. Little-known fact (actually it’s probably pretty widely known, I’m just really in the dark about everything, all the time): Portland is the largest city in Oregon. And even Portland, in fact, is pretty tiny with all things considered: it’s made up of approximately 584k people – about 18% of the population of, say, San Diego County for instance.

And the rest of Oregon? Get this: the entire state is made up of less than 4mm people. Meaning Portland makes up roughly a sixth of the population of Oregon, even though the city itself only accounts for 0.14% (less than a quarter of a percent) in total square mileage.

All this to say, a lot of my state is made up of the polar opposite of my quirky urban setting: quaint, rural towns where people raise livestock and farm Christmas trees on acres and acres of land. Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a pie auction in one of these towns – the proceeds of which went to a modest scholarship fund for high-achieving youths at their local high school.

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pie auction, you guys. Pies that had won awards at county fairs, women who I’m sure had perfected recipes over generations, a hundred people crammed into what used to be a high school gym – where everyone knew each other by first name and teased one another affectionately (“Next up – a chocolate fudge pie, which we all know is going to Hank…”). It was wholesome and authentic and it absolutely warmed my heart.

The forest. Last but not least, Portland would be incomplete without the glory of nature that surrounds us. They don’t call them evergreens for nothing – the Pacific Northwest is overgrowing with life. Vines creeping around light posts, rogue leaves peeking through cracks in the sidewalk… and moss, endless and everywhere.

You get the sense that if the apocalypse came tomorrow, it wouldn’t take long for the Earth to reclaim this city – the land is practically twitching with anticipation for it. In literally every direction there is green, trees and plants who seem almost smug in their assuredness. And it only takes a short stroll off the beaten path, into another world where long leafy tendrils are draped across great mossy branches – to be reminded of how small we really are, how trivial our problems, how life will continue going on long after we’re gone.

That’s what Portland is, really – the perfect blend of city, country, and forest. The most amazing people, the most incredible culture, and the most delicious food carts. (Oh right I didn’t even talk about those…)

Long story short, here I am: three months in, surrounded by a collection of truly amazing people and with a ton of new experiences under my belt… and I’m actually awed at how anxious I originally was. Because now that I’m here, it seems odd that I’ve ever been anywhere else.

I slipped into Portland like a bird in the night, and it feels as if I must have been here the whole time.

Wherefore art thou, Bearded Ryan?

To the really solid, upstanding individual who broke into my car this weekend:

Hey, you. Good old you. How ya feelin? Is your arm sore, from that rock you hurled through my car window? Any cuts or scrapes from kneeling in glass shards as you rifled through my glove compartment? Did you pull any muscles lifting my junk out of the back seat? Any pinky toe blisters from the shoes you used to run away?

How’s your conscience, knowing that you pulled this crap ten steps away from a preschool?

No matter. I hope this letter finds you in good health. I’ve known a wayward soul or two in my time, and I know there’s probably more to your story than throwing rocks through windows.

Maybe you’re a teenager and it was a dare, and you’re just trying to fit in with the wrong crowd. Maybe you’re a single dad just trying to provide for your family the only way you know how (after all, the Notorious B.I.G. dedicated his Ready to Die album to “all the people that lived above the buildings that I was hustling in front of, that called the police on me – when I was just trying to make some money to feed my daughter.”) Maybe you’re struggling with a crippling addiction, and it’s taken hold of your life so entirely that you don’t even realize what you’re doing anymore.

Whatever the case, it is my sincerest hope that you’ll straighten up and fly right before it’s too late.

In the meantime, though, I’m going to offer you some unsolicited advice. Businessperson to unethical businessperson.

First of all, I’m curious how you landed on my car as an ideal target. I drive a 2007 Toyota Yaris that hasn’t been washed since the last olympics. I literally go WAY out of my way every day to park a half a mile away from work just because parking is free there. And my car’s cleanliness is the biggest embarrassment of my life, to the point that I used to have nightmares about giving my boss a ride somewhere and him finally becoming privy to what a disgusting creature I am. My ex boyfriend lovingly nicknamed my vehicle “the garbage disposal.”

And you thought – hey I know, I’ll just go ahead and bypass these BMWs and Lexuses scattered around the PAID parking spots of Portland and go to the cheapskate neighborhood instead. Look there! A dirty, decade-old car full to the brim with empty Gatorade bottles, chip wrappers, and parking tickets? JACKPOT!

How long did it take you to figure out that I’m just as broke as your sorry ass?

…30 seconds? A minute, maybe?

Then, I imagine you grabbed the only item of potential value you could find, a box of random documents, and tore out of there.

Just really poor choices, all around dude. Take a minute to reevaluate your life.

But this story isn’t about my car getting broken into. Let me tell you a better story about Superman a bearded guy named Ryan.

Mr. Loser Rock Thrower didn’t make it far with my box-o-documents before ditching them around a corner. There they sat, for who knows how long, until Bearded Ryan came across them while walking his dog. He curiously nudged one of the envelopes open with his toe, and my passport went skidding across the sidewalk.

Alarmed, he picked up the box and the remaining documents and brought them home.

…Where he proceeded to go all storybook hero and track me down Liam Neeson style.

I’m admittedly filling in holes here, but here’s the story as I understand it.

Get this, you guys: When he got home, Bearded Ryan did a Google search for “Mary Wittbrodt” which yielded about thirty thousand results (there are a lot of Marys in my family), but he was still somehow able to track down my dad’s old company in San Diego. He called them, and they told him my dad had retired, but he still somehow obtained his contact info. He called my parents’ house but they were out of town, so he left a message.

This would ALREADY have been way above and beyond what any average human being would consider going through in a situation like this. Hitting a road block (like my parents’ voicemail) would have been completely rational justification for calling the search quits.

But did he call it quits? EFF no, this is Bearded Ryan we’re talking about!

He saw on my college transcript that I go by the nickname “Susie” (BINGO) and then started his search all over again with that name instead. Lo and behold, he found me through my company’s website – which is how I got a call from our confused receptionist at around 11:30 this morning.

“Hi… Susie? I’m sorry to bother you, but I figured you’d want to take this call. I’ve got a man named Ryan on the phone who says he was walking his dog and found your passport…”

Minutes later, I was at the scene of the crime, surveying the damage and broken glass… when Bearded Ryan called out behind me, appearing like the angel Gabriel with documents in-hand.

If my life were a movie, this would be the part where that blossoming romance riff would play (you know the one I’m talking about, the music the Sims always made out to), and we would run into each others’ arms and live happily ever after and have literally THE BEST “how we met” story of all time.

But because this is real life, and I am real awkward Susie, that’s not exactly how it went down. We gathered the papers together, most of them smeared with rain, while I kept thanking him over and over again (Bearded Ryan, how do I thank thee? Let me count the ways…). The extent of our conversation was him giving me some rock-solid advice for how to avoid identity theft now that Mr. Loser Rock Thrower probably has all my information. I asked him if there was anything I could do to repay him and he said, repeatedly, “I’m just glad I found you.”

Then we shook hands (I think? It’s all a blur to me now…) and he rode off into the sunset while I stood there gaping like a goldfish.

A few hours later, my parents got home and heard Bearded Ryan’s concerned message – and promptly called their daughter, who was (regrettably) in a meeting.

Put yourself in my parents’ shoes for a moment – just returning from a vacation, 1,000 miles away from their eldest daughter who isn’t answering her phone, and a message on the answering machine about some stranger finding her passport on the street.

Yeah, they might have panicked a bit.

But have no fear, everyone, because Bearded Ryan came to the rescue again. My parents called the number he left and had a nice, long, buddy-buddy chat. He assured them that their daughter was, in fact, safe – and filled them in on some of the finer details of my unfortunate predicament.

When I finally got their frantic voicemail a little while later, I called them back immediately thinking I would have to talk them out of total hysteria. But to my surprise, they were cool as cucumbers – just wanting to talk insurance logistics and to scold me, again, for not renewing my AAA membership.

Damn you, Bearded Ryan, you’ve done it again.

My conscience still feels totally out of balance about the fact that I completely failed to express my gratitude in any tangible way. I mean, the guy talked to my dad’s old employer from like seven years ago halfway across the country. There aren’t even enough italics in the world to convey the lengths he went to… just to return a passport to an idiot girl who was stupid enough to leave sensitive documents unattended in her car in a sketchy part of town. And then, to top it off, he talked my parents off the veritable ledge of absolute terror while I jabbered away, blissfully ignorant in a work meeting.

I’m tempted to go on a similar Liam Neeson-type scavenger hunt to track him down… but all I know is (1) his name is Ryan, (2) he has a beard, (3) he owns a dog, and (4) he lives within reasonable proximity to my work.

Which basically narrows it down to, oh, a third of the male population in Portland.

Le sigh.

Bearded Ryan, if you’re out there, thank you. And also…

I love you
Let’s get married
And have upstanding-citizen babies
Let me buy you a drink!

Throwback Thursday: Senior Poetry Contest – The Final Poem!

Alright, y’all… here it is. The final installment of the three-poem series that won me the Senior Poetry Contest in 2007.

I know you’re probably dying of anticipation.

Your lips are plump and crisp, like purple grapes that dot the vine.
And when we kiss, I can’t help but to bite them in my mind.
And their juice flows thick and violet, down my chin and down my spine.

It puddles ’round my toes, and makes a sea of crimson waves.
And two porcelain flower pedals are the only things it saves.
And out of them, the ocean makes two tiny porcelain slaves.

The pedal-salves serve as your eyes, with two black circle-stains.
That gaze at me, and out the window sadly when it rains.
And they cry, because they’re being held by heavy, sightless chains.

They drape around your shoulder blades and dangle to the ground.
Shuffle dirt around your ankles – drag your posture down.
And wrap around your poor weak head, like a pitiful iron crown.

When you sleep, I run my fingers through the tangles in your hair
And I kiss them, like my children when they tell me life’s unfair.
You smile at me, and in my head I scream a silent prayer.

“Dear God, let the man be happy. Let his days run safe and long.
And when night falls upon him, Lord, I beg you. Keep him strong.
And may he never hear the words that litter my mind’s song.

Because his hands are like great diamonds with his palms against my cheeks.
And his voice could rattle mountains in the heavens when he speaks.
And because a single touch from him could haunt my dreams for weeks.

So I ask this in your name, Lord. Do consider this last plea.
Create his happiness a lock, and let me be the key.
I’ll ask nothing of you, evermore. Yours sincerely, me.”

And as I live life next to you, and watch events unfurl,
I’m reminded of a tale my mother told me as a girl.
When on her bed I’d sit with her, and by her leg I’d curl…

She would tell me of a woman who had loved a man to death
And had killed him with the deadly poisoned sweetness of her breath
Which was tainted with her love itself, and all its dangerous depth…

And so I retreat to watching as your eyelids flutter shut.
And I suppress the silent fire burning deep inside my gut.
I’m thinking thoughts about you… but I’ll never tell you what.

Why Weddings are Basically the Best Thing Ever and We Should All Totally Just Get Married Every Day

Last weekend, I got a collective eight hours of sleep over a 72-hour period.

There was a time in my life when I probably would have said that ain’t no thang (presumably the same time of my life when I was listening to a lot of Outkast), but nowadays – in my perpetual march toward middle-agedness – such a weekend has me gasping for air. As a result, the last week has been been somewhat of a recovery period for me – leaving me in a foggy stupor and with only a hazy cognizance of what has been going on around me. (On a related note, I should probably take this opportunity to apologize to my coworkers for being such a zombie this week)

But I wouldn’t trade my Dawn of the Dead demeanor for anything, because it was a small price to pay to be able to share in the most important day in the life of one of my closest friends. And when I awoke from my sleep-deprived trance, my first intelligible thought was:

OH MY GOD, WEDDINGS ARE THE ABSOLUTE BEST.

Duh, Susie. Everybody knows that. What color is the rock you’ve been living under for the last 24 years?

Maybe it’s because 100% of my wedding attendance until this point has been family-related, or because I’ve spent most of my life with the firm belief that I wouldn’t be getting married myself… or maybe it’s just because this wedding had an open bar served delicious tortellini. But whatever the case, the wool has been lifted, and I get it now. Weddings rock.

So without further ado, here are The Five Reasons Weddings Are Basically The Best Thing Ever And We Should All Totally Just Get Married Every Day:

1.) Everybody’s there! It is nothing short of a travesty that weddings are the only event that brings together ALL of our friends and family in one place. Why can’t other life celebrations warrant that kind of gathering? Like I dunno, moving. Or getting a new job. Or finishing a book, or running three miles. Hey everybody! the other day I did laundry and found a $10 bill in a jeans pocket! Hop on a plane, Grandma! We’re having a party!

2.) You get to beee yourself! 

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My favorite part about weddings is that it is a couple’s opportunity to showcase exactly who they are. Wear flip-flops instead of heels under your dress! Have a Mighty Ducks wedding cake! Put all your groomsmen in superhero costumes! Have a choreographed first dance to Baby Got Back! It’s totally and absolutely their day to make whatever memories they want. And that’s awesome!

3.) Putting the Bride and Groom First.also think it’s incredible how selfless people are at weddings. It’s truly a lesson in life – Your #$%! just flat-out doesn’t matter. Which means you drop everything to be there. And you do everything in your physical power to shield the bride from any drama on the day-of. (And whatever it is boys do for the groom.) And if you’re a bridesmaid, you suck it up and wear that totally hideous bridesmaid’s dress without complaint. (not technically applicable for this particular wedding, they were B-E-A-youtiful, but you get the gist.) This is good for us, as humans. We need an excuse to completely abandon our own self-absorbedness. This is their day. 

4.) Love. Because after all, love is all you need. And you can’t buy me love. And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. [INSERT ABSOLUTELY ANY OTHER APPLICABLE LYRIC BECAUSE THE BEATLES ARE THE GREATEST BAND OF ALL TIME] Sorry, I’m back. Basically, I love love. And weddings are just a shmorgishborg of all different kinds of love – romantic love, friend love, family love, friends-of-the-family love… they all come together like the world’s greatest Love Mix CD. And – if my perpetually puffy eyes throughout the entire ceremony and reception are any indicator – I think it’s just wonderful.

5.) Dancing. This is actually a very serious public service announcement: WHAT THE HELL, GUYS. Why aren’t we dancing more?  I feel like dancing is this completely underutilized resource – it has the power to cure any ailment or heal any friendship or yank any wallflower out of shyness. And I only get to do it once or twice a year? This is a problem. A very legitimate, but-really though, I’m-not-messing-around kind of problem. Let’s fix our broken dancing culture like PRONTO.

 

So there you have it. I’m in, I’m hooked, I’m off the wagon. I am wholly and absolutely, head-over-heels addicted to weddings. I’m so obsessed that I’m tempted to start hooking people up just so they can get married and invite me. Then again, maybe I’m not completely over my sleep depravation after all…