Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen
mrissa

last weekend's groom

I'm not sure if this is an only child thing or what, but I find it very important to have people around who remember what I was like, especially if they are reasonably clear that I am not like that now (in the cases where I am not, in fact, like that now). Jim and I are more or less the quintessential case of that for each other: we remember each other's worst haircuts and fashion disasters, past obsessions and struggles. When Jim was deciding to go into the law instead of engineering, I said in philosophic tones, "Well, you never really did like fractions." And Jim said, "No, I didn't. Hey! I didn't! I'm going to tell my dad you said that." (The elder Jim is way past "reconciled to not having an engineer for a son" and into "delighted to have an attorney." So that's all right then.)

It is good to have somebody who knows you never liked fractions. It is good to have somebody who knows you always liked French toast. It is good to have someone who knows you used to like Garfield cartoons but have kind of moved past that now. And it is good when some of those somebodies are around voluntarily. It's different with family. Not necessarily better or worse, but different. We had a slightly rough patch in junior high, but we came out of it because it was silly, really, and why bother with something like who didn't talk to whom in the seventh grade when we have all the rest? And now here's someone with whom I made Frog and Toad puppets, someone who came tumbling down the tornado slide right after me, someone who was in the first play I wrote, someone who bought me a stuffed dolphin with his very own allowance -- and there he was in his tux, a real grown-up doing well in his chosen profession, marrying the woman he loves. And I got to dance with him and hug him and tell him how very happy I was, and I got to mean it with all my heart.

(One of my biggest "single event" regrets from my Year Of Sick last year was that I didn't get to dance with scottjames at his wedding. He had a dance, but by the time they got to the dancing part, I was faceplanted into my hotel pillow. I barely made it through the cutting of the cake. I know he's not mad at me, and I'm not really mad at myself because there wasn't anything I could do -- it was come for a short part of the reception or for none at all, because I just didn't have the physical capabilities for the whole thing. But it's something I can never fix. There is no do-over on this. Another big "single event" regret from the YoS was missing Andrew's wedding completely. It was the right decision not to go, but someone very dear to me had a very important day in his life that I missed, and I can't undo that. So I'm very glad not to have added to the list here.)

Our culture thinks that "boy meets girl" ends in marriage or tragedy. If it was a movie, the soft-focus golden meeting of the little girl with the blonde braids and the little boy with the bowl-cut hair on the first day of kindergarten would end with them marrying. Why else would you show the scene? But there are different ways for a scene like that to be important. Sometimes the ending for "boy meets girl" is "boy and girl thoroughly approve of each other's partners, have coffee when they are in town, keep in touch on e-mail, keep and value each other's friendship until the end of their days." And sometimes that's a very satisfying ending indeed.
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