Wednesday, May 17, 2006

My buddy, my buddy...

Last weekend, Jeremy and I faced a moment of truth: The meeting of the parents! (Cue dramatic "dum dum dummmm...")

We weren't nervous at all, but we knew the meeting was a big deal. Jeremy's mom and dad have met my mom and step-dad before, but this was the first time they'd be meeting my dad and step-mom, not to mention the rest of our extended family.

Whether we had anything to be nervous about or not, it was a bit nerve-wracking. After all, first impressions are very important, and difficult to forget.

Much to our delight, our parents got along well. Almost too well. Actually, more like long-lost best friends.

The parents sat out back chatting, having smokes and beers and chit-chatting about everything from the weather to high school. And the conversation never halted. They talked all through our engagement party, all through dinner that night, and even when Jeremy's parents came to pick us up in the morning.

What's funny, though, is that the conversation never seemed to veer towards the one thing bringing us all together: Our wedding. In fact, I don't think I heard mine or Jeremy's names mentioned the entire night.

It was nice to see our parents become friends, not because they had to, or because they felt obligated to accept each other as family, but because they genuinely enjoyed each others' company.

As we go forward with the wedding, and with the rest of our lives, I am not sure how intertwined our lives will all be. But it is nice to know that when we need someone, we'll have not two parents, or even four, but six on our side, all working together for us and for fun.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Every cook will tell you that...

Meshing groups of people who have never met can be a tricky business. By the end of this wedding process, I will either be an absolute master, or a total failure.

My whole life has pretty much been an experiment in juggling eggs. Having visited and lived in so many different places, I have made several groups of friends, each as special as all of the others.

During my bachelorette party in October, one of two things is bound to happen: Either we all make omelets, or I wind up cleaning a lot of broken shells.

So far, the groups I'm dealing with will consist of my Disney friends, family members, Naples friends, Stuart friends and college friends. And, possibly, friends of friends (that addition to the web makes my head ache). This list doesn't even include high school friends, most of whom probably wouldn't even believe who I am now, compared to then, anyway.

First, there's my Disney friends. This is a group of girls who saw me at my absolute wildest. They know me as a party girl. Someone who is always up for action. Someone who probably has no business getting married. (Thankfully, I've changed a bit!)

Then there's the Naples crew. Here, I am often referred to as "Jeremy's girlfriend/fiancee." It's strange for me, because I have always been the dominant person in relationships. Usually, everyone knows me, and I know everyone else, and Jeremy is often along for the ride. But here, I'm sort of quiet and domesticated. The kind of girl who will skip a night at the bar to stay home and cuddle with a significant other.

The Stuart group knows a bit of both worlds. They've done shooters with me on Sunday nights before having to go to work Monday. But they've also missed me at parties, because I was over on the other coast visiting Jeremy. They get a glimpse of both sides, and I'm sure it can get pretty confusing for them.

College is another story entirely. My college friends have met Jeremy a few times, and, of course, they think he's perfect for me. But I think some of them still have a hard time picturing me in a settled relationship.

At the last wedding I attended before our engagement, two of my friends were talking about the wedding we were at, and how natural it seemed for our friend to be married. Then they turned the topic to me, and how strange it will be to see me walk down the aisle. It wasn't meant in a mean way at all. They've just known me as an independent, free-floater for so long, and they don't know Jeremy all that well, so it's hard to imagine me on the brink of matrimony.

Plus, early on in our friendships, my friends learned to write down my address in pencil. Staying grounded has never really been "my thing." But as I now have more than one person to consider, it's going to have to become "my thing." Tough beans.

Finally, there's the family unit. These people have seen me through every stage of my life. They loved me when I cried, because I thought my dad was an alcoholic (for having ONE BEER!), and they supported me on my 21st birthday when I didn't know that tequila and vodka don't mix.

They remember me as a shy, little girl, who never wanted to talk to anyone, and they know me as an outgoing friend, who is always eager to talk to a nice person. They've seen the drama, participated in the healing, and, most importantly, they know that I'll be a great wife, because I will have a great husband.

At my bachelorette party, my friends will meet for the first time, which would have come to pass someday anyway, I'm sure. They, like I, will have two choices: omelets as a family, or egg shells on the floor.

Personally, I'd rather crack them, and mix them all together now than walk on them forever.