In September, my long time friend and roomie for 8 years-ish got married in to an amazing guy. I had the blessed privilege to see them sealed together in the Salt Lake City, LDS temple and then join them for a ring ceremony and reception later that day. The entire experience was perfect.
This weekend, I attended the reception of my roommate marrying her boyfriend of two years. It was a simple yet elegant reception with creative treats, a dance floor, and video display of the couple depicting pictures from infancy, through childhood, and finally their journey together. This isn't anything I haven't seen before, but I still found it touching and may have even shed a tear. I'm such a girl... sometimes.
I bring up these two instances because both taught me an incredible yet obvious lesson. Something that probably a lot of you happily married people understand and that all of us single people hope for. But until these last two months, I never really "got it" like I get it now. The lesson is that each of these friends married their best friend. How truly important that actually is! This truly means something to me now. Not only do they love each other - but the like each other too! What a novel idea!.
If any of you know me, and I expect some of you do, you know I'm not much of a "romantic." Okay, I'm not much of a gooey, cheesey, chick flicky, Austonian type who gushes or flaps at her face when boy meets girl. It takes a lot for me to get the twitter-pates and I generally roll my eyes at most expressions of lovey dovey declarations. For me, most of those cinematic depictions of "love" seem so, hollow, contrived, and... well... just plain silliness. I've tried to self-diagnose this very un-girly ailment of mine, and the closest I've come is comparing my twitter-pation of the X-Files and the respective Mulder and Scully relationship and why that gets me going more than most any chick flick you could possibly name. Mulder and Scully have a relationship built on respect, trust, and deep-seeded friendship. Something I truly admire about any relationship. While most chick flicks, well, it's some sort of immediate twitterpation i.e. lust generally based on a false pretense because someone's best friend bet them they couldn't go out with that hot waitress and subsequently turn the ugly duckling into the Prom Queen while accidentally falling in love with the mother. Or perhaps it's the attempt to convey some blinding irrational passion that takes a person's utter most self control to contain the burning desires within that makes me risk rolling my eyes so fair back into my head they'll pop out my butt. "It's like I've taken love heroine?" Oh shut up, Edward. You're such a wuss! Pull it together!
It. Just. Doesn't. Seem. Real.
So the point... I have one...
Marrying your best friend. The two weddings I mentioned above is what it looks like when people have not only a deep love for each other, but a binding friendship and happiness that allows them to be who they are with someone who wants them for who they are. Two complete people melding their lives together, intertwining their individualness into a greater whole. I heard it said once that love isn't taking two of the same and making them fit - it's like taking two different puzzle pieces and fitting them together as part of a greater picture. It's complementing rather than imitating. I could see this "fitting together" in these couple's faces, their photos, their smiles, their jokes. There was nothing contrived or pretended or kitchy... there was nothing of worry or stress about the days activities... it was all grounded in something that will go beyond that one day and stretch into the eternities. It was not a moment floating on a cloud, but a beautiful solid and progressing reality they can grip tightly. To spend your entire life with your best friend, that someone who laughs at your jokes, makes you feel confident at your worst times, isn't afraid to show you they love you, supports your dreams, and gives you wings to fly, is probably one of the greatest blessings we can ever receive on this earth. I feel in this complicated and sometimes oppressing world, with it's 50% divorce rates, abuse, betrayal, and sorrow, starting something off the right way is key to cultivating something that will beat the statistics and add joy to your life more than it adds any sort of sadness. Starting that off the right way, in seeking a best friend first, is an excellent way to go about it. For the first time in my life, I actually finally get what it means to marry your best friend - someone who is true to themselves, true to you, and allows you to be true to yourself. I'd say if there's a recipe for forever, that's a good one.
Congratulations and best of happiness to my friends who married their best friends! And thanks for helping me understand that I'm not a cold-hearted bag, I just find more love in sharing jokes than sharing spit.
To end with a quote (thanks, E for sharing!):
"What really matters is that he will love you, that he will respect you, that he will honor you, that he will be absolutely true to you, that he will give you the freedom of expression and let you fly in the development of your own talents. He is not going to be perfect, but if he is kind and thoughtful, if he knows how to work and earn a living, if he is honest and full of faith, the chances are you will not go wrong, that you will be immensely happy.”
- President Gordon B Hinckley