I guess we knew this day was coming for a while now—although the two of you have been engaged for less than a year, it was pretty clear from the first conversation I had with Laura after her date with “the opera singer” that you’d be sticking around. And perhaps your knowledge of me did not come as soon as that first date, but now, after years and years of visits, and phone calls, and Facebook bantering, well, I’m sure you’ve resolved I’m probably here for the long haul, too.
So here we are.
Being that you and I are also entering into a life-long commitment together by proxy, I feel it’s only fair, in the interest of full disclosure, to tell you a few things that might have been left out in my and Parr’s stories of the glory days—maybe a few of the more explicit details that might have been left out along the way.
I’ll start by admitting that when I first met your bride-to-be, I was skeptical that we’d ever be friends. It was our freshman year in college and I had been appointed to be treasurer of our class. I took the job very seriously, and was dead-set on coming up with as many lucrative and successful fundraisers as possible.
Our mutual friend, Brian, told me he knew of a girl who would be perfect for helping us in our efforts, and said she was planning on coming to our next meeting. I remember sitting in the corner of the Student Center when Parr appeared, excitedly showing off her prototype for her fundraising idea: a plastic Tupperware container adorned with puffy paint and glitter, with the words “DONATE TO THE CLASS OF 2005!!!” scrawled on the side in bubbly, multicolored letters.
After that meeting, I remember remarking to Norris, “Well, she certainly is enthusiastic…”
It wasn’t until the following year, after running into each other again at the Student Center, that we really officially “clicked” as friends. As we waited for our coffee orders, she told me about her recent study abroad in South Africa, and all of the things she learned while she was there. She still had that same bubbly enthusiasm that I observed when I first met her, but I noticed other things this time around, beyond her new nose stud—she impressed me with her positive, but realistic, point of view, her intelligence, and a dry sense of humor that rivaled my own.
I can’t really recall if there was a moment after that where we officially became “best friends,” or even “friends.” I think with some people, it’s not as simple as all that. Sometimes, unbeknownst to you, that connection happens, and you suddenly are linked to someone for a lifetime without realizing that’s what happening. But something tells me you probably know exactly what I mean.
So in that time since our friendship was established, or not established, Parr has taught me a lot.
She’s made me appreciate the beauty of a fountain soda, and its ability to provide a quick and easy pick-me-up after a particularly long and frustrating day. (Another important lesson she passed on was that, if the day was bad enough, a shot or two of rum made the Coke that much more of a welcomed treat).
You’ll also be glad to know that she’ll make good on the “in sickness and health” part of her new gig.
Although she might keep you busy with all of her exotic ailments—from the infamous “black tongue” disease, to her brief stint with being allergic to the color black—she’s definitely good for returning the favor when you might need some moral, or medical, support.
For example, if you ever find yourself in a situation where celebrate a little too readily during a major social function (say, your college formal senior year) and might have end up rather sick (for argument’s sake, somewhere bordering alcohol poisoning), and you are doggedly sick and disgustingly miserable, you can count on Parr to answer your late-night call and nurse you through the worst 5 hours of your life. She’ll even stop by the next day with some greasy food (once you’re able to eat again), to make sure you’re still alive and make sure you know it’s OK you’re an idiot.
The “in good times and bad” will also inevitably be covered, although I’ll warn you—A “good” time with Parr can sometimes lead to a “bad” time (well, depending on how you view police involvement). I won’t get into details, but I’ll only say they only got involved twice and in both situations, no one got arrested—so maybe they can remain in the “good” category after all.
But there have been bad times that weren’t as easy to laugh off. Since we’ve been friends, the two of us have both dealt with our deal of job frustrations, love disappointments, and painful losses. And although these situations have required us to endure some tearful conversations, it also made me grateful to realize I had someone to talk me through the heartache that inevitably comes within a lifetime—and that, beyond that, maybe we need to deal with that heartache to realize we have the people in our lives to get us through it.
I’m certainly biased, but I’d definitely say you’re making out pretty good in this deal—not only have you locked in a lifelong gig with one of the most caring, loving, and devoted people I know, you’re also marrying into the family I only consider second to mine. Beyond that, you now get to hang out with me, ‘til death do us part, forever and ever. Amen.
So, Ian—on the eve of the momentous day, I just wanted to say Mazel Tov, Cheers, and Congratulations. May you and Parr know all the happiness this world has to offer you both, and may the sun never set on your love.