This summer I celebrated a new milestone. The daughter of a high school friend (note: she's not in high school anymore) got married. For the first time, instead of being friends with the bride or groom, I was a friend of the Mother of the Bride (MOB).
With the two other "girls" from our former fearless foursome, we descended upon sunny Milwaukee from both coasts. Arriving in time for the rehearsal dinner festivities, I spotted Mrs. K., my friend's mom -- the proud Grandmother of the Bride (GOB). Mrs. K. had prematurely silver hair back when I was in high school, and appeared now just as energetic and smiling as ever in her mid-eighties. I headed straight over for my mom-hug fix. "Mrs. K., you look just the same! But, well, how do I put this tactfully? What happened to your sons?"
Sure, the MOB, my other two girlfriends, and I look exactly the same as we did in that photograph we took the summer after our high school graduation, when we got dressed up to go out together to a restaurant that had tablecloths and everything. But my friend's brothers, who I last saw in the early 80's, somehow changed into men in their 50's. What's more, they have middle-aged wives.
Later that evening in my hotel room, I checked the mirror. Nope. I definitely still look the same. Whew.
In the hotel elevator in the morning on the way to breakfast, my girlfriends and I ran into a few people in their twenties. Idle chitchat discovered them to be groomsmen and bridesmaids. They were pleasant, polite, and friendly young people, but we could tell they weren’t thinking “Hey, let’s party together later, OK?”.
With our husbands back at home tending to the chaos we call our lives, we gave a ride to the church to a couple of college buddies of the Father of the Bride (the FOB, of course). We had lots in common with these two guys, which was weird, because like the MOB’s brothers, they also were men in their 50's.
Apparently we had met them before, along with the FOB’s sisters, back in the 80’s at the wedding of the FOB and MOB. None of us remembered meeting each other at all, but we all pretended we did. “It’s great to see you again.”
The wedding was beautiful, complete with a radiant bride, charming groom, and even a hip priest. But wait – who is that giving away the bride? My high school friend’s husband? Strange… oh, I remember. He’s the FOB, and that’s what a FOB does. How odd he is my friend’s husband, and not my friend’s parent.
The wedding reception was terrific fun. Seated with my girlfriends and the FOB’s college buddies, those twenty-something people had nothing on the partying going down at our table. Did they do a 30 minute riff tossing out lines from Young Frankenstein? I think not. Did they compare the complimentary soap bubbles and wands to the bong collection of that dude down the hall at college? I hope not. Did they show each other pictures of their amazingly beautiful and talented high school and college-aged children? Hardly.
We were also not to be outdanced by those twenty-somethings. The eclectic playlist jumped from "Blue-suede Shoes" to "Thriller" to "Wild Thing" to "Born to Run" to "Shout". Harrumph. What could those kids possibly know about these classics? OK, fine -- I’ll grant that on the “little bit softer” part of “Shout”, they were just a wee bit closer to the floor than we were.
And so what if they continued dancing an extra hour or two, while my girlfriends and the buddies, now joined by the MOB and FOB themselves, relaxed with each other in the way you can only relax when you are with your friends of 35+ years?
We were the last to leave (Ha! So there, you twenty-somethings!). We didn’t want to say goodbye. But among us girls, we are looking forward to six more weddings of our amazing, beautiful, and talented children, who are, or will soon be, young adults.
As are we.