I'm packing the last of my stuff for The Big Move, which started today with Rich's stuff while I worked away through one of the longer and more boring days ever to come down the pike. I just packed my formal stuff...a salmon colored dress I wore to winter ball at Sequoia with some small particles of dirt still clinging to the train, the "CJ Craig dress" from the ball at the Kennedy Center, the black velvet sheath from a dance at Union Station. And of course, the dress I wore in my best friends' wedding. Two colors of green...a celadon and a sage, really, but online it was called sage, and that fits better somehow.
Almost four full months ago, a wedding happened that at various times I thought was amazing, ill-advised, too soon, spectacular, and surreal. Friends of mine, getting married. Unreal.
Almost four full years had passed in our little circle of friends when June 3rd rolled around, and it had been busy with fallings-in and fallings-out. With Spinnaker down in Annapolis with a thousand rules on his activities and me busy getting into everything I could, there were fewer moments with him compared to the months I spent here with Anna Karenina over coffees and shots and chai, but they all stand out. Watching him in a uniform strolling around a WWII memorial in the nighttime in late September, 11 days after September 11th and many years after all of the men listed on those grounds had given their lives...going to Arlington National Cemetery in flipflops on the Metro, he in a uniform and I in a suit on a blazing sunny Memorial Day...every Hawaiian shirt he owned wandering in the door at one point or another...all of the little moments that there's no real reason to remember, but you do anyway.
And then there's my Anna, my best friend, whose ups and downs mirrored mine, and who got the jokes I played off of hers. Wine downed, shots put down, coffee sipped, chai smelt. It's all there, even less significant in terms of grand drama than the sweet small moments with Spinnaker, but just as important somehow. I was rich in those times for the months when we were both here, and even now, with Skeezix in my life and plenty to fill the theoretical gap, it's still not empty, but not quite the same.
So it got to The Day...the flowers prepared and the family corralled and driving each other nuts, the last minute stuff tended to and the panic setting in. She looked so beautiful, just like a fairy princess right there in my living room, flopped on the couch with a thousand yards of fabric trailing out from her throne. I don't know how her mom held it together so well. The ceremony was gorgeous, and I walked down the aisle with one of my best friends. I wonder if all weddings feel so much to the bridesmaids and ushers that they are there to give their friends to each other. I feel like it's unlikely. We are so lucky to have the friends we do, for all the fluctuations in closeness and physical proximity. I cried, I danced, I drank, we toasted, and then it was all over, just like that.
And now here I am, misty again, missing my friends and packing away a sage green bridesmaid's dress.
I am blessed.