When your best friend is falling in love, you want to hear every sweet, sappy thing. You want to know that the object of her affection values her as much as you do and understands how lucky he is to be dating such a girl. Every little gesture, told through email, text or phone, about how he sent her flowers, or paid for her drink, about how she cooked for him, or they spent a quiet evening on the couch watching a movie, each little story begins to illustrate the relationship. I’m not sure I remember the exact email when she said she had met someone new, but I remember the anticipation of their first official date. I remember talking on the phone as she described him. I remember how her eyes had a twinkle by New Years and how the corners of her lips turned up ever so slightly every time she said his name when we skyped. I remember hearing about how they texted each other every night when they were separated during the holidays, visiting friends.
I remember remembering the start of my own love affair ten years ago. The late night phone calls, the silly New Year’s jokes as we talked when the clock struck midnight on the east coast, and again in central time. I remember the lightness inside me that I didn’t know if anyone else could see.
My friend and object of her affection didn’t jump right to boyfriend and girlfriend. They waited awhile, preferring to stretch out that early period of bliss. They didn’t throw around L words before they wanted to, preferring to use cutesy terms like ‘puppy luv’ and the incredibly accurate ‘smitten’. My friend was the first to say "I love you." As her friends squealed like school girls she shrugged and in her perfect way explained her decision to use the three biggest words in the English Language: “It’s true.”
By the time I visited in March and we met the man who swept our friend off her feet, it was clear that this was something special. We were seeing something beautiful and important unfold in front of our eyes.
Not everyone falls in Love. Not everyone is smitten with their partner. In the world at large, I believe these things to be a rarity. More precious than gold or oil and more rare than the gemstones buried beneath our feet. I believe love is a gift to be treasured. To see such a gift, to watch my friend falling in love, to be a witness to the wonder, reminded me to treasure the special guy in my own life.
When I fell in Love, I fell fast, it was puzzle pieces clicking together, and we’ve been together ever since. After ten years, it’s easy to feel the routine. I still dwell in bliss, and I’m still grateful every day for my husband, but I forgot the miracle. I forgot how incredible it is that we found each other. I forgot the wonder. Luckily, my friend was there to remind me.
In June my best friends and I sat at a small town bar, raising our voices over the jukebox as we sipped from our bottles of beer and talked about relationships. We talked about how quickly things sometimes move, and how they don’t seem quick at all. We talked about steps and future conversations. We talked about all the things you talk to your girlfriends about. And my friend sat there and told us how happy she was, how in love she was, and then she turned to me and said “Are you really going to cry right now?” But when your best friend is in love, when you’re reminded of all the wonder and beauty in the world, when the joy rises in your chest, really, what else can you do but shed a tear in joy and thankfulness.