My maid of honor speech — at least, the written draft:
Like any good maid of honor speech, I’m starting off with an anecdote.
(Bear with me on this one – at least this anecdote involves us jumping out of a plane.)
I should just jump ahead and say that it was a skydiving plane, for skydiving purposes. It wasn’t like we were on a commercial jet and decided, “YOLO.”
But that’s just what we did the summer after our freshman year of college. And it all came about as we were driving around the shorelines in our hometown area south of Boston, reliving the days when we would do this practically every evening and weekend in high school. I forget exactly who proposed the idea at first, but I do remember the conversation going a little something like this:
“Do you want to go skydiving?”
“Yeah, sure. Let’s do that.”
And, with that, we turned the car around, drove back to her house, got online to find a skydiving (because this was before smartphones back in the dark ages when you had to find a computer to access the internet), found a skydiving place, and made a reservation that day.
Two weeks later, we jumped out of a plane.
In many ways, that embodies our friendship. We have been the Thelma to each other’s Louise, only somehow we keep making it out okay every time our car goes off the proverbial cliff. From when we were middle school kids who felt like such adults because we got Slurpees at the 7-11, to high school kids who felt like such adults because we drove cars and had part-time jobs, to college kids who felt like such adults because we were in control of what we did with our days, to present-day, thirtysomething adults, who look at the real world and go, “Oh damn. THIS is what it feels like to be an adult.” – with the grim realization that being an adult is not as light as grabbing Slurpees and working on the weekends and waking up in time for 9 a.m. Survey of English Lit 1 class.
But that’s been the bedrock of our dynamic. Even when our lives started going in completely opposite directions – as I moved north of Boston and she moved West – we were still the Thelma to the other’s Louise. Facebook chat and weekday evening phone calls replaced our drives through Cohasset and Hull, but that didn’t stop us from being on the same wavelength, weirdly living lives that were simultaneously parallel and complete opposite. That didn’t stop us turning to each other when live got amazing, stressful, difficult, wonderful, or just all around heavy.
That included turning to each other during the highs and lows of our romantic lives – and how, even when we were clearly living those two different lives, our situations would parallel each other in beautiful synchronistic ways.
The first thing I noticed when Jess told me about Brian was how differently she talked about him. In the 22 years I had known her, I had never heard her talk about a guy like that before. The energy was different, her tone was different. It was the tone of someone who had found her person, her Capital P Person. And flying out to Chicago and meeting him in person only solidified that this was different, this was special.
And when she told me that she knew this was the person she was going to marry – that he was indeed her Capital P Person – and how beautiful and wonderful and outright terrifying such a revelation was, all I could think was:
“Thelma, you got this.”
I once heard marriage likened to jumping out of a plane together, hand-in-hand and hoping for the best. And all I have to say to that is — first — you already have experience doing exactly that, so you’re golden. And secondly, I don’t think there is a more perfect partner to be jumping in tandem with.
To an amazing woman, to an absolutely beautiful couple, and to many, many happy years together.