11/14/16

A wedding toast.

This weekend, my oldest friend got married. As her maid of honor, here's what I had to say about it :)

I’m going to kick this off with a few numbers, because honestly, it wouldn’t be a toast to an engineer and a computer scientist without some numbers involved. 

So here they are: 9. That’s the number of months we lived before Rachel and I met. 10. That’s the number of years we went, believing we just might be twins (we have a theme song to prove it). 1. That’s the number of friends Rachel and I had for those ten years, for obvious reasons. 167. That’s the approximate number of poems we co-wrote together. 4. That’s the number of times I cried when we decided to attend different colleges. And 1,569. That’s roughly how many times I checked my phone while Rachel and Chris were on their bike trip, waiting to hear if Chris had proposed. 

This doesn’t make me an expert on friendship or popularity or really anything that holds up against the standards of “cool” - but it does make me an expert on Rachel.

Rachel is a rare mix of sweetness and fearlessness – the person everyone wants to be friends with and a force to be reckoned with. In middle school (once we had a couple more friends), we consistently recruited Rachel to break bad news to a teacher or make the case for a field trip that was loosely based on what we were studying. She used what to this day we call her “doe-eyed look”. And it worked! Ask us about our field trip to the Chinese buffet.

Rachel was always the first person on the bike, on the skates, on the ball. The first to join a hockey team full of guys, the first to speak up for what’s right. The person who calmed my nerves before every recital and orchestra concert and the person who decided it was a fine idea to put someone in a large plastic bin and toboggan them down the stairs. Whose fearless pursuit of her professional dreams is only matched by her fearless pursuit of adventure.

But unlike many fearless people, Rachel isn’t impulsive. When she first started seeing Chris, she was quiet about it, and took her time - which is how I knew this was serious. Watching her grow to love and care for Chris has been one of my greatest privileges as her friend. It’s brought out the very best in her.

I had read that, often, people find life partners that have characteristics similar to those of their closest friends. Which is why, when I met Chris, I expected him to be a lot bossier, very talkative and maybe a little less interested in outdoor sports. But Chris, while our differences outweigh our similarities, I’m glad that we can agree on this: life with Rachel is a great adventure, and one I wouldn’t miss for the world.

50 years from now, the two of you will no doubt have biked all of the trails available to bike, and eaten lots of donuts along the way. Chris, you will have stopped using the word “intense” around Rachel, knowing that, each time, she will inevitably ask “you know what else is intense?” (Camping). You will have seen Rachel show off the shopping cart on the dance floor too many times to count. And you will have spent a lot of time trying to figure out how a girl who rocked a bowl cut until she was eight years old and sported a gray tankini to her first boy-girl party could grow up to be so fiercely cool.

I’m eager to see how you both grow and take on new challenges as husband and wife in the years to come – as long as it doesn’t take you too far away from me.

I’ll always be cheering you on from the sidelines, and I couldn’t ask for a better match for my oldest and dearest friend. This kind of love is worth celebrating. Raise your glasses to the most beautiful bride and groom. I love you guys. 

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