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the difficult one.

17 Aug

“A man who drinks too much on occasion is still the same man as he was sober. An alcoholic, a real alcoholic, is not the same man at all. You can’t predict anything about him for sure except that he will be someone you never met before.”

Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye

The following is an account of my life over the past year (January 2013-February 2014). I’ve finally decided it’s time to stop hiding, stop being embarrassed, and to start being strong. I’m writing this with the hope that it may help someone someday.

First, I for some reason feel the need to start with this: he is a good person. He really is. He just has a lot of demons and issues that he is not strong enough or mature enough to deal with and I decided I couldn’t help him anymore if he wasn’t willing to help himself. He is, whether he will admit it or not, an alcoholic. He has bad days. He has bad weeks. But he also has good days and good weeks, and I think the good times were what kept me hanging on so long.

The first time I remember it really being bad was on my birthday last year. We’d only been together for about two months at that point, but things were getting really serious. We were in love. He was supposed to be making a homemade dinner for me that night. I’d requested fried chicken and mashed potatoes, my favorite meal. He went out to “get a few drinks with the boys” after work. Shortly before he was supposed to be picking me up, he called. He was drunk, wandering around outside, and didn’t know where he was. I was scared and had no way of helping him. How he had gotten that drunk in such a short amount of time was baffling to me. He eventually got a hold of his roommate who found him and helped him pick up KFC for dinner. At least I got my chicken.

It was around this time that I really started to notice that everything involved drinking. Evening plans always included “grabbing a drink”. Sunday more often than not turned into Sunday Funday. A game of Mario Kart on the Wii turned into a game of drunk driver with the goal being to finish an entire beer before the end of each race. Brunch was often accompanied by mimosas, even at home. Watching a movie on TV, more often than not, could not be completed without 5 or 6 or 7 beers. Friday lunches at work involved one or two margaritas made specially for him in pint glasses so they looked like lemonade and wouldn’t tip off any co-workers who might be in the restaurant. He made friends with bartenders everywhere.

On the day of the marathon bombings, we were on a train headed into the city when we heard the news. Public transportation was shut down for a while. We were stranded and scared and ended up at a bar just to get off the street. He was already buzzed from a party we went to earlier and started drinking more because he was scared. When we finally left and decided to try to make it home, he couldn’t walk. He fell down, face first, on the sidewalk. People were staring, but no one offered to help. I tried to pick him up. I yelled at him to get up. I tried to just walk away, but I couldn’t. He finally got on his feet and I was able to drag him into our office building (luckily we were right across the street and had our keys with us) where we stayed for a few hours (him passed out, me scavenging around the office for a phone charger) until his roommate could come get us. It took two people to get him outside, into the car, and into his apartment.

Of course, there were times when everything was fine and I’d wonder if I was the one with the issue- was I too uptight? Could I not let loose and have fun? Was he really not drinking as much as I thought he was? He’d go several days without drinking. He’d decide, on his own, that he wanted to drink less or even quit drinking for a week or a month. That would never last, but I always thought “it’s the thought that counts”. It didn’t help that time spent with his friends always included drinking- at a bar, at someone’s house, at a party. I’d get frustrated because I didn’t understand why no one else could see the problem. I guess I noticed it more because I was the one living with it.  I started to withdraw from social events. I was too embarrassed or scared to take him out for fear he’d get drunk. We’d only see my friends for important things (weddings, birthdays), but those usually ended badly (which I was always embarrassed about and still am). We’d fight all the time, and that of course wouldn’t fix anything. I’d be mad that he drank too much; he’d get defensive when I tried to talk about his drinking. I’d stop drinking in an effort to get him to stop. It never worked.

His drinking was often related to stress and anxiety. He had a horribly difficult and stressful job (that he once quit via text message while drunk, and then sent an “lol, just kidding” text to unquit) for a while that made his drinking worse. I hoped that once he left that awful place, he’d get better. He didn’t. I’d sit at home after work, hoping that he’d had a good day and wouldn’t drink that evening. If he came home and started drinking, I’d walk on eggshells, hoping he’d pass out after a few beers so I wouldn’t have to take care of him or get into a fight with him or accidentally say something to make him drink more.

The bad days just started adding up. He’d call me not knowing where he was. He’d call me from a bar, asking me to come pick him up, and then refuse to come outside when I got there. He’d take a taxi home after getting kicked out of a bar and refuse to come inside, preferring to sit in the snow on the front steps.

One time he left on a Saturday to go to Home Depot and called me an hour later as he was driving to his hometown to “pick up some painting supplies” from his house. He doesn’t have a good relationship with his parents and has a relative who owns a liquor store. He saw that relative and was given free alcohol. He finally drove home and decided to back into the driveway, hitting and knocking down part of our neighbor’s retaining wall in the process. When I got outside to inspect the damage, there were open beer bottles in the car. It cost us $500 to fix the wall.

He got super wasted at a bar after work once and decided to ride his bike home…after he finally remembered where he’d locked it up. His friends couldn’t get him to change his mind. I took the bus home and waited outside, worrying, picturing him in an accident, until he came weaving up the street.

He picked my mom and me up from the airport after we’d had an exhausting day of travel. I could tell he was drunk when he arrived and I ended up driving home after being awake for 24 hours. There were open beer bottles in the car again that night.

He claimed he was ok to drive home one night after we had to leave one of my best friend’s birthday parties early because of him and almost killed us by running a red light.

Some nights he would have hallucinations. You’d be talking to him, having as cohesive a conversation as you can have with someone who is drunk, and he’d look at you and, out of the blue, ask when you got there and where he’d just been. He’d get frustrated when you’d say “We’ve been here all night” and he’d insist that he’d been walking out on the street or had just been abducted by aliens. One night he told me there were three aliens inside of him trying to get out. I did not sleep well that night.

He lost multiple phones during drunken taxi rides. One night he decided to dig my car out of a snowbank after a storm and when he couldn’t re-park it in the cleaned out spot, he took off speeding down the road. I heard a crash. When he got back, I asked him what had happened. He said nothing. I walked down the street to find that he had hit a car and broken the tail light. The damage to my car was worse.  He told me he thought the car had been a snowbank. He fell down on several more occasions after the first time, one night on a sidewalk full of people. He then started banging his head on a street sign.

On nights when he was really depressed, he’d threaten to kill himself. I’d threaten to call the cops or an ambulance. I never did, but I probably should have.

Every morning after one of these incidents, he either didn’t remember anything that happened or he’d apologize profusely or he’d turn it around on me. He once told me that he’d never stop drinking because I’d made him change so many things about himself that drinking was the only thing he had left. I don’t remember “making him change” anything besides asking, begging, pleading him to stop drinking.

I never thought I’d be one of those girls who stays in an emotionally and mentally, but never physically, abusive relationship, but I loved him. Well, more specifically, I loved who he was when he wasn’t drinking. He was thoughtful. He was funny and could always make me laugh. He’s the kind of person who can make friends anywhere. He’s very smart.  We had fun together. I thought we were going to spend our lives together.

We’d have constructive conversations sometimes when he was sober. We’d talk about the fact that his drinking worried him. We’d discuss him stopping. We’d talk about rehab. Nothing ever panned out.

On Thanksgiving, he was bored and decided getting drunk would fix that. He started saying embarrassing things in front of my parents and we had a huge fight. That was when I started to reach out to my mom for help. She was the first person I told about our problems. I was so sick of hiding.

Things were OK for a while after that- not great, but OK. Then I started suspecting that he was drinking after work before coming home and not telling me. I found a few empty liquor bottles hidden in his closet and he found a backpack full of beer that he didn’t remember putting there. I found an empty bottle in his work bag. And then came the last straw. He was supposed to be coming home for dinner and instead texted me that he was staying late to get work done. I called him in his office and he didn’t answer. I texted him and he called back. Oh, no, he wasn’t staying at work. He was “working” in a bar. Great. He got super drunk at the bar because he’d had a stressful day, had to have the manager call me from his phone because he was too drunk to figure it out. The manager put him in a cab, but he got out of the cab at some point and called me wandering around. I went to find him and he refused to come home, so I left him, in the cold and snow, sitting in a doorway of a hardware store. He eventually came home and then got irrationally angry at me when I asked him if he wanted leftover pizza heated up or cold.

I guess I finally got fed up enough to end it. I got sick of being yelled at. I got sick of being worried about him constantly.  I finally realized that things were not going to get better. I finally realized that I was alienating myself from my friends, and life in general. I was stressed out all the time and gained 25-30 pounds in less than a year.  I’d also gotten myself into a fair amount of debt trying to help him get his life organized, which I know is not my responsibility. I was always just trying to help him. I do love him and I care about his well being, but our relationship was unhealthy. He would never admit that alcohol is the problem- he always thought he had it under control and it was other parts of his life (sometimes me) that were making him drink. I want him to get well, but he has to admit to his problem and he has to do it on his own.

The hardest part right now is trying to figure out how to disentangle our lives. Neither of us can afford to live alone, so he’s sleeping in his office. It’s not an ideal situation. I don’t think he’d ever hurt me, but I’m scared he’ll come home drunk and angry one night and barge into my room or something. I’ve had offers from friends to stay with them, but I don’t want to be in a different environment right now, you know? I want my stuff. I also don’t want to leave him alone in the apartment and have him get belligerent and just start breaking things. I don’t know that he would, but it’s a possibility if he got angry enough, I guess.

So, that’s where I am. I’m sad. I’m angry. I’m feeling lost. But I also know I’ve made the right choice. And I know why I’ve been anti-social for the past year and why I was stressed out and depressed all the time. I’m embarrassed for having been “that girl”- the girl in a bad relationship who won’t get out of it. The girl who makes excuses for her boyfriend. The girl who just keeps thinking it will get better.

The first time he left the apartment after I ended it- went out of town for the night; wasn’t going to stumble in at 2 am- I felt like a weight had been lifted off my chest. I could fill my lungs up with air, really expand them, for the first time in months.

Part of me, the vain part, wants to know what he’s telling people. I want to know if he’s saying bad things, blaming me for the break-up, or if he’s telling the truth. I know I don’t really have a right to that information- his friends are HIS friends and he can tell them what he wants. But another part of me wants to know what his friends know so they can help him and be supportive. I, physically and mentally, cannot help him anymore, but I hope someone can. I hope he can get past his embarrassment and frustration and reach out for help.

I’m crying less lately which is good. It’s still sad. It still sucks.  I’m taking it one day at a time, which is all I can really do, I guess. I’m getting stronger.

The above was written in March and April of 2014 with a few recent additions before posting. He moved out in May of 2014. I have been much healthier and happier since then. I wouldn’t say that we are friends, nor do we see each other often, but we are cordial. We still share a phone plan, which is difficult.  Since everything ended, he has been diagnosed with a mental disorder that, while explaining a lot of his behavior, does not excuse any of it and does not change how I feel.  

Song of the Day: Between the Bars by Elliott Smith

 

april showers…oh, wait, it’s may…

29 May

Guys, I need to come clean about something:

I hate taking showers.

See what I did there? [insert winky face emoji here]

Most people look at me like I’m crazy when I say that, as it is a normal part of many people’s daily routines and they don’t even think twice about it. I know that many people need a shower to wake up or who can’t go to sleep without a thorough rinsing. I even know some people who shower at night and again in the morning. I understand all that. I just don’t subscribe to any of it, because:

  1. I hate having wet hair and then having to blow dry said wet hair, which is a necessity for me. Air dried hair = no bueno. Not that I wash my hair every time I shower….oh, no no. Lately, I’ve been going 2 to 3 to mayyyyyybe 4 days in between washes. I’m sure my mother is cringing right now. Dry shampoo is my new BFF and I buy it in bulk. I also have an awesome rubber duckie shower cap to prevent any hairs from catching an errant spray of water.
  2. I hate having to put on lotion (which unfortunately is another necessity- albeit a recent one – for me after a shower). Lotion makes me feel sticky and sweaty, even if I’m not sweating, and I HATE IT….especially when it’s hot outside. It always seems to take hours and hours to absorb and it makes putting on clothes and walking around very difficult.
  3. I dislike hot water. It makes me nauseous and makes breathing hard for me. I do realize that showers don’t need to be hot…so, I take lukewarm showers in the winter and then end up freezing when I get out of the shower. This is really just a winter complaint. I take cold showers in the summer. Those are tolerable.
  4. I find the whole process  of showering, in general, very tedious and I’d much rather get the extra sleep than get up early/stay up late to shower (or both- I went to bed at 8:15 the other night and didn’t get up until 7:20 am- I like my sleep).

Now, before you get totally grossed out and start to feel bad for everyone I ride the bus with- I obviously shower when it is called for! If I’ve worked out and am really sweaty (that happens like twice a year; let’s be honest), I will shower . If I’m physically dirty, I will shower. If I’ve gone to the beach and had to wear sunscreen and went into the ocean or a lake, I will shower. But, if all I did was sit at my desk all day…I’ll skip my shower the next morning.

I used to wonder if I actually was gross…and then my favorite news source, BuzzFeed, published this article. It made me feel so much better about myself- it’s actually good for my skin to not shower every day! And, obvi, I wash my face (twice daily!) and wear clean underwear every day…you know, when I’m actually wearing underwear

Sometimes I get to Sunday night at the end of a lazy weekend and have to think long and hard about the last time I showered (Thursday morning) and decide if I should really shower before bed or if I should just let myself go and wait until Monday morning.

I’m really good at just letting myself go (written whilst shoveling peanut M&Ms into my face).

Song of the Day: Coming Clean by Hilary Duff. Yeah, I went there.

Adulting Is Hard.

25 Mar

I recently participated in a program where I needed to submit a semi-professional sounding bio. Guys, I struggled with this. S.T.R.U.G.G.L.E.D. The one sentence I could get down went something like: “Bethany is from Vermont, but now she lives in Boston.” So exciting and descriptive! I recently turned 31. I should have things in my life to write about that sound important and make me seem like a responsible adult!

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So, my mom ended up writing one for me that was truthful, not boring, and highlighted some of my better accomplishments in life. I was very grateful for that, because if I had continued writing mine, it would have gone something like this:

“Bethany is from Vermont, but now she lives in Boston. Don’t ask her how to get anywhere in Boston or where any landmarks are located because she won’t know. She once had to use GPS to figure out where she was while out for a leisurely stroll in her neighborhood.  She drives home to Vermont a gazillion times a year and should probably just move back there already. She enjoys binge watching television shows on Netflix, eating toast, and doing jigsaw puzzles. She generally dislikes watching movies unless there is popcorn, Diet Coke, and peanut M&Ms involved. She recently started taking fiber supplements, and it was life altering.

Bethany often involuntarily takes 3 hour long naps sometime during the hours of 7:00 pm and 11:00 pm. She was recently prescribed reading glasses and her next pair of regular glasses will be bifocals. She often dreams about dinosaurs and/or giving birth. She has never seen Lost, Breaking Bad, or Frozen and refuses to change that situation, although she’ll probably give in someday just like she did with reading Fifty Shades of Grey. She is currently in between hair colors.

Bethany sometimes spends extended periods of time having deep conversations with her fish, Mac, while also trying to pet him. She’s clearly forgotten about the time her other fish bit her. She often thinks about going for a run or doing some yoga, but then eats a cupcake instead. She found out at the age of 18 that she had been tying her shoelaces incorrectly her whole life. That information was a game changer for her. She holds a respectable full-time job at a respectable institution, but she worries daily that her uncontrollable facial expressions will give away her extreme dislike for meetings whilst in a meeting and that she will be reprimanded.  She has no fuzzy pets of her own, but will gladly watch yours for you, anytime. She promises not to kidnap it. She reads approximately 17.5 blogs daily, but seldom updates her own. She has never done her own taxes (thanks, Mom!). She always enjoys oversharing and a good game of Cards Against Humanity. She is often in need of a lint roller. ”

Song of the Day: Ain’t It Fun by Paramore

Snow. Snow. Snow.

13 Feb

So, yeah. I live in Boston. In case you haven’t heard, we’ve gotten a lot of snow recently…like, over 6 feet of snow fell in 17 days or something ridiculous like that. My neighborhood is basically a maze of snow tunnels and the snowbanks are taller than me. Multiple lane roads are down at least half a lane, many sidewalks are just wide enough for one person, and don’t even get me started on the bus stops. There’s a crap ton of snow on the ground and literally nowhere to put it. Oh, and we’re getting another storm this weekend. Joy.

Today I’m going back to a time when snow was not a burden. It could be dangerous, yes, but it was generally just fun and left you with mostly fond memories and funny stories. It really seems like the only way to get through this.

From third grade to seventh grade, I lived in a house with an amazing sledding hill in the back yard, which backed up to a large wooded area. I spent many an hour out there, alone or with friends, sledding during the winter months. I mainly utilized the bottom part of the hill that was tree-free, but if you really wanted an extra thrill, you could trek up into the woods to this rock that jutted out a bit over the start of the hill (it was more of a rock ledge, really). If you perched your sled on the edge of the rock, balanced yourself in the sled, and then slowly leaned forward until the sled tipped over the edge and started down the hill, you could pick up enough speed to make it down the hill, through the back yard, past the house into the front yard, over the retaining wall at the front edge of the yard, down onto the sidewalk and out into the road. I’m super bad at judging distances, so I don’t know how far it was….but to a kid, it was really far!

The thing about starting up on this rock was that it was surrounded by trees. There was a straight path down the hill, but if you happened to veer off course you were in trouble. The rock itself had a small tree growing up out of, off to the left. It was really a baby tree and didn’t look like much of a threat, but it was still a tree.

One evening, Rachel and I were outside sledding during the early evening. I’m guessing we were 9 years old at the time. The dusk was turning to dark and it was likely almost time for both of us to be heading in for dinner. Given that it was dark, we probably shouldn’t have been in the woods, but we were feeling daring that night. We decided to start from higher up in the woods than we had ever started before. We climbed up the hill and got situated in our sled, Rachel in the back and me in the front. We pushed off with all our 9 year old strength and picked up a considerable amount of speed right away. It was great….until it very much wasn’t. My memory is fuzzy, but I remember going straight and then suddenly not going straight anymore. We crashed right into the baby tree. Upon impact, the sled stopped moving forward but I, sadly, did not.

I bet you’re thinking “Oh, no, she smashed her head into the tree! Concussion! Stitches! Profuse bleeding because head wounds always bleed profusely! Did she knock out some teeth?!??” but you are wrong. My right leg went to the right side of the tree; my left leg to the left; and my genital region crashed into the tree. Hard.

Yup, my genital region. I was violated by a tree. Or, depending on how you look at it, I violated a tree. Either way, it was not pleasant. I imagine it would be like falling with both of your legs on either side of a balance beam, but with more force.

I thought I broke my vagina. I was sure I was bleeding. It hurt so bad that I saw stars….and just to reiterate, my head was fine. I made Rachel come inside with me so I could see if I was bleeding or broken in some way, which involved taking off her boots and snow clothes and then having to put them all back on again to walk home, since our sledding adventure for the day was obviously over.

I was totally fine and the only lasting damage was psychological.

So, if you have to be out shoveling snow (again) this weekend, just be glad that you’re not crashing your genitals into things. Unless you have an unfortunate mishap with a shovel. Or if that’s just what you’re into.

Song of the Day: Benson Hedges by Fun.

 

Who Am I, Nora Roberts?

18 Nov

I quite frequently have very vivid dreams that are super strange. For instance, I once had a dream that Rachel and I were in our middle school gymnasium (as adults) and there was a dinosaur show happening. Yes, there were real, live dinosaurs on display in the gym; it was a living museum. I was especially enamored with the Stegosaurus. Then, much like Jurassic Park, the dinosaurs got out and everyone had to run and hide from the T Rex. Rachel and I ended up at her parents’ house. Thank goodness there were no Velociraptors. We all would have been goners.

Last night, I had what may have been the best dream ever. It was like the start to a romance novel, although not a smutty one like I’m prone to reading. It was very realistic and I woke up feeling like it had actually happened- I certainly wished that it had actually happened. Here it goes (I’m really writing this so I can remember it forever and ever and ever, but I figured I’d share it with the world as well. Hi, World!):

It started out as a scene from Modern Family. I was Alex and I was with Claire and Haley in a hotel room that was infested with mice. We brought in a cat to catch them. This is really not relevant to the rest of the dream, but I thought it was hysterical. The setting then morphed into a beer garden in some European town (it was either in Belgium or Germany; those details were fuzzy. Also, I’ve never been to either of those countries so my brain created a very interesting picture of what those places look like). I was on a vacation with Rachel and Alia- it was a European adventure! Except Alia never actually appeared in the dream. Anyway, for a while, I was sitting alone at a picnic table eating a soft pretzel and drinking hard cider. There was soccer on a bunch of televisions and people were ROWDY. Then Rachel and I were sitting in chaise lounges (???) and this super tall, super hot, super drunk dude came up to us and sat down on my chair and started rambling on about things that made no sense and then fell asleep. On me and my chair (if that’s not the start to an epic romance, I don’t know what is). His friend, who had been watching the whole encounter, then came over and asked if he could speak with me. He said he needed to tell me something that was going to seem very strange but was important. I agreed to speak with him.

He told me that he and his friend had been following us since the train (we had apparently taken a train to wherever we were) because, when his friend saw me, he had freaked out. He said he’d been seeing me in his dreams for his whole life and that he needed to meet me and find out who I was. He got nervous to actually speak to me and hung out at the bar for a while first, hence his extreme drunkenness. His friend asked me to just talk to him when he sobered up and told me he was a great guy. Normal, sane people would have been super creeped out and run for the hills at this point, but I stayed. I mean, this guy was ridiculously attractive. And he had been seeing me in his dreams! Oh, also, he was AUSTRALIAN. So there’s that. This guy is no one I’ve ever seen before in real life- I think he’s a composite of guys I know/celebrity crushes/this guy I follow on Instagram.

I stayed with the guy all night while he slept (he never had a name) and eventually fell asleep next to him in the chair. When we both woke up, it was like love at first sight, except that it was our second or third sight. He explained himself to me and said he wanted to get to know me so we talked all day. When he found out that I’d never been to Paris, he said that he wanted to take me and he booked a train that day. I guess I just left Rachel and Alia behind. Oops. We went to Paris and rode a rollercoaster (because that’s what you do in Paris) and it was all somehow very romantic. Then I needed to get to New York because I was apparently in a wedding and he didn’t want to part ways so he bought a ticket to come with me. And that was where it ended. Very anticlimactic, I know. I’m really hoping for part 2 tonight.

Song of the Day: Feels Like the First Time by Foreigner

Chirp! Caw! Tweet! And Other Sounds Birds Make!

30 Oct

Hey, please welcome us to 2014! Our blog is on Twitter! Rachel and I will both be updating with random musings and sharing blog posts there. Follows us: @ITYWSblog

[I still don’t know how Twitter works, but I’ll join anything where I can use hashtags! I do know that its logo is a bird. I like birds. Except ostriches.]

Song of the Day: Rockin’ Robin, the Michael Jackson version. Because tweet!

 

“Do They Have A Palate Cleanser? That’s So Freaking Classy!”

29 Oct

Guys. Rachel and Lincoln got MARRIED.  Below is proof: Look! We’re all dressed up! There are flowers! Rachel is in a wedding dress! These are all good indications that a wedding occurred. And what a wedding it was- fun, beautiful, emotional- everything a wedding should be.

02_1423_D_S_1473Photo: © 2014 George Street Photo & Video, LLC

The quote in the title of this post was said by none other than Miss Alia during dinner. We were served sorbet between courses and, instead of acting classy, our entire table had a Sorbet Challenge in which we put entire balls of sorbet in our mouths. It was both uncomfortable and unpleasant. It was also cold.  Alia also exclaimed at one point, “It’s not NASCAR!”, but I have no idea what that was in reference to.

I was the Maid of Honor at this shindig. I gave a speech. It’s the only thing I’ve written even remotely recently and it was very hard to write- not because I couldn’t think of anything to say, but because I had SO MUCH I wanted to say. I edited. A lot. And I’ve been wanting to post something here for a loooong time  So, here it is:

“Good evening, everyone. I’m honored to be here today as Rachel’s best friend and maid of honor. For those of you who don’t know me, here is a bit of background that I hope will help you understand both me and the context of how this speech started. I originally wrote it while drinking an Angry Orchard with a pen from Foxwoods Resort and Casino in a Twilight journal. I thought Twilight would fit in with the literary theme. “Literary”, right?

 

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This is me speeching.

Photo: © 2014 George Street Photo & Video, LLC

A wise man once wrote: “Every great love starts with a great story.” That man was Nicholas Sparks, and he wrote that in the literary masterpiece The Notebook. I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of it, but it was made into a pretty popular movie, the ending of which made Rachel exclaim, through her tears: “Damn you, Nicholas Sparks!” in the middle of a crowded theater full of sobbing women. It was definitely much needed comic relief.

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I made Rachel laugh. Not pictured: I also made both of them cry. Success!

Photo: © 2014 George Street Photo & Video, LLC

Ok, it’s time to be serious. Here is a great story about love and friendship:

My first vivid memory of Rachel isn’t actually from the first time we met- it’s from the second. When I was eight years old, I moved to a new town. During my first day in my new house, our doorbell rang and there was Rachel on my front steps, her long brown hair in pigtails and her freckles dancing on smiling cheeks. Her dad knew a family friend of ours and she knew we had just moved in and came over to see if I wanted to play Barbies with her. She lived just down the street. We’ve been friends ever since.

Rachel and I have been through a lot of firsts together: first crushes, first dates, first loves, first broken hearts. We’ve been there for each other through triumphs and despair, when things have been going fantastically and when things have been not so great. And that’s how I knew that her relationship with Lincoln was different. I remember when I first spent time with her when she and Lincoln had been dating for about two months. She was giddy. Her eyes would light up when she talked about him and she checked her phone every five minutes to see if she had a new message. She was falling for him, fast. I hadn’t even met him yet and I couldn’t have been happier for her.

Throughout their relationship, I’ve been in on a lot of secrets. I’ve helped pick out Christmas presents and seen birthday gifts before they were given. I was at work when Lincoln sent me pictures of engagement rings and I remember leaping out of my chair in excitement and being flattered that he wanted me to help with such a huge decision. A few weeks ago I helped Lincoln pick out a wedding gift for Rachel. What has always struck me is the thought they put into everything they do for each other and the feeling behind it all. I was privileged to be able to read Rachel’s wedding vows when she had finished writing them and I think they summarize their love perfectly. They make every day together special and can turn the mundane into the romantic. A few weeks ago, Lincoln posted something about him and Rachel that I loved: “At the end of the day, I always want to end up on the couch watching a movie in our PJs.”

I love that my best friend has found someone to share her life with and I actually feel like I’m gaining a second best friend out of it. A few months ago I was getting ready for a date and, of course, needed help picking out an outfit. When Rachel didn’t respond to my text messages, I sent Lincoln a message asking what to wear on a first date. I expected a line about him not knowing anything about women’s clothes, but he responded: “something cute and alluring but not too revealing. Show them what you’re working with, but not the whole shebang.” He also had color and outfit suggestions. It was very sweet. Rachel, I know I’ve told you this before, but you got a good one.

There are so many more stories I could share with you today, but I think seeing Rachel and Lincoln and the love that radiates from them says it all.

I’ll leave you with this: the immortal words of Dory the Fish: “When I look at you I can feel it. I look at you and I’m home.” I wish you two a long life of being home together, wherever you may be. I love you both and congratulations.”

And, another picture, for good measure: I think this is the only picture of the Trifecta all dressed up, and you can’t even see our dresses. Bummer.

996152_10102521597714770_3783802245926108428_nPhoto: Me! I get credit for this one! It was taken with my phone, hence the lovely quality.

Song of the Day: Home by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros