We look and smell nice in our make up, dresses, heels. The boys are tugging at their ties. Our backs are just slightly straighter than usual. We have all worn our solemn looks. The program states: ceremony, photos, cocktails, speeches, cake, till we can finally kick our shoes off and dance. But first, a checklist:
A dress. A ring. A boy who loves you, your best friend, waiting down the aisle in a suit. Check, check, check, and now the classics: something old, new, borrowed, blue.
Continuity. Something consistent, tried and true.
Like our friendship. The polaroid photographs in my wallet and yours. Mine that you gave me for a birthday, some birthday. Yours that I gave you. Old like the folded napkins inside them on which we wrote drunken life goals.
Our boy band posters from high school, fading. Our boy band crushes, still strong. Our inside jokes and obscure movie references. The way you take your coffee: with three teaspoons of sugar, four on a rough day. Black and bitter for me. Grilling cheese sandwiches on the radiator in the back corner of history class, slipping nachos in when we were naughty. Speaking of slipping, the empty shot glass that slid into your purse the night I finally turned sixteen.
Old like the pull out sofa in your room I slept, cried, ate popcorn on. Old like the stories of our wild adventures in bars, on planes, trains, dates. Old like the promises we made of secrets we would always keep.
New like the people we have become. This adulthood we are meant to do. New, like your white dress, your last name that we will both have to get used to.
New, like the first time finding, holding jobs, accounts, babies, loans, tax returns. First time encounters with death, insurance brokers, lawyers, counselors, real estate agents. Picking out bathtubs, showerheads, doorknobs, paint color tones and kitchen tiles, for a new apartment in which, adult that you are, you will build a new life.
Like my key chain, the little red tiger that now hangs on your backpack. More commandeered than borrowed really, when I was once looking the other way. But something borrowed symbolizes happiness. I would gladly offer that to you. I have had more than my share of luck, fortune, grace, call it what you will. And we have always shared everything, me and you.
We have borrowed perfume, toothpaste from one another, naughty books we were not allowed to read, sweaters and socks on cold nights and shoes that never really fit. Dresses, lipstick, alibis, sips from one another’s drinks, choice phrases, euphemisms, facial expressions. The red tiger on your backpack.
The color of fidelity. Lying through your teeth to save my skin. Never getting caught red handed alone, never leaving me behind on a bad date. Blue like our fingers when we watched the fireworks on the roof on New Year’s Eve. Blue like that feeling before birthdays, after break-ups, at airport departure gates.
You closed down bars waiting with me for things and people to happen, then lay on the kitchen floor and cried with me when we realized they would not. You sat through it all with me, I sat through it all with you. Today I am sitting in a pew. The church is full of people, excitement, and white.
The music is starting, just in time. The checklist is complete. Keep the old, go live something new. I wish you every color of the rainbow,
and a silver sixpence in your shoe.