The Toast I Would Have Given

These girls have been friends since Apollo Middle School.

Junior high.

Who does that? Who keeps in touch with and likes hanging out with people who know what you looked like in that awkward stage where your hair was so big because you didn’t understand mousse and you wore the same wide-legged jeans every single day because they were the only pants that you knew wouldn’t be mistaken for ::gasp:: highwaters #horror

We do, but only because of Shelly “The Glue” Nickerson.

That’s right. Shelly P just became Shelly N (this nickname will probably not stick #allgoodthingscometoanend).

My best and longtime friend got married this weekend. We didn’t do toasts because I’m pretty sure that Shelly and Matt were done being in the spotlight as soon as the ceremony was over, and I’m never going to volunteer to public speak, but public write? I will public write all over the place. So here’s what I would have said…

“May I have everyone’s attention? I’d like to toast the happy couple!

Shelly, there really aren’t enough words to tell you how much I, and probably every person in this room, love you.

This week I was in charge of “planning” the bachelorette party. Y’all know this because I didn’t shut up about how hard it was, and how drained I was, and how OMG I’M NEVER PLANNING ANYTHING EVER AGAIN!

And I thought about how Shelly has been thinking about me, and probably every person in this room, for years. FOR DECADES! She’s been thinking about what we like to do and what we like to eat. When it’s been too long since the last get together. She’s been thinking about what the easiest route is for everyone. She’s been thinking about us and showing up for us and helping us calm down when we want to be dramatic for many, many years.

She’s been an anchor during crazy times. She’s been a compass when things feel crazy. She’s been the first text when we want to share the good news. She’s been the opinion that made the most sense. She’s been the encourager when you’re pretty sure you suck at life.

And I don’t know a lot of things, but I do know this. I have not said thank you enough. There’s no way I could. You’ve done too much for too long and too consistently. You win at friendship.

And friendship? That’s the key to this marriage thing. Showing up when it’s hard. Being kind when you want to be mean. Making sure it hasn’t been too long since the last Hint, Hint, errr, I mean, get together.

Matt, I know you know you’ve found a winner. And as your pretend marriage coach, here’s what I’m going to need you to do:

Tell her thank you. Every morning. Every night. At the end of every text message. Before every “I love you.”

Tell her thank you because she’s your glue. She’s holding things together that you didn’t even know were falling apart. And she does it all with grace and kindness and beauty.

Shelly, thank you for being my best friend since before text messaging.  Matt, thank you for making Shelly so happy, and congratulations on finding the very best wife on earth. I love you both! Congratulations!”

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