As you are all well aware, I am getting married in December. I don’t think I’ve let anyone forget that. But, before I take the biggest step of my life, a very special person is going to do it first.
My best friend’s name is Alexis. Alexis and I say we met when we were babies. Obviously, we don’t actually recall that, but, for the sake of time, let’s say we were babies when we met. Fun fact, we were delivered at the same hospital by the same doctor. My oldest brother was in school with her oldest brother. We were each the only girls in our families, so naturally, we became friends.
Growing up was fun. We were in school together from pre-school until 8th grade. In those days, we ran around and shouted a lot. I don’t know why that seemed fun, but it was. I can remember when Alexis came over, my dad would say, “Can you get new friends?” Yes, my dad was a comedian even back then. Alexis became part of the family. My brothers treated her like a sister and my parents treated her like a daughter. She was my sister from another mister.
You would think after spending a full day of school together, two people wouldn’t have anything to talk about when they got home … that’s not true for us. We’d spend hours on the phone chatting about major worldwide topics such as N’Sync and Backstreet Boys. In fifth grade, we started using AOL instant messenger, or AIM. On AOL, we were known as crazyk987 and lex964. I think you can guess who was who.
We went to different high schools and different colleges, but our friendship never wavered. There were times when we didn’t speak for weeks, but as soon as one of us sent a text or called, we’d go right back to where we left off.
We’ve been friends for approximately twenty-five years. Alexis, if you’re reading this…Dude, where the hell did twenty-five years ago? I have no idea. We’ve been through ups, downs, twists, and turns…happiness, sadness, frustration, everything life has to offer.
Alexis has always been one step ahead of me with things. I am seven months older than her. I loved pointing that out to her when we were younger, back when it was cool to be older. Now that we are older and we want to be younger, she gets me with, “You realize when you’re 30, I’ll still be 29…” I don’t like the sounds of that. Even though I constantly stressed how I was older, Alexis was always leading the way with life experiences. She was often one step ahead of me. She has a self-confidence about her that allows her to face the world unafraid of what life will throw at her. I tried to emulate that confidence growing up. I was often the shy one, but seeing her be outgoing helped me step out of my shell. I don’t know if she realizes she did that for me.
One of the great things about our friendship is it’s a two-way street. If we get angry at each other, we are able to step outside of ourselves and see where the other is coming from. There is no blaming. And, when good things happen, we are able to be happy for each other. There is never jealousy or anger towards the other one’s success.
Alexis got engaged the last week of November. She texted me and said she had something to tell me. Call it friend intuition, but I knew what she was going to tell me. I didn’t get the text until the morning. I called her when I was getting ready for work and she told me. The excitement and happiness in her voice was electrifying. I could not have been happier that my best friend was getting married. I texted all of my family and I texted some mutual friends. It felt like it was happening to me.
A week later, I had the chance to give her the same call. Other than my mom, Alexis was the first person I called. I can remember saying to Zach, “I have to call Alexis!” When we spoke on the phone, she said she had a feeling this was going to happen too.
A few weeks after our engagements, I asked Alexis to be my maid of honor and she asked me to be hers. When I tell people that I am my best friend’s maid of honor and she is mine and we are getting married three months apart, they say, “Oh, wow. So you’re planning your own wedding and doing maid of honor stuff for your friend? That must be insane.” And, you know what, it is. But it is such fun, wonderful insanity.
Being engaged and being in the same phase of life has brought us a lot closer. Being able to bounce ideas off each other has been invaluable. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in this process. I have my mom and my sisters-in-law who have all been so wonderful and I am grateful to have them by my side. But having my best friend go through this at the same time is a little different. We are able to talk about our hopes, dreams, and even our fears. We are experiencing all of these feelings together. It’s great when I say something that I think is silly that I’m feeling and Alexis says she feels the same way.
Texts with Maid of Honor:
“We are going to be starting our own families!! So cool!!” – Me
“Yeah…and completely nerve wracking too. I. Don’t. Want. To. Mess. Up.” – Alexis
“Same. I keep saying to Zach, I get afraid that I’m not going to be good at this.” – Me
“I SAY THAT ALL THE TIME.” – Alexis
Last weekend, I threw a shower and bachelorette party for Alexis. It was a ton of fun and we had a great night out in center city. The first bar we went to was Morgan’s Pier. We got out of the cab and a school bus full of Irish men pulls up. Turns out, they were out for a bachelor party. Alexis said, “Kate, is this for me? Did you plan this?” This night was a testament to the fact that sometimes it’s best to go with the flow and see where a night takes you. We became friends with the Irish guys and got a free ride to the next bar. It was hilarious.
Alexis stayed until Tuesday morning, so we were able to hang out and talk. We talked, and we talked, and we talked. We really needed that time together. She lives in Chicago and I’m still here in Philly, so we don’t see each other in person all that much. I can’t wait until she throws me my bachelorette party. She told me her goal is to embarrass me, make me laugh, and make me have a good time. She also told me to be a little afraid and to have a bag packed because she isn’t telling me when it is. Can’t wait to blog about that weekend.
It’s four weeks until Alexis makes the trek down the aisle. I am excited to stand by her side as she takes the biggest leap of her life. We had promised each other when were children that we would be each other’s maids-of-honor. Oh, actually, Alexis will be married by the time I get married, so she will be my MATRON-of-honor. Who sounds old now, dude?
How many friends do you know keep a promise they made when they were six? Not many. There have been times when each of us may have had some doubts about our friendship, but neither of us ever gave up. Life can get in the way, and it has in many ways, but time and time again we have forged forward.
It’s humbling to know someone who has known you from the beginning. A person who knows you so well that they can remind you of who you truly are when you lose yourself, a person who can remind you where you came from and to never forget your roots.