This is a big year for some of my closest friends who have decided to take the ultimate vow -- matrimony.
The first wedding is this Memorial Day weekend, and I am constantly looking at my calendar, counting the days until my best friends will be here for it.
It has been a year since everyone was able to make it home at the same time. It’s baffling how five people who once spent almost every available moment together now live thousands of miles apart.
I often feel neglectful of these friendships because of the odd hours I work and my inconvenient days off. Pile that on top of time-zone differences and my deep-seated hatred for actually talking on phones and I find myself in a guessing game of "What time is it in England?" and "What time does she get out of work in Colorado?"
This wedding is also a big event because, for the first time, all of my friends are bringing their partners. I’m sure I can’t be the only one completely pumped about it.
Tammy’s husband and Ashley’s fiancé (husband after Saturday!) Jim already get along wonderfully.
I met Nick, Megan’s boyfriend, almost three years ago and, despite having one of the most frustrating New Year’s Eve adventures in New York City, we still managed to have a good time. It will be his first time meeting the other guys, as it will be for my own boyfriend being introduced.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. This is big. In a way, it’s bigger than meeting family, bigger than being brought as a date to meet each other’s coworkers (By the way, hello to all the guys at the mill. Are you enjoying this week’s column?).
These are the people I have hand-picked to share the inner-most secrets of my life. This is the family I made for myself, not the one I was just born into.
My rational thinking mind (which barely ever wins any argument) assures me that everything will be fine. What’s not to like? I’m lucky enough to be dating one of the most easy-going and nice guys out there. But what if he and one of the other guys just don’t hit it off?
Some of you are probably thinking: "So what? Who cares if they don’t like each other? They only have to see each other once in a while. They can manage to grin and bear it."
The thing is, I don’t want them to! I want my boyfriend to be just as excited to see my friends and their partners as I am. I want to go to England for "holiday" and be shown around Colorado. I want to go to Florida and Texas and Pittsburgh and introduce him to everyone who has shown me love and friendship that changed my life, because he has changed it too.
I’m fortunate because his friends have been nothing but wonderful about my being introduced to their group. They are a close-knit crew, a lot like my own, and I knew how important it was for me to be able to spend time with these people and get along with them. Luckily for me, it’s extremely easy to do.
I have been shown nothing but kindness, hospitality and good times with his friends.
One of the first nights, I was handed one of the best summer beers I ever drank and challenged to a video game dance-off.
Another night, his friend and I called foul because my guy cheats at Big Buck Hunter by standing too close to the screen.
When we visited Boston, we were treated like family and shown around the city until our feet were aching in our shoes. I was even invited out without him one night to listen to ear-splitting karaoke.
And of course, there are always Sundays at the best breakfast spot in Pittsfield -- Café Reva.
The comfort of knowing I’m at least accepted by the important friends in his life puts me a little more at ease for this coming weekend. After all, I’ve already received emails from the ones he hasn’t met, saying they can’t wait to meet him.
And even if things don’t go in the best-friend fairy-tale direction I always want them to, at least I get a good meal, a chance to show off my stellar dance moves and time to spend with some of the most important people in my life.
I can’t think of a better way to spend a holiday weekend.
Write to Amanda Marcisz at read firstname.lastname@example.org