Missing Weddings

6 August 2002

I haven't been to a wedding this year. And I can't say that they're so insanely much fun that I would feel the lack if it wasn't the wedding of someone specific I wanted to celebrate with. I was looking at last year's entry for today, though, and I had just gotten back from being around the old crowd. And, oh, I miss that. We didn't go to Beth's wedding this spring -- didn't have the money, weren't that close with Beth (although we like her), had just been home for a visit. It was a good decision, I think. But nobody else from the Crowd is getting married this summer -- or if they are, they're keeping us all in the dark about it. And that means that there are people I'm probably not going to see at all this year, for the first year since I met them.

This is not particularly good, in case you were wondering.

I know, it happens. It's part of this stinky growing up stuff. And I know that there's at least one pair within the Crowd who will get married eventually, and in Minnesota no less, so people will come. I know that there's another pair who had better get together and get married if they know what's good for them or I'll -- ahem. Excuse me for that last outburst. It can be frustrating when one's friends don't see what is so obviously good for them that it would take a colossal fool to -- I'm sorry. It won't happen again. It's just that I've been biting my tongue about these two and biting my tongue and biting my tongue, so it comes out in force when it does come out. Luckily, Amber seems to have similar enough reactions to mine that we can roll our eyes in unison, so hard they're like to fall out, when we're together. It's good to have a companion for things like that.

Anyway. I know there will be more weddings for the Old Crowd, and I know people will come to them, so it's not like this is the last time I'll ever see anybody ever ever ever. I also know that chances are quite good we'll move within driving distance for most of these people, either of the friends themselves or of their parents. (And that latter part matters, because people will go to their folks' for visits or holidays.) I'm just a bit bummed that just as things get to be feeling long, there won't be any vague, loud, gesticulating herds of camaraderie in my summer.

I think this is why people want to have family reunions. This is an epiphany of the moment for me. I always understood that people want to have family reunions, and I could intellectually go through the reasons. But most of my family groups are small, and I don't love the large ones any more en masse than I do individually. To take my grandma's side as an example, I'd just as soon have a dinner with Jim, Sandi, Garrett, and Dustin, and one with the godfathers, and one with Oz and Caroline, and so on and so on. There isn't anything particularly special to me about having all 80 or more relatives that show up for a family reunion together at once. Either I want to see them individually or I don't really need to see them at all.

And in other parts of my family -- well, this is one reason we went to Hawaii for my grandparents' 50th, because my mom and I are both only children, so getting all the kids and grandkids together is just not a feat. Aunt Ellen's branch is her and Uncle Phil, their two daughters, one son-in-law, two grandkids, and while I'd kind of like to hang out with all of them at once, I think it's quite possible. I can have them all at my house once I have a house, and it'll be fine. I wouldn't even use up all of our place settings of dishes, even with the bowl I broke.

Point being: I haven't had much experience with substantial family reunions that I really felt were better than the sum of their parts. I understood that for some of the people involved -- for my grandma and her siblings, for example -- it worked that way. But I didn't have the same experience.

But getting ready to go to a wedding without all these friend-people, it hits me how much I've been missing them, not just individually but also as a group. And there's not much to do about that. When I miss Michelle, I can call or (more often) e-mail her (and as I typed that, two messages appeared from her!), but when I miss the group, well, mass e-mail just doesn't really give the same feeling. At all.

Last year I wrote, "We get to keep these people. We really do. That's so cool. And it makes me feel more confident when I make new friends who are deeply loved and deeply cool, that I can say to them, 'Yes, you will still be important to me down the line. I will still make time for you.' Of course not every friendship can last. There just aren't enough hours in the day, not enough plane tickets in the world. But for some people, you make the effort." I still mean it. In some ways, though, it makes difficulties in seeing people even more difficult.

Ah well. I have become the most popular girl this morning: I made pumpkin bread from Timprov's church cookbook (from his dad's church). He had requested it, and then Mark came into the kitchen to give me a kiss goodbye when I was up on the stepstool getting down the baking powder and soda and all that. "Whatcha makin'?" I told him. Round eyes, round mouth: "ooooh." So everybody's happy with the pumpkin bread, and the house smells of cinnamon and allspice and all that.

I got farther into Revelation Space in line at the post office, far enough to understand why Alec was enthusiastic. It's always nice to get to the point where you can start to say, "Ah, yes, this is a ____ book." (Not a blank book, for any of you who are inclined to be silly. Not that I have anyone in mind....) I also finished MI6. Very many loonies in that book. Very, very many. It was lots of fun to read about King Zog and the rest, even if most of the ending wasn't at all useful for the Not The Moose Book. I still used up my book darts exactly on it, so now it's sitting there marked up and ready to use. And I have many chores to do before we leave Thursday, so I'm going to get at that. Have a good Tuesday. For some reason, my brain wants to make Tuesday into a euphemism: "Have a good Tuuuuuesday, eh? Eh?" Only I'm not entirely sure what it's a euphemism for.

Vital Update 10:40 a.m.: Wooohoooo, we have jeans! I ordered a custom-made pair from Land's End, and I was skeptical because I was slightly outside their stated range, but they made them, they look fine, they fit! Hot off the UPS truck, woohoo!

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