Over the fourth of July, I traveled to Wyoming to see my beautiful friend, sorority sister and one-and-only “Gyps” Caroline get married to the man of her dreams. The last time Caroline and her amazing fiance (husband!) Joey were mentioned on this blog, she texted me to let me know that Joey was excited about his shout-out on “the blog of the year.” They always know how to make a gal feel special, and my weekend away was no exception.
First of all, can you get any further away from New York City than Wyoming? Much like on my road trip, I was struck by the sheer amount of space that still exists. And while I love NYC (and there will be a post on that coming soon), there will always be a strange little conflicted part of me that wants to move to rural Montana and live in a cabin on a ranch with horses and buffalo and do nothing all day but stare up at the blue sky and marvel at the miracle of existence. I know that this is in direct conflict with my current status as a resident of a dark, cramped New York apartment, but whatever. I am vast, I contain multitudes.
One thing that often strikes me about New York is how immediate things are here. Do you want some obscure, bizarre ethnic cuisine from a tiny country you can’t even point to on a map? You’re probably a 10 minute subway ride away from a restaurant that specializes in it. The other day I was doing a little Googling to see if I could find some live music to enjoy, expecting just to come upon a bar with an open mic where I might perchance stumble onto some unknown who happens to play covers of some songs I like, when I accidentally discovered that I could actually go see a band I’ve liked since I was 18, The Old ’97s, for $15, that very night, 20 minutes from my apartment.
Of course, when you can’t swing a dead cat (or, more likely here, rat) without hitting some insane one-of-a-kind cultural phenomenon, it tends to breed impatience. In Wyoming, however, patience is everything. Serenity is a way of life there; in NYC, serenity is nonexistent. Check out the background of this picture of my friends and I at Caroline’s rehearsal dinner and try to imagine feeling frustrated or angry or cramped or impatient or irritated when you’re looking at that view.
I’ve always been amazed at Caroline’s loyalty, her calm, level-headed demeanor, her incredible kindness and empathy. I’ve always felt so lucky to have her in my life. Now that I’ve seen where she comes from – a place where people are just nice, probably at least in part because you’re guaranteed to see everyone again so you can’t be a piece of shit and just expect to get away with it, but mostly because they’re just nice – I think I understand a little bit better how she came to be such a great person. I mean, can anyone be a giant jerk when they wake up every morning and see sprawling plains and blooming wildflowers and grazing livestock and my absolute most favorite thing ever, trains? Plus, her family is incredible – my dance with her dad was one of my favorite moments of the whole weekend, and her cousins and relatives were all wonderful to meet. I, by contrast, was raised in a place that values vanity, greed, anorexia, plastic surgery and the absolute worst in people (LOL, Los Angeles), so no wonder I suck so much comparatively.
(That’s a joke, Angelinos, and Mom and Dad – thanks for raising me in the sunniest place in America. My only complaint is that I have no idea how to scrape ice off a car windshield, which was a problem in Virginia.)
Oh, and then I got back to New York and was chillin’ at the taxi stand at LaGuardia and the guy running it was just screaming profanity at all the taxi drivers, banging on their hoods and generally being an insufferable douche. So I guess there’s really no hope for me.
Anyway, I don’t know how comfortable Caroline and Joey would be with me posting their weddings photos on this blog – and in any case, they are not mine to post – so just close your eyes and imagine the most beautiful and loving couple you’ve ever seen. Then imagine one 1,000x more beautiful and loving than that, and you’ll have them.
In lieu of a pic of the newlyweds, enjoy an image of these buffalo I got to pet and feed! While riding on a TRAIN. I was in heaven, you guys. Slightly smelly but vast, beautiful, breezy, green heaven.
My favorite thing about weddings is everything. I love all of the care and thought that goes into creating all the small details, like choosing a signature drink and picking out bouquets and buying little colored chevron straws. I was mocked endlessly in graduate school (and by my boyfriend) for checking wedding blogs all the time, but I JUST LIKE LOVE AND HAPPINESS AND NICE PHOTOGRAPHY, OKAY? I love the exchange of vows, especially when the groom cries. I even kind of like being in church, because I feel like it absolves me of the responsibility of going to church again for at least several months, so I can sleep in on Sundays.
But the best, best, best thing about weddings is seeing all my friends again.
It may seem odd to say, since a fair amount of bad luck has come my way in the past year (cancer at 25?), but it’s hard not to feel like the luckiest girl in the world when I’m surrounded by the most amazing people I know, in one of the most beautiful states I’ve had the good fortunate to visit, waving a sparkler around on the Fourth of July and still fitting into that cobalt blue dress I bought when I was running 15 miles a day.
Life is good, and every day I’m glad to still be living it.