When it rains on my mom’s side of the family, apparently it pours. Except instead of rain it’s diamonds, since two of my cousins announced their engagements shortly after I did (and we’ve also had three weddings in the past two years). At least we’re keeping America’s jewelry industry booming.
My family is spread across the country now, which has meant that all the weddings have also been excuses for yearly vacations. And, no matter the army base I move to in the future, I’m sure to have family in driving distance; even if I don’t have CVS Pharmacies and BB&T banks.
Since we also have family represented in the driving-distance-to-Broadway part of the country, I spent my Saturday road tripping with Joanna to New Jersey for my cousin Elyse’s engagement party. If engagements were a competition (which they’re totally not, because girls would never try to out-do each other), Elyse would already be beating me for not only having an engagement party, but for having an engagement party that was probably more put-together than my wedding will be.
In addition to our blood relation, Elyse and I also share a proclivity to marrying people who are much taller than we are.
While my wedding preparations have mostly just been watching “Bridezillas” marathons to make myself feel better, Elyse one-upped me by planning a cake-cutting rehearsal into her engagement party.
Even though they’ve been dating for long enough that I’ve been seeing their prom pictures at the house since high school Thanksgivings, this was my first time meeting Joey. Which is another great reason for an engagement party; most of my non-immediate family members (and even one of my bridesmaids) will be meeting Jonathan for the first time seconds before the family photos after our wedding ceremony next year. And he can’t wear his cowboy boots with his dress blues, so it won’t be a very authentic first-meeting of Jonathan.
The scariest part about your cousins (who you still remember catching fireflies with as kids) growing up and marrying off is that it means you are growing up (and marrying off) too. Instead of flying between West Coast and East Coast for Passovers and bar mitzvahs, we’re celebrating new careers, new marriages, new babies, and (in several instances) new kittens. We’re pretty much all cat people. Jonathan is terrified.
We’re great at group photos now, thanks to all the weddings. And by the time the next few years are over, we’ll be experts at navigating wedding registries. We could probably pull a Von Trapp and start a family wedding-planning business. Technically I’m the youngest of this group, so that makes me Gretel.
Congratulations, Elyse! I can’t wait to celebrate the rest of the getting-married milestones with you. And you know I’d only travel the Jersey Turnpike twice in one day for family I really like.
Another milestone this weekend: For the first time during this deployment, I talked to Jonathan twice in the same day. Although I think technically one of those days was already a different day for him. Semantics.