The first time one of your friends gets engaged

Wow! Pow! Kazam! One of my good friends is engaged. Wasn’t I just on here like, yesterday saying I felt old? Well. I continue to feel old.

Here’s the thing. Weddings are in the air, I’ve been saying it for weeks now. My aunt is getting married, and as a bridesmaid (and my mother is the maid of honor) I’ve been pretty involved, doing all the necessary swooning and dress testing that is required of me. Thinking about weddings so much had inspired my boyfriend and I to start speculating seriously, for the first time, getting married ourselves. In a few years, of course, after we graduate and live together for a bit.

But now–now! My 21-year-old friend is engaged, and has set a date–for June!!! He’s getting married in three months. She’s not even pregnant. This is just what they want to do, and the thing is, we all support him. He’s not even being so crazy. He’s graduating in May, why not, right?

Marriage doesn’t mean much nowadays, so why not just do it for the benefits? If you’re planning on long term anyway, and love each other anyway, and are living together anyway, and own a cat together (like they do) anyway…

 

How am I so old that getting married seems like a normal thing to do? A bit early, sure, but nothing crazy. What!?

 

I’m happy for him. I really am. How surreal. How surreal.

A to D: Defrost

Michelle Wu’s high heels made tracks like a baby stroller through the dusting of snow. “Can’t we just go?” she asked, her voice garbled with two shots of vodka, an old-fashioned, and three hard ciders.

Her darling, Craig Wu, led her to his car, the black frame of it shining dimly in the streetlights. The parking lot was scattered with cars being slowly swallowed by the silent snow, and his was no exception. “I have to brush off the snow,” he said. “Turn on the windshield defrost.”

He opened the door for her and helped her inside. Her heels and bare feet brought a few shoefulls of snow into the car, but a little wetness wouldn’t ruin the interior. Craig unlocked the trunk, and the dimmed lights flared through the covering of snow.

It was light snow, and fell off the windshield easily. He cleared the windows as well, and when he cleared the passenger window he saw Michelle’s face appear, a third at a time. She stuck her tongue out at him. He pressed his lips together.

God, it was cold, but it was a welcome change from the hotness of the reception. The newlyweds had candles as centerpieces and Craig swore the fire ate up the oxygen in the room. He got drunker to feel calmer. Eventually his competitive-drinker wife was dancing a touch too wildly, and being near midnight he decided it was late enough to begin leaving.

Craig threw the snowbrush in the trunk again and slid into the driver seat, banging his dress shoes together to keep at least one side of the carpeting dry. He shut the door, and noticed the silence.

“I told you to put the defrost on,” he said.

“Oh…sorry,” she said. “It’s not that frosty. We can probably just go.”

Craig started the car and cranked the defroster to the highest setting. He stared out his window, which was slowly refilling with snowflakes, at the parking lot dotted with yellow lamp light. Once he and Michelle had danced in the same reception hall, but she had been the one in the white dress. Sleeveless. Snowless. They had left that night for Jamaica.

“Remember Jamaica?” Craig whispered at the window. His breath made a puff of moisture on the glass.

Michelle began laughing. “Yeah…it was a lot of fun. You know, I love you so much. I love you as much as when we were in Jamaica. I don’t think a lot of couples can say that.”

Craig stared past the snowflakes to the stars. They looked identical. He rested his forehead against the door.

“Are you okay to drive?” Michelle asked, placing an unsteady hand on his thigh.

He met her drooping eyes. The white specks on the shoulders of her coat melded together into a flowing veil. He lifted her fingers to his lips. They were like ice.

“You’re freezing,” he said. He switched the dial from defrost to heat, and put her pinking fingers against the warming vents. “Here. We’ve defrosted enough.”

He put the car in drive.