Last weekend I was so excited to finally attended a hipster wedding - complete with cocktail hour mason jars and burlap table runners. I got a picture with my husband next next to a rusty old pick up truck and signed well-wishes to the newlyweds on the back of a Jenga game piece. We ate pie for dessert. No cake. The ceremony was emotional. The family and bridal party speeches, even more so. The bride, beautiful.
I describe the wedding with ease. Describing the friendships involved is much harder.
The groom was the one of the last bachelors standing in a group of friends my husband has known since at least high school...some, since kindergarten. I met two of these friends the first time I came to California with him, right there in the airport. I was 19 and I remember how they towered over me, how small I felt next to them, and how I knew immediately just how important they were to this guy I was falling in love with.
I’ve never seen anything like it. Since that moment in the airport I’ve watched these eight guys cheer each other through the joys of college, marriages, and babies. I also watched them lean into each other through the hardships of divorce, unemployment, and even death.
Yet, they’re all so very different now, from the boys they knew as teenagers. Some would say they have very little left in common. They all have new friends, new hobbies, and new ways to spend their time. They live in different cities, hold different political opinions, fall in different tax brackets, and have different views on faith.
Without a doubt, they all chose vastly different women to share their life with.
But they refuse to let go of this thing they’ve built...this friendship based on each other.
Standing next to them on that dance floor trying to figure out just how much bourbon was in those mason jars, I was struck with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for their commitment.
Yes, they have their issues. There’s insecurities that spring up, conversations that should never have happened, and silence when something needs said. But they hang on. They survive the drama of college, their twenties, and the gossip that can so easily happen in a number this large.
Admittedly, it’s hard for a wife to find her place in a group as dynamic as this, but I feel I’m better for it and amazingly blessed by it. This is bravery in relationships, something I never could have built on my own.
These friends have taught me the most about friendship. They’re a beautiful picture of choice. They choose each other. They choose all the amazing qualities each individual brings. And they even have a name for this choice - The First Tier.