Upstaged.

My oldest friend got married on Saturday, and she asked me to read some scripture in her wedding. It was an honor to participate in the service, because she is such a lovely person, she and her new husband seem so wonderful together, and it was a beautiful ceremony that managed to be both traditional and personal. I did the Old Testament reading, from Genesis.

The Lord God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” So the Lord God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals; but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man. So the Lord God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The Lord God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man, the man said: “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called ‘woman,’ for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.

I know that these are not the most romantic verses of all time, but they are pretty meaningful to me, because Mike really did have to leave his father and mother when he chose me, and clinging to each other is how we survived that and all the other challenges we have faced. So I was happy to read those verses for my friend.

The second reading was from 1 Corinthians 13, which is arguably some of the most beautiful language in the Bible. It’s certainly some of the most well-known. We had it in our wedding, in fact. When the second reader began, I wanted to hide under the pew. Because she? Had a gorgeous voice, complete with an Irish accent. I can’t compete with an Irish accent! I was totally upstaged! Even my own family agreed. Mike said I should have read my scripture in a fake British accent. My brother said, you know, sorry, but that other girl totally upstaged you. My brother’s friend said that after I finished she was like, “Wow, that was nice, great job,” but when the second reader started she was like, “Ohhhhhhh.” So sad. Also, she had on a fancy hat, like she was going to see the Queen. I don’t even own any hats like that. Sigh.

My only comfort is that most of the congregation was from New York and Minnesota. Perhaps my accent sounded adorable to them. Perhaps they were thinking, “Isn’t she just the sweetest little Southern Belle?” Yes, thank you for asking. I totally am.

Here is a picture of me and my friend. I couldn’t be happier for her. She has been a constant friend in my life since I was six years old.

(I had on kitten heels. And she had on real heels, maybe 3 inches? And I still tower over her.)

When I was getting ready for the wedding, I got a little bit sad, because my dad really loved my friend a lot. He did not often go to weddings, but he would have wanted to be at hers. He called her his “other daughter,” and he was always threatening to interrogate the people she was dating. I don’t have any pictures of my friend and her husband, but I feel pretty confident in saying that my dad would have approved of the man she chose, because he is nice and sweet and funny and cares about her a whole lot. So when Mike asked me which tie he should wear, I picked the one that was my dad’s so that he could be there, too.

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