So, I went to California this weekend for my friend Stanford's wedding. Stanford and I have been friends since he broke up with my best friend Michelle. That in itself is a very long and drawn out story that is quite messy and though it would make a great soap opera, I'd rather not relive it. So..poof.. we begin where Stanford and I are very good friends. He was the guy I always loved, but didn't love. It was very When Harry Met Sallyish. That's the best way I can describe it. He is a bit odd, I'm a bit odd. We could talk for hours. It was always so easy to be with him. We could be doing something as exciting as climbing Timpanogoes in the dark or just sitting around doing nothing. He let me give him a perm (actually he asked me to) and then rat his hair into tiny, tiny dread locks. This literally took hours and hours. We ordered the dreading kit online. He also let me shave his head (this was definitely my request) after I told him I could no longer stomach looking at the mat of grease that he now called his hair. Within our relationship there were many missed signals. I often thought I wanted a romantic relationship with him and I could never quite figure out if he wanted the same thing. I don't think that it was ever really in the cards for us. It was just so unnatural in many ways. I had the best friend part down, but beyond that I didn't have those overpowering feelings of lust. I thought maybe it was just because we knew each other so well. I've had relationships since then that have definitely blown that theory out of the water. It just wasn't there. I like that though. He was my very best guy friend and I loved him dearly and have had so many great memories and experiences with him.
We haven't spent much time together the past three years. He went to Michigan to finish up his Masters in Architecture and then got a job in Las Vegas. I asked him when he moved there.. "Why Vegas?". He blew it off as just an opportunity until months later when he finally began talking about this new girl he liked who happened to live in LA, which is conveniently 3 hours away from Vegas. I put two and two together and finally unraveled the real reason he chose to accept the job there. He told me when he graduated in May that he was going to get married within a year. Knowing what a commitment phobe he was, I didn't really believe him. He proposed and I still questioned whether or not he would go through with it and then the announcement arrived. I took this as a good indication that it was safe to book a flight. Originally, I wasn't planning on attending. I figured that it was too far away and too expensive and as it was going to squash the possibility of any future camping and hiking trips with Stanford, I just didn't want to go. As much as I'm happy for Stanford, it's a natural feeling for me to hate his wife. I'm sure she is a delightful girl, but she ended my friendship. Plain and simple. So, I hate her a little bit. I told Stanford that I didn't want to meet her until their wedding. It was slightly more complicated than just the fact that I hate her, but I didn't see the need to put myself through having to interact with her more than I had to. I know what you are thinking. You are saying to yourselves right now.. "I think this story is going to end with Teresa saying how she met his wife and thought she was so wonderful and it all ended up so great in the end." Well, I met his wife and yes she does seem very nice, but it didn't end up so great for me in the end. I can't tell you how strange it was for me to see Stanford with some strange woman knowing that this was his life from now on. It's not like this is some sudden jolt and I've lost my best friend. He and I haven't interacted on a regular basis for a long time, but to see someone you used to know so well with someone you know nothing about is odd. He acted like it was going to mean so much for me to be there, but in all honesty, I don't know that it did mean that much to him. I'm out. My final blaze of glory was spending $500 to watch him ride into the sunset with someone who put an expiration date on our friendship. The reception was awkward in that none of his family members can ever remember who I am, even though I've been introduced and talked with them on many, many occasions. His daughter who I've been camping with many times, who I saved from a marshmallow burn when she received zero sympathy from her father and have always adored couldn't even place me at first. I don't really know what I was trying to prove other than I was a bigger person than I actually am. I held back the tears as he and his new wife danced to their first song. All I really wanted was some acknowledgment that I had meant something to him. I think that has been the theme of our friendship for many years. You can't ask for a more enjoyable person to spend time with, but I always felt so let down when he didn't come through for me in one way or another. It may be that this is some other relationship playing itself out in Stanford and maybe it's not about him at all, but it still feels pretty damn crappy.
After it is all said and done, I still don't regret going. I reaffirmed to myself that I can do anything I put my mind to. I totally rock when it comes to navigating my way through an unfamiliar city and I discovered in the process that LA is a really awesome place. I drove though it once and judged it too quickly, but upon further inspection, I think I could live there. I've always liked California, especially the people. They are friendly and open and there are just so darn many of them.