I flew back to Phoenix Monday evening after eleven days in Ohio filled with wedding shenanigans, happy tears, and beer. I missed my Jake terribly (Ripley, too), and I’m indubitably happy to be home. Now looking back on my trip, I feel it was all very, very necessary. Yes, even the penis veil.Saturday the 20th of August was my bridal shower and bachelorette party. Was I nervous? Holy hell, yes. I don’t like to be the center of attention, especially when being the center involves opening kitchen utensils in front of twenty of my mom’s best friends. Aunt Susie, my Maid of Honor, made it a lot easier. Her yard looked like a magical fairyland. It usually does in August, living in the beautiful summer climate of Perrysburg, Ohio. She even picked fresh mint from her garden and made me a mojito as the guests arrived. It turned out not to be as scary as I expected. I’m a small talk diva, and my mom’s sangria helped.
I ran home and changed and then, at 6:30, was escorted to my bachelorette party. I need to say it again: my bachelorette party. It was so surreal! I’ve been to several bachelorette parties in my day, but it was always for someone else. It was never me getting married. Now, it’s ME! I’m getting married! I won’t get into all of it. I will say we drank quite a bit of tequila. My girlfriends—from elementary school through to post-college—got along as though they’d known each other for twenty years, and I wore several penis-adorned decorative items.The best moment? We were at a bar when my gal pal January grabbed me and shoved me into a chair. Journey’s “Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’” started playing, and the door to the bar opened. I looked left and there was a man in naval garb. No, it wasn’t Jake. It was Jan’s husband, Randy—a dear friend of mine and Jake’s—and you guessed it, he performed a rousing strip routine down to his leopard-print boxers. It was … amazing. I was hung-over the next day, so my dad and I watched Lonesome Dove—all six hours of it. He had his usual beer and Cheez-its at 4:30 PM. I did not (blech).
Skip ahead to Thursday. If you do, yes, you’re skipping over great days and nights spent one-on-one with some of my favorite people. This trip was really about one-on-one time. The moments spent catching up with friends and family members are some of the most memorable moments of the past two weeks, which is why Thursday was so important. Not only did I get to spend countless hours with my little brother, but I spent those hours in Athens, Ohio, home of me and Matt’s alma mater, Ohio University, recently named the #1 party school in the country.
That Thursday night I was up until 5 AM. The night was spent eating at my favorite Athens restaurant, Casa Nueva, and drinking freshly handmade margaritas. It was spent at my favorite bars, cackling with my brother and some of his best friends (who were wonderful). After hours, Matt sang me the song he wrote for me and Jake’s wedding ceremony, and I sobbed. He said I once told him that great relationships are “easy.” There’s no drama, no muss, no fuss, only peace, love, and laughter. The song he wrote for us is about that, and I hope he’ll soon find a woman who makes his life feel easy, too.Friday morning, Matt and I walked around campus. We visited our old dorms. We walked across College Green and talked about life, my wedding, and Matt’s music. I’m so blessed to have my little brother. He’s one of my favorite people on earth, and I miss him almost every day. Before leaving town, we headed up to the old Athens Lunatic Asylum—a decrepit insane asylum that opened in the late 1800s and closed in the early 1990s. As students, we used to sneak up there at night and scare the crap out of each other. It’s easy to do, even in daylight, but it was the perfect end to my Athens adventure, and I bit back tears when I said goodbye to Little Dobes.
Over the weekend, I got to meet an old friend’s new beau, who I adored. We had a lovely dinner party together—the kind you only see in movies—while sitting on the back porch, overlooking a huge pond in her backyard. I walked among lightning bugs, and we listened to screaming cicadas. Saturday, I saw a different old friend get married. She looked like a Barbie doll princess, and we danced and rejoiced, while looking at each other knowingly as she said, “You’re next …”
And I am next. I’m getting married November 12th! By Monday, all I wanted was my fellah—my future husband. I flew out from Detroit Monday night. My suitcase weighed exactly 49 pounds, filled with embarrassing gag gifts and bridal shower paraphernalia. I cried a little pre-plane. I guess it’s because I know the next time I see all my friends and family, it will be the week of my wedding, and I can’t wait. I’m getting married, and I couldn’t ask for a better circle of friends, better family, or better husband-to-be in Jake. I am so blessed, and well, this trip was a constant reminder of all God has given me. Thank you, Lord, for a wonderful trip home. And thank everyone who made it just right!