Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Vicariously and Empathetically Deluded

It's a strange thing when a best friend gets engaged. I've squealed with close friends over their engagements, and come to their showers and to their weddings. I've been to numerous family weddings, been in their house parties, and stayed after the ceremony for pictures.

It's something else entirely, though, when it is a best friend.

My Dani is getting married. I know! Aren't you so excited?? I certainly am. This is someone that I've known (and traveled with, and shared secrets with, and lived with, and everything else you can think of with) for nearly six years. We've done it all, and we've certainly said it all. And I mean ALL all. All.

trust: reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.

One of the great things about having such a close friend is the amount of implicit trust she seems to have in me. If I tried hard enough, I honestly might be able to convince her to wear a dress made of meat or carry a bouquet of socks down the aisle. Not that I would ever do that, or that she doesn't have a mind of her own. But even she will tell you: I can be pretty convincing.

Although. It must be said. This has not always been the case. Freshman year I tried to convince her that the gorgeous hairstyle Kisha had spent hours on looked amazing on her (it did), but that didn't stop her from sticking her head in the sink!

Just saying.

Dani is one of my dear college roommates. We all live our experiences through each other, and at times it feels like we are all going through it together because the amount of details that are shared. This is one of those times when I feel as though it is me.

em·pa·thy: the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.

But really, empathy does not even begin to describe what it is like to witness her current euphoria. There are times I am literally reminding myself, "No, Valerie, it's not you. Dani is the one getting married. Dani. Not. You." This may sound weird, or self-absorbed, and I may not be saying this right. But it's just so wildly, fascinatingly bizarre for someone so close to me to be going through this!

Sometimes I honestly feel so vested in this that I think I should be a part of everything. "When are we...I mean you...going to have the wedding?" "What do we...you...think of this dress?"

I think a big part of this is the fact that we have gone through so many formative experiences together. From thinking we were grown-ups during our first year of college, to pretending to be grown-ups in Europe, to trying to be grown-ups in our very own house. From graduating college to moving to different cities and convinving ourselves that that didn't necessarily make us grown-ups, because...gross. We've lived it all simultaneously, and experienced all the big events at once. So maybe even though she's doing this one without me, I feel like I should be going through it too.

vi·car·i·ous·ly: felt or enjoyed through imagined participation in the experience of others: a vicarious thrill.

Yes, that one is pretty much me. Trying to hone in on her joy and giddiness...all through my own imagination. This need to remind myself that she is one that is wearing a sparkly ring. Not. Me. So what is going on with me?

de·lus·ion: to believe something that is not true

Okay, enough with the definitions.

I cannot wait to fly to California and celebrate the amazing union of one dazzling woman and her dashing fiance. After all, this crazily awesome friend of mine is, as we've already established, pretty much me by extension.

"There is nothing like sisterhood. We stand together, determined to love one another and share life, from this moment to next summer to our weddings and milestone birthdays, and on to the rest of our lives." ~Katie Noah


m. said...

absolutely. beautiful. really.

dc said...

Yes, yes and yes. You have a soon-to-be brother-in-law now! And, yes, internet, this girl is very convincing.

Just ask how many times it sounded like a great idea to watch Moses Supposes again or bake cookies at midnight. (Both of which are awesome activities, but still. Just sayin'.)

I love you Roommate. :)

Adam said...

I vote for the meat dress!

Katie said...

Thanks for the shout out, Val. And this is an absolutely brilliant post.

Love you and can't wait to see you SOON!!