Mike and I have been friends for years, ever since he entered the college newspaper office as a gawky, geeky freshman back in the fall of 1993. At the time, Lew (as everyone called him) sported a jean jacket and a JETS pendant that dangled around his neck. I was a senior, and editor of the paper. Lew was, well, Lew. Eager. Bouncy. Optimistic. He was very Jewish New York—I’ve always had a soft spot for Jewish New York (being that I am Jewish New York).
In other words, I liked the guy immediately, and let him cover some of the smaller sports.
Two decades later, I attended his wedding two nights ago. Didn’t just attend, actually—was in it.
To be honest, as the afternoon began (pictures, rehearsal, etc), I was a bit down. For the past 10 or 11 years, my family has spent Memorial Day weekend at Ocean City, N.J., vacationing with a gaggle of our closest friends. It’s my favorite trip of the year … my wife’s favorite trip of the year … my kids’ favorite trip of the year. Hence, I attended the wedding alone (This wasn’t an easy decision. We debated and debated—but, ultimately, I didn’t want to take away a magical trip from my children. They grow up so friggin’ fast, blah, blah. So the wife took them to OC, and I met up with them Sunday morning). I missed the wife; missed having her there to chat and dance and talk about the food and do all the things folks do.
Then, however, something happened: Glee.
… awesome …
Mike and Shelley danced and danced and danced. They smiled the night away. It was all joy. One could not attend this wedding and complain about the food (awesome), the venue (a beautiful synagogue), the rabbi (funny and engaging). He couldn’t complain about the guests (200 energetic folks), the mood … anything. It was, perhaps, the best wedding I’ve ever attended, soup to nuts. Plus, I’ve never seen more desserts in my life—ice cream sundae bar, sorbet menu, frozen bananas, fudge, chocolates, etc … etc.
Anyhow, when I drove off Saturday night, I felt invigorated and enthused and optimistic, both about my friend’s rock-solid marriage and humanity’s need and ability to celebrate good times.