About a year ago, one of my dearest and best friends sat across the table from me at Olive Garden. We hadn’t seen one another in quite some time, and now that I was back in town on a visit from college, soup salad and breadsticks were in the highest of order. She has always been beautiful, my dear friend since the second grade, but there was something extra in her smile that day. As if no more than a day had passed since our last lunch, we spent the first 30 minutes of our meal smiling, laughing, sharing our inside jokes and commencing with all other forms of catching up.
We had been set at a table with a decent amount of sunlight filtering in through the window. It was not until the initial excitement of our reunion died down that I noticed a twinkle coming from Lauren’s side of the table. That’s funny, I thought. It looks like she got a new ring. Its very pretty. Looks like a decent amount of diamondage, too. And on her left ring finger…
Apparently, I am both blind and an idiot, because it took me that whole thought process and Lauren’s frantic ring finger shimmy dance in my face for it to sink in: MY BEST FRIEND IS GETTING MARRIED!!!
Now let me explain something to you about Lauren. This girl is a different breed of person than anyone else I have met in my whole 23 years. She is what I like to call ‘stupid pretty.’
Every single person in this big, wide, wonderful world has the chance to show off their elegant and attractive side from time to time. For some of us, it takes extra work. Many of us out there feel the need to cake on a layer of paint and dust to feel like we are presentable to those outside (or in some cases even inside) of our doors. Then there are others to which the world of beauty comes naturally. They seem to know their way around the morning what-the-hell look and gracefully dance themselves through the day. Even so, most everyone has to work at least a little bit to keep up their appearances.
And then there are the people we all envy. When the rest of us, even the seemingly always-done-up life dancers, wake up looking like wild buffalo have run over our faces, when we had some nocturnal birds make their nests in our hair, when no amount of coffee and/or makeup will do the trick...these enviable creatures of eternal grace maintain a beauty that surpasses all reason and logic. Lauren is one such creature.
Stupid pretty is not a technique or a method, nor does it involve the application of any traditional beauty regimen. It is an inborn quality that a select very few seem to have from birth to the grave. As such, the unfortunate truth of the matter is that being stupid pretty is not something we are able to learn. All we can do is appreciate their presence in our lives.
Alright, let’s get back to the current flashback. Giddiness and excitement exploded once more. It was then that she asked me to be her bridesman. Neither of us has ever been traditional, so of course I accepted!
Over the course of the past year, I have gotten to watch as the already stunning Lauren I grew up with became even more filled with radiant light and love than ever before. Her smile grew ten times brighter when talking about planning the wedding. I was present with the other bridesmaids and mothers at the selection of the wedding gown. Suffice it to say that when she put on the right dress, we were each and every one of us a blubbery mess.
I spent a lot of time during these past months thinking of our friendship. From the moment we danced the hustle together in the third grade up until this past weekend, I have been blessed to call her my best friend. My life has been brighter and happier simply by having her in it, and it was an honor to stand by her side as she took her partner in crime as her husband.
Never in my life have I seen a bride more beautiful than this woman. Lauren’s stupid pretty self could have turned every head in the world that day. Stunning doesn’t even begin to describe her as she walked down the beach to her now husband Glen. Once again…a blubbery mess was I.
One day, I hope to have a wedding of my own in which I am Princess Supreme. And on that day, I will be requiring Lauren (who will of course be present) to dress herself down so as not to outshine me for just once. After that, she can continue being the absolutely stupid pretty person she is every day.
My dance partner now begins her life with a quality, loving, and deserving man whom she adores. I’m sure her life (and likely her children to come) will be as full of stupid pretty as it has always been. In years to come, I will remember this past weekend with a great fondness. It was the weekend I got to dance alongside the most beautiful bride.