Monday, June 1, 2009

The Perfect Fit


Each one of my friends is so completely different from each other.  If they were flowers and you put them all together, they’d be one big crazy gorgeous mixed bouquet.  Some of them might give you allergies, but they’d all be beautiful in their own way.

But Sydney…she’s really different.  For one, she told me that if I was going to blog about her, I had to use her real name.

“What’s up with that initial stuff?”  She asked me.  “Use my name.  I like my name!”

She really does.  She’d name all of her children Sydney if she could.

Unlike most of us who stumble through our teenage years not knowing where in the hell we’re going to end up, Sydney always had drive.  She always knew she was destined for greatness, and from the moment I met her, I knew it too.  A fashionista from the get-go, she would show up at school in amazing little outfits while the rest of us barely bothered to brush our hair. While we were concerned with the prom, popularity and what other people thought, Sydney was deciding which art schools to attend and already working on her resume.  Look up "driven" in the dictionary and you will find her picture- probably in a tiara.

Sydney always knew she wanted a career in the fashion industry and wouldn’t settle for anything less.  During our senior year of high school, I enjoyed getting out of class at noon and heading home for a nap before my exhausting shift at Baskin Robbins.  Meanwhile, Sydney was taking fashion classes at our local community college.  Immediately after graduation, she moved to Seattle to study at the Art Institute, all while completely supporting herself financially (and emotionally, but we won’t go there) and managing her own damn clothing store at nineteen years of age.  

Sydney has continued to climb the ladder of success throughout our twenties.  She landed an amazing job at the Zumiez corporate office, created what is now one of the largest fashion shows in Seattle, went back to the Art Institute for another degree, and started a blog that has landed her numerous freelance writing gigs.  Her blog, sydneylovesfashion.com, is perfect.  Sydney loves fashion passionately, and the fashion industry loves Sydney as well.

Sydney’s relationship with fashion was, for a long time, the only successful relationship she had.  Being beautiful, sweet and charming, she had her share of admirers and was never without a date.  But none of them were ever right for her.  Like the perfect outfit, she wanted someone timeless, classic, flattering, and supportive- the perfect fit- and she wasn’t about to settle for anything less.  We always joked that she’d never get married, but that never bothered her.  That girl is completely untraditional and certainly didn’t need a man to complete her perfect picture of a fulfilling life.  In fact, when I tried to envision Sydney’s perfect man, I couldn’t.

When all my good friends began to couple up and getting engaged (myself included) Sydney remained free, playing the field.  She and I enjoyed many Seattle weekends together as well as one incredible trip to Cancun.  She was genuinely happy for me and Mr. W and I was genuinely happy for her blossoming career.  Seriously, this chick does everything she says she will.

Then Sydney met Jeff.  From the first time she mentioned him to me, I knew Jeff would be around for awhile.  I had never heard her talk about a man this way before.  Her eyes lit up when she mentioned him.  For the first time, I heard her use language like “we.”

When I met Jeff, I had a feeling he was Sydney’s perfect fit.  Jeff is polite, sweet, and generous, with possibly the most gorgeous eyes I have ever seen on a man (other than my love, of course).  He treats her like a princess because he knows she deserves it.  There is nothing he wouldn’t do for her.  He lets her be who she is, like my husband does for me.  With two unique characters like us, you have to let us be, and Jeff understands that.  Last year, at Sydney’s fashion show, I left my mom’s side for five minutes to use the restroom (there was an open bar) and by the time I got back, she had met- and fallen in love with- Jeff.  The guy is just cool.

So, last September, when Jeff put a huge princess cut diamond ring on Sydney’s hand, I knew I had to plan the perfect celebration.  I planned for months, looking at website after website to find the perfect venues for our events.  Last weekend, I finally got to relax and enjoy the parties.  Joined by Sydney’s other best friend, Marica (she totally loves her name, too, and so do I) we threw her a bachelorette party bridal shower extravaganza.  We had a spa day, a night of bistros and bar hopping, and a bridal shower brunch, complete with the perfect cake (pink, of course).  We also spent two nights at the beautiful Fairmont Olympic, where Jeff paid for a room for us so we could have plenty of girl time.  I told you the guy is awesome.

It was, honestly, one of the best weekends of my entire life.  It wasn’t cheap, but this isn’t any friend.  Sydney is one of the big reasons I’m pursuing my dream of writing professionally.  From the time we were young, she always told me she had complete faith in me, that I was talented, and that I could be anything I wanted to be.  She has never, not once, doubted my decision and when I talk about my writing, I can see the genuine happiness in her eyes.  She is the definition of a best friend and I am so grateful that our friendship has survived the years.

It started as a joke- at least, on my part.  Being a totally nontraditional bride, Sydney hadn’t given much thought to her wedding- which, by the way, is in six weeks.  As we checked out of the Fairmont with Marica, nursing our hangovers with bottled water and discussing wedding details, I joked that I would get ordained and marry her and Jeff. 

This morning, I got an email that said, in part:

I thought about this when I was in the shower this morning (and not in a gross way. lol) and I would love for you to marry us.
So the way I envision this is that people will be seated on the lawn in those little white chairs and then we'll set up the wedding arch in the corner area and just angle the chairs to face it. Then we'll play light music, get everyone seated and then you'll walk up front and make a brief speech about marriage. You are my best friend and happily married so I have a feeling you know a thing or two about people in love and making it work. 

Until that point, I wasn’t entirely sure if she was kidding, and I thought about it.  I’d get to help my best friend and her super awesome fiancé start their lives as a married couple and help them take their vows.  I can’t imagine a bigger honor than that.  And she asked me to do it.  If I could bottle up what I felt at that moment and inject the world with it, I’m telling you, there would be instant world peace.

There were some tears shed, and when I got her thank you note thanking me for the best weekend of her life and telling me what an awesome friend I am, there were more.  I have no idea how I’m supposed to conduct a ceremony without crying when just the thought of it makes my mascara run.  But I’m going to give it my best.  I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that everything about her day is flawless.  I’m going to give her the support she has always, without question, given me.  Because although she is nontraditional and doesn’t want a big wedding, the fact is, that day in July will be the beginning of a journey we never thought she’d take- but that we’re so glad is happening.  It’s not always an easy journey, but if you do it right, it’s worth it.  And, without a doubt in my mind or heart, Sydney has finally found her perfect fit.


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