Today’s column is a guest essay, although “guest” may be a misnomer. GirlWonder is family, and she has been a co-star of this column since she was in preschool. It’s probably well past time for her to get a first-person entry.
GirlWonder writes: “If you don’t have a friend like my friend, I recommend you find one. She and I have been friends since we were babies. Although she and the rest of her wonderful family moved away when we were young, and we don’t see each other as much as we’d like to, I have always known that I have a steadfast and reliable friendship with her.
I already knew this, of course, but my wedding night proved it. My wedding day was amazing. It was fun, it went fast, and it got pretty hectic sometimes. So hectic that I managed to forget my entire overnight suitcase at my parents house (45 minutes from the wedding venue). I had no change of clothes, no toothbrush, nothing at all for my wedding night or the next day.
I called my mom (of course I did). My mom stopped and shopped at the only store near our reception hall — a dollar store. A lot of things she was able to buy were exactly what I needed, including a toothbrush, contact solution, face wash — but unfortunately, she was left with little options for clothing.
Desperate and short on time, she had to settle on leggings, flip flops and the only shirt they had in my size: a hot pink baby tee with the word “Queen” written on it — in glitter. Perfect for when I was 4 years old, not so much for my first day as a wife.”
Dear readers, please allow mom to interject here. I had just minutes to spare or I risked missing the bride and groom’s grand entrance at the reception hall. Picture me sprinting through a dollar store in a flowing dress and heels.
I cannot believe that I found the only such retailer in the whole state that didn’t have a wider selection of Ohio State University gear. They sell that everywhere! I swear I’ve been two states away and seen “Buckeyes” gear for sale.
Unfortunately, not a stitch of it would be found in this particular store. So I grabbed a hot pink T-shirt emblazoned with “Queen” upon it. It was this, or my daughter was going to have to don her wedding dress to walk out of the hotel on the day after her wedding. It would have been rather dramatic, but she’s really not an attention seeking type.
Please file this entire incident under “Mama Tried.”
Now back to GirlWonder: “My dear friend since our dress-up days, upon hearing about this, knew that she could not let me walk out of a hotel on my first day of marriage sporting a hot pink and oh-so-glittery “Queen” shirt.
She took it upon herself to take my parent’s house keys and surprise me by leaving the reception and driving 45 minutes each way — in an extreme thunderstorm, no less — back to our house. Please note that she had already traveled many miles to come to my wedding in the first place. She was now on the road again!
At our home, she gathered my suitcase and brought it back to the reception, tucking it under a table for safekeeping. Toward the end of the evening, she surprised me with it. I think it was one of the highlights of a very highlight-filled day when she rolled it out from under the table. Such a simple thing that was really not simple at all.
This is more than just someone being a good friend. There are no words to express just how sweet and thoughtful this was, and I definitely owe her big. To my friend since forever I say, if you ever manage to forget your suitcase and get stuck with nothing but a hot pink queen shirt, please call me. You are always and forever a queen of a friend — but I still won’t stick you with that shirt!”
As her mother, I love this story so very much for illustrating the power of loyalty, friendship and a willingness to go the extra mile, literally, for those we love. It also illustrates, perhaps, the importance of keeping a checklist so you don’t forget anything on your wedding day.
Granted, if GirlWonder had such a checklist we would not have this charming story of how she was almost — but not quite — “Queen” for a day.
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