Sunday, October 16, 2011

Friends are Family

When people get married, the spouse knows that he/ she inherits a new family. Yet, the newlywed does not always realize that friends are family. To many people, the term family seems synonymous only with terms such as mom, dad, grandmother, but not with friend.

I do have a wonderful family unit with awesome parents, aunts, and cousins. Yet, I also have a huge extended family; my friends from college are family. My husband had the chance to meet both of my families, who fell in love with him immediately. I, however, never had the chance to meet one of the closest members of Trae's friend family until our wedding day.

With Facebook and texting, I had met Niki in a cyber-sense, but never face to face. Wedding days are not a good day to meet and bond with new family members. Yet, Niki and her husband Paul found a lovely way to let me know that despite never really meeting and not having said my vows yet, I was family. The gesture was small in the big picture of life: but really, aren't the small things what matters most?

Niki and Paul bought my two bridesmaids and myself a delightful Chick-fila lunch. Sitting there, with fried chicken sandwiches, hugging a girl I knew by name and photos only is truly a special wedding memory. I loved being able to meet someone who was a huge part of Trae's life since high school. Niki was and is one of Trae's best friends, and before walking down the isle to my future, I loved seeing some of his past.

Niki and Meredith enjoying a wedding day feast! 

After the wedding, I did not get to see Niki and Paul again until yesterday. After a year of being Mrs. M, I got to finally bond with Trae's friend family. I won't lie; I was scared. I knew that both Niki and Paul were great and kind people, but i wanted to impress them. I wanted to show this family that their boy was taken care of. Those fears left the moment Niki hugged me.

Not even thirty minutes later, the four of us were laughing. Several hours after that, we entered Zombie-land, better know as the Burke County fair. The rides looked sad while spinning their bright colors, hopelessly longing for riders. Framed by over-sized stuff animals, unpopped balloons lazily waited for dart throwers. We ate carnival food of corn dogs and cheese fries as we took in the surreal scene. Horses bobbed on a carousel without riders; funnel cake friers didn't sizzle. The only sound was our laughter as we analyzed the site. Afterwards, we got to feed goats as well as pet cows and horses. I can safely say that the goats outnumbered the humans.

A few hours later, we were relaxing at the apartment before Clemson kick off. We strolled over to Harris Teeter and bought a deli cheese pizza that we made snazzier with Canadian bacon. The pizza was eaten between shouts and hollers as well as jumping and happy dancing. (After a heart pounding game, the Tigers won! GO TIGERS!) Two a.m. rolled around before these old married folks decided to go to bed. Stories were shared, memories were made, and new family members were bonded. 

This morning was lazy as we woke up early and make a hearty breakfast of bacon, toast and eggs. Sadly goodbyes were being exchanged too soon with promises of visiting them soon.

Not once over the weekend did we go to a restaurant and sit in comfy booths, or get tasty take-out. My whole relationship with Niki has never been based off comfy boothes; we are paper bag girls/ princesses who do not need fancy dresses and gussied up outfits*. We are ourselves and do not put on airs. Instead we have the comfort of family.

When you visit family, especially your parents' home, you are familiar with them and do not expect fancy meals. You are comfortable in their home and do not ask if you can get a soda out of the fridge. Since they are family, you are in essence at home. This comfort can extend to close family members as well, and this comfort was embraced by Niki and Paul. They did not ask where things were, but opened cabinets, and put dishes in the dishwasher. Our home was their home, and will be anytime they come to visit, because they are family.

*I wrote the paper bag line with "The Paper Bag Princess" book by Robert Munsch.

1 comment:

niki said...

We love you guys - had a ball and are counting down the days until we can once again add to the memory vault!