Tag Archives: friends

Honesty Is the Best Policy

Guy friend (who is single): “Sooo…I know what you’ve been saying to your single girlfriends about me.”

Me: “Ok, fine. I figured it’d get back to you. But look. It’s nothing I wouldn’t say to your face. I absolutely adore you, you know that. I think you’re awesome. But at no point in knowing you have I seen any evidence that you want a real relationship. So yeah, I told my single girlfriends that– that I wouldn’t want to proactively set you up with them. Because I just don’t trust that you WANT a girlfriend. And you know what? I’m sorry, but it’s the truth. And it’s not a bad thing, it’s just the facts based on what–”

Guy friend: “Oh my god, stop talking. I was joking. I haven’t heard anything. ”

Oh.

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We Love You Very Both

While there was a decent amount of ad-libbing and additional content in the live event, this is the general script of our wedding ceremony, led by our dear friends and fabulous officiants Gabi and Andrew. 

Opening Remarks (Andrew)

Welcome to the Main Event. Gabi and I are thrilled and honored to be presiding over tonight’s ceremony. How fitting that we’re gathered here, from near and far, to celebrate Emily and Eric, in the state for lovers. The famous slogan, Virginia is for Lovers, at its core, represents a love of life and a passion for travel.

We’re here to celebrate love and passion, to celebrate commitment, to celebrate friendship, and to celebrate family. Most importantly, this is a celebration of Emily and Eric, as individuals and together as one.

Emily, Eric. Look around. Everyone is here for you and your love for each other. Please take it all in.

Just before arriving to the chupah, the Jewish wedding canopy that symbolizes the home that you will build together, we, along with Emily and Eric, and witnesses Danielle and Eric, gathered to sign the Ketubah.

This important contract is your promise to trust and respect each other; to be open and honest; and to be loving and forgiving in a relationship of equality. It’s your commitment to comfort and support each other through life’s sorrow and joys, to honor your families and traditions, and help fill our world with peace and love.

About Emily (Gabi)

Emily is the funniest person that Eric has ever met. Her humor is matched only by her intelligence, beauty, and courage. She runs marathons and runs her own small business, yet always makes time for the important things in life: Family, friends, and Facebook.

As I look around this room, I see smiles from all parts of Emily’s journey here today. Em grew up on the mean streets of Potomac, Maryland, with countless summers spent at Camp Robindel (although Steve could probably count them). At Penn, Em expanded her horizons — making friends from Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey, and even one Houstonian (diversity). She became a scholar of Sociology, which led to a career in education, molding young minds as Miss Emily. It’s with an impressive balance of levity and gravity — and emoji — that she shares her thoughts and feelings with the readers of Emily’s Posts. But it is her dedication to family — the Sibling Dinners, her love of the Boog, the way she adores Big Steve and Charla — it’s those strong family values that make Emily who she is today and who she will become tomorrow.

When we asked those closest to Emily to describe her, we heard things like, “Em is a bundle of hilarity, awkwardness, sarcasm, and kindness rolled into one…. She is generous… She is compassionate… she doesn’t judge. She supports everyone’s journeys, no matter where they may lead…” And — our most popular answer — “she makes Eric the happiest we’ve ever seen him.”

About Eric (Andrew)

Eric is a lighting rod of excitement. When we were writing this, I asked Gabi, “Do think excitement is the word that best describes him?,” and without hesitation, she said, “Yep. He’s like a golden retriever that always wants to lick his owner’s face.”

But Eric is more. He’s personable, charming, and outgoing. He can talk intelligently about pretty much everything, and these are the exact reasons that make him Emily’s match.

And what he lacks in hair, he makes up in resilience, optimism, and perseverance – often in the pursuit of fun. (He once even tore his ACL just so I could use the handicap bathroom at a music festival.)

Cuddly but muscular, Eric has great values, great friends, and great moves on the dance floor – just wait – and Emily, like no one else on earth, you bring out his best.

About Couple (Gabi)

I know there are a few lawyers here tonight. Oh, excuse me, I’m sorry — I know there are a few DOZEN lawyers here tonight. So I feel it important to cite a little known statute – Federal Guideline 38.33 – otherwise known as Lerman’s Law, the rule that if something can go wrong, it will go wrong… for only Emily. It’s pretty much Murphy’s Law, but with greater anxiety and a lower tolerance for lactose. Sure, during our college years, we may have broken a few rules here and there, but the one Emily just could not escape was Lerman’s Law. For example, she takes an awkward step — most would maybe twist an ankle. Emily’s avian bones put her in a cast for months. Then there’s her travel record. Is there a suitcase lost or a flight canceled? You can bet it’s Emily’s. And in a city of 9 million people and 25,000 restaurants, Emily and Eric’s fourth date takes place at a table directly next to a high school acquaintance who blabs on about Emily’s dating blog… that she hasn’t told Eric about yet.

Yes, Emily started this relationship with a big ol’ secret. But Eric was not so innocent either. You see, Eric shares the same name with the lead character of Emily’s favorite TV show, Coach Eric Taylor of Friday Night Lights. When Eric learned how much this thrilled Emily, he rrrrreally leaned into the joke, an early commonality to bring the two closer together. The only problem? He was a liar. He had never seen a single episode. So for the next two months, Eric secretly watched all five seasons to make good on this white lie.

Secrets and lies. The foundation of any strong relationship.

Both of these stories happened in their earliest weeks together, yet each signals the most important truths for Eric and Emily.

First, their love is honest. Their love is free from judgment or shame. Each accepts and embraces the other’s whole being with eyes wide open. Clear eyes.

Second, their love is limitless, boundless, endless. They are overflowing with joy, laughter, friendship, partnership, music, and dance. In good times and in bad, their hearts are full.

It’s with great pride — and legal authority — that today we mark the official end to Lerman’s Law as Emily and Eric officially become The Taylors. The start of a new episode for these two – this one filled with good luck, in good health, with love and laughter. Because together — with clear eyes and full hearts — Eric and Emily simply can’t lose.

Acknowledgements (Andrew)
Before proceeding, we would like to make a few acknowledgements:

Thank you to everyone here today, loving family and loyal friends.

We would also like to honor Grandma Bibby, whose presence is certainly felt but isn’t able to join us here.
Additionally, we would like to honor the memory of:
Grandpa George
Grandma Betty
Grandpa Seymour
Nanny City, and
Grandpa Rusty,
whose spirit resides among us today. May their memories be an inspiration to us and always remain in our hearts.

Wine (Andrew)

Wine is the Jewish people’s symbol for joy and celebration; a symbol of the richness of life and the sweetness of love.

This Kiddush cup, passed down from Emily’s family, symbolizes you, Eric and Emily, coming together to share one life. Remember to fill it with forgiveness, understanding, appreciation, and wine. Lots of wine.

“Baruch atta adoni, ello heynu meleth ha olum, ba ray pre hagufan.”

Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the Fruit of the Vine.

Now please both take a sip. As you share this wine together, may you share happiness and fulfillment from the cup of life.

It is my tradition, and Gabi now yours, too, to also have a sip of wine to thank God for giving us the opportunity to perform this mitzvah.

Shehecheyanu (Gabi)

In my family, on momentous occasions, we say another prayer – the Shehecheyanu – to give thanks for all the blessings in life that have brought us here today.

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam,
shehecheyanu, v’kiy’manu, v’higianu laz’man hazeh.

Blessed are You, oh Lord our God, King of the Universe,
for giving us life, sustaining us, and enabling us to reach this very special day.

Amen.

Vows & Rings (Gabi)

Your rings are powerful symbols and constant reminders that your love for each other is never-ending and ever-lasting.

(Andrew) Eric, Please place the ring on Emily’s finger and repeat after me:

Emily, I give you this ring

As a reminder that I will love, honor, and cherish you

In all times, in all places, and in all ways, forever.

(Gabi) Emily, Please place the ring on Eric’s finger and repeat after me:

Eric, I give you this ring

As a reminder that I will love, honor, and cherish you

In all times, in all places, and in all ways, forever.

Breaking the Glass

(Andrew) It’s tradition at the end of a Jewish wedding that a glass is broken. It serves as a reminder that just as pieces of a broken glass can never be put back together, marriage changes the lives of individuals forever.

Throughout this ceremony, you’ve vowed in our presence, to be loyal and loving towards each other. Therefore, it is my pleasure to pronounce you husband and wife. Eric, take care of that glass, and you may now kiss the bride.

(Gabi) Throughout this ceremony, Eric and Emily, you’ve vowed in our presence, to be loyal and loving towards each other. We love you both and it’s our great pleasure to officially pronounce you husband and wife.

**Not in the script but best line of the ceremony from Andrew, and now unofficial hashtag of our wedding: “We love you very both”**

 

Yes, I’m SOOOO Excited! But I’m Also Anxious as Hell

The wedding is in 5 days, and I am an anxious fire monster.

I have resisted writing in detail about my anxiety because I don’t want it to be misinterpreted by friends and family as doubts about getting married. I have zero doubts. But not being open about my anxiety is, as always, making it worse.

I should know better by now than to sit and stew.

So let me be as clear as possible and immediately halt any possible misinterpretation for those of you who still might not be totally clear on how mood disorders work– this has NOTHING to do with Eric. I have never been more confident in a decision in my life (which is saying a lot, as decision-making, for me, is the ultimate anxiety trigger, and is usually done with 100% haste and 0% confidence). I love Eric with all my heart and can’t believe I found him and get to marry him.

But anxiety doesn’t care if you’re grateful or happy. Anxiety has its own agenda, and the only way I’ve found to combat it is to do the exact opposite of combating it– to accept it and to be open about it. Because when I’m not, it eats me alive.

To be clear, I am excited– VERY excited. But the things is, when you have an anxiety disorder, excitement and panic run through the same pipeline, and, despite the fact that you are happy and really looking forward to something, that anticipation can FEEL very uncomfortable, produce an acute restlessness, make you feel like you’re crawling out of your skin, and just cause you to feel plain bad. It’s a frustrating cycle because you know you are lucky and happy, and you want to just feel those simple feelings of happiness and gratitude, but the nerves take over and don’t let you. They just leave you feeling like you sort of want to vomit, and maybe casually pull out your arm hairs one by one.

About 3 weeks ago, I began to feel like a line of drummer boys entered my body, and started a looped parade through my bloodstream, playing a steady, catchy beat– not altogether unpleasant, often actually fairly enjoyable. Sometimes I’d find myself bopping to their steady rhythm and feeling the flow, other times I was like, “Eh, I could use a little calm and quiet now. Oh, no? You’re not going anywhere? Ok I guess I’ll just drink wine straight from the bottle.”

And then, somewhere around last week, the drummer boys decided that right on top of my heart was a good place for them to all settle in, place their instruments on the floor, and then just start banging the SHIT out of them. Cymbals flying, drumsticks clanking. Even some cowbell. Because every band could use a little more cowbell.

All that being said, I know once this weekend arrives I will be thrilled and full of joy and love. Once all the people I care about most in the world are there, gathered in one space, and I get to marry this ridiculously awesome guy while surrounded by them, it will be incredible. Anticipation is always the hardest part for me. The lead-up is torture. Once the event is happening, the energy takes over and I can enjoy myself. I know I will.

So for all of you who have been so lovingly inquiring, “Are you so excited?!”, the answer is yes, absolutely. But I’m also anxious as fuck. And that’s ok. That’s who I am. And I think as long as I acknowledge that’s ok, to both you and myself, I will be able to at least mildly quell that inner voice asking, “What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you just be happy? Why can’t you just be like everyone else?”

Because I’m not everyone else. I’m me.

And you know what? I found someone who can’t even remotely personally relate to these feelings, but who does everything he can to fully understand them, support them, and, inexplicably, love me even more because of them.

Can’t get much better than that.

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#cleareyesfullheartstwojews

A friend of ours, Shaun, is designing a wedding trinket for us and using our wedding hashtag, #cleareyesfullheartstwojews on the design (If you don’t watch Friday Night Lights, and don’t know we are The Taylors, then there is nothing I can do to help you understand or appreciate this hashtag. I’m sorry.)

Shaun also runs his own business. While designing our trinket, he was simultaneously emailing a potential new client. In this email, he meant to cut and paste a standard questionnaire that goes out to all potential new clients.

Instead, he accidentally cut and pasted our hashtag, and hit send before realizing.

Literally wrote:

Hi Allison,
#cleareyesfullheartstwojews
Thanks!

-Shaun

The client signed.

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Hope

*Disclaimer: This post is not meant to represent the experience or feelings of anyone but myself. I recognize that crawling out of depression and Trump being president are not universally analogous, nor is the comparison relevant to most people out there, especially the people most potentially threatened by his presidency. This is simply a personal, self-indulgent journaling of how I am processing my emotions and looking to stay positive and make sense of things in a time that is overwhelmingly challenging to do so. But mostly, it’s just an ode to a dear friend.

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Today I received this email from a dear friend…

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Nine years ago, this same friend came to visit me in my darkest hour. I was living with my parents in Maryland, in the midst of an extremely serious depressive episode. I had left my job and my life in Philadelphia. I was literally sleeping in my parents’ bed, between them, too afraid to be alone with my thoughts. Despair was eating my insides. I couldn’t function, couldn’t eat, could barely breathe. Dressing myself was a challenge. I had lost any semblance of the life I had known and loved, and I saw absolutely no path to getting it back.

And then this friend came in from NY to visit. He dragged me into DC and forced me on a tour of our nation’s capital. And as we sat on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he promised me hope.

I didn’t believe him. I couldn’t see how that was possible. I couldn’t see past the very moment I was trapped in. I couldn’t imagine how I’d ever be able to function again, how I’d ever be able to take a breath that didn’t feel shallow. I couldn’t imagine ever holding a job. I couldn’t imagine being able to connect with anyone, on any level, ever again. If I couldn’t even imagine these simplest of human tasks, the idea of ever living a fulfilling, productive life seemed completely out of my reach. I wanted to die.

But this friend insisted on hope. He insisted that progress doesn’t happen in a straight line– but that eventually, we always move forward. He promised me I’d not only get my life back, but this painful experience would, in time, lead to an even better, more connected life than the one I had before.

I protested. He protested back. Eventually, too bone-tired and sad to argue, I nodded. My heart wanted to believe him but my mind told me he was full of shit.

Shortly after his visit, life began to change. It wasn’t instant and it wasn’t easy. It took work. It took a LOT of support from those around me. It took a damn village. It took faith. It took forcing myself into action. It took constantly reminding myself that no matter the setback, everything was going to be ok.

Today I not only function, I thrive. Today I not only breathe, I breathe deeply. Today I not only work, I have my own business. Today I not only connect, I get to marry and share my life with the most incredible man I’ve ever known.

My friend was right. My life is better today than the life I was living before my darkest hour. Not only because I survived the despair, but because I learned from it. It opened my eyes. It gave me perspective. It made me more empathetic. It deepened my connections with others. It inspired me to give back. It forced me to speak out. It sprung me into action, and inspired me to work on myself and stand up for others every chance I get. It made me realize that I have to cherish, appreciate, and look for the good if I want to ensure that darkness will never win in the end.

So thank you, friend. I needed this reminder of hope today. And not because there aren’t other messages of hope out there. There certainly are, thank god.

But you are a source I can trust.