The Desert Can Be a Beautiful Place

One of my good friends from high school got married this past Saturday. Juliette was very excited about it because even though she was never actually the groom's friend, we hadn't been to a wedding since our own--almost three years ago--and like any good junkie she needed her fix. I was excited, too, but more because I was just so happy for my friend.

I ended up having quite a good time. At first I was a little worried because I didn't know anyone but the groom and a few of his family members, plus it was uncomfortably hot--the wedding was held in the town where the couple lives, which is way out in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Anyone who has been to a large wedding knows that the newlyweds won't be able to make much time during the reception to hang out with any one guest--they've just got too many people that want a piece of them. So if you only know the couple and you're not very outgoing, you're in for a sort of slow night. As it turned out, though, my friend had invited another guy I knew from high school, and Juliette and I spent a fair amount of time that evening chatting with him and his wife, catching up and reminiscing. It was really nice to hear what was going on with him, not to mention interesting.

What will stay in my mind as the defining image of the wedding, though, was the look on the groom's face during the ceremony. As long as I've known this guy--and it's been about twenty years since we first met--he's always played it close to the vest when it came to emotions. We've had many a chuckle, but I can't think of a time I've ever seen him angry or depressed or ecstatic. But the expression he had when he was looking at his bride was so full--joy, love, amazement, one after another all nakedly present on his face. I swear I even saw him get choked up. It was amazing. In fact, it was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. I'm glad I got the chance to see it--it's things like that that make your own life richer.

Congratulations, MacKenzie and Stephanie. I'm really happy for you guys.