Photo: Eleanor Shakespeare

LIFE HONESTLY

A letter to my friend who is getting married

Next month, Marisa Bate will attend her best friend’s wedding. It’s a momentous stage in a friendship

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By Marisa Bate on

Dear T,

We’re here! It’s happening! One month to go before you marry D, which is wonderful and exciting. But, as your BFF, there are a few things I’d like to say first:

Make sure you don’t have chipped nails on the big day. Your dad and I will notice.

But don’t worry about anything else. You will look amazing.

Do remember the disasters and dickheads that came before. Remember when you thought this would never happen? Remember the guy with the bun?! Well, now, it is happening and there’s not a manbun in sight.

Do play Joan Armatrading and Van Morrison at the wedding. Those songs are the sound of you.

Don’t mention my anti-marriage cynicism as I inevitably sob my way through the ceremony. You’ve always managed to make me see things in a different light.

Don’t worry that we never managed that road trip. Sometimes it’s enough just to have someone to scheme and dream with.

Don’t forget that even good things can be hard. But you musn’t be ashamed if and when they get hard. We both know people are lying when they say things are perfect all the time

Don’t forget about the time you called me because you’d spotted my hero in a cinema foyer. When I rushed to get there, you forced me to speak to him. When I told you I’d been so nervous I’d simply started talking about cats, you put your arm around me and said, “Well done.” Or the time you emailed a stranger to track down a picture of my stepmother that was once in the newspaper and put it in a frame? Or the time you opened the door to me with a glass of wine ready because you knew I’d had the worst day? Or the day you came over after I’d been burgled, with a bunch of flowers and an offer of somewhere to stay? Don’t forget how much I appreciate you.

Do keep fighting with D about Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. The politics and the passion will keep your anger alive. And you know how important I think that is.

Do name your firstborn child after me.

Don’t get waylaid with other people’s weddings and babies and family holidays or cottages in Kent. We spent our twenties forensically examining the lives of those we envied. Now, it’s time to invest that energy into our own lives.

On that note, don’t ever use “the girls from school” as a barometer for success. You’ve already lapped them.

Don’t forget that even good things can be hard. But you musn’t be ashamed if and when they get hard. We both know people are lying when they say things are perfect all the time. And when they get hard, and you like him a bit less that day or week, we can always go to the coast and walk and eat Pizza Express and read the papers in dressing gowns, like we did that time.  

Marisa and T
 

Don’t ever stop sending me pictures of a young Barack Obama. I will always want to see them.

Do remember that life might get busy or we might not even live in the same city. You might become a therapist and have famous clients; I might live on a farm in Wales and have chickens. But none of that really matters. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been – or hasn’t been – because everything will be as it has always been.

Do know that seeing your best friend happy with a kind and good man outweighs selfish demands for dinner dates and long brunches.

Don’t forget that I was with you the morning you met him, with you the night before he proposed and that I’ll always be with you – one way or another.

Do know that this letter is wrapped in hope and love.

Do look forward with anticipation and excitement for the magical adventure that is about to happen.

And sometimes, in a quiet moment, don’t forget to look back. 

@marisajbate

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Photo: Eleanor Shakespeare
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LIFE HONESTLY
Marriage
Friendship

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