The kind of love you feel when it's your first night back in your old town, and your best girl comes to pick you up at the airport -- even though it's miles away and a bitch to get there and silly to triangulate with cell phones. The kind of love that means you get to call your friends TURD and mean it, but never mean it at all (because, turd, in my world, becomes a synonym for love, too). It was the kind of time where a couple of cosmos and the rat-hole of a bar we still show up and at hugs around the table and friends you didn't even know were going to come out - bright and brilliant friends, the ones you missed before you left town even, that kind of time when it all comes together and spawns laughter and more hugs and a post-bar run to McDonald's to get the grease-coating your hangover needs to be nonexistant.
And, even though we woke up and didn't know where we were going the next day, we still found the wedding. We got beautiful and arrived on time and everything. We oggled the groomsmen, because that's what you do (besides, they were hot). I had warm fuzzies because the most handsome one was the one I got to go home with at the end of the night - the one that held me through the slow songs and got sweaty during the fast. Mine. I got misty-eyed at the toasts, because those were the words that were all about the love the two people getting married shared. Actually, they were all about love on all sides. A celebration of love - that's why women always cry and girls always turn to their men and ask "when will we?" because the two people who are doing it -- if it's a good wedding -- look so radiant with love that it's irresistable. And these two were. Radiant and irresistable, I mean.
After that was a night filled with maniac dancing and giggling and hugging and so much fun no one really wanted it to end, even when it was obvious we were all dragging on our last legs and not even Doritos and another drink would perk us back up. But there was love in the morning too, in the shape of a bottomless breakfast buffet with lots of bacon and make your own waffles and fairly crappy coffee but the faces of everyone you had a great time with the night before, near and dear, hugging and smiling through the headaches and the slightly twisted ankles.
It didn't end though, this stream of good will and happy faces. Not then. Instead we got to make sure the place my bestest girl is living in is approved by the family, along with the boy she's with. He did get the stamp of approval, although it's always conditional because no one is ever quite good enough, not for family. But enough that he can stay.
Besides, we gave him the trial run at the best BBQ in town, where I got to hug EVERYONE, because I loved them so much and missed them terribly and was so happy to see them that I probably squeeled, and that's hard for anyone to mesh with if they're coming from the outside. Probably not many places outside of California where the hosts know to put on a grill for vegans and a grill for the flesh eaters, and still have tasty side dishes that both consume in equal measure (and mean margaritas too). I know for sure there's no place that's more filled with people I was so happy to see - just getting to stand and link arms with them and see their grinning faces and know they're well and lovely and still as beautiful as I remembered, inside and out. And I got to finally meet the beloved of one of my best boys, too - kindred woman whose face I'd recognize in marble statues of goddesses and in the happy glow in his eyes. Unbelievably good to meet her in the flesh and see that she is as radiant in heart and soul as he, and that they make everything burn brighter together.
To end that night with hugs and fond farewells and not in sadness, but in renewed love for all these wonderful people I'm so blessed to have known and to know, to have gotten to see my family of my own making again, that's love.
I haven't been granted much in the way of greater joy than these things. At least not all rolled into one weekend. It made the going home, going to sleep, waking up and flying home all worth it. It made fireworks anticlimactic.