My friend Robyn is one of the nicest, sweetest, kindest, most badass women I know. She is blunt and sassy and she is not interested in any B.S. you (or her students) might be trying to sell. She is also engaged. I got my wedding invitation in the mail this weekend, and unlike on the Save the Date card, she even spelled my name right this time. We’re very close, really.
I have only one regret about Robyn getting married, and it is that we won’t shop for her bachelorette present together. After we graduated from college, about half a dozen of our friends got married in quick succession. Robyn and I were roommates at the time, and we were invited to the same parties and showers, so we usually pooled our resources at our friendly neighborhood sex shops. She and I didn’t embarrass easily and between the two of us, we never missed an opportunity for a good double entendre. To hear us talk, we were our generation’s versions of Mae West. So, when we got invited to a bachelorette party, there was a certain degree of pressure. We had reputations to protect.
That summer, we made enough shopping trips that we became familiar with the inventory, and we evaluated each gift on a case by case basis. Was the bride more of a Condom Sense lady or a Curry’s woman? Were we getting them something the couple was likely to use or wildly impractical? How much was too much, and what was so tame as to damage our aforementioned reputations?
There were also unspoken rules about how to behave while shopping. We never pointed or giggled or made any face that even hinted we might be surprised or scandalized by the things we saw. Because for reasons I can’t quite explain, I don’t like to appear shocked. Maybe because I grew up in a small town, I’m afraid of looking unsophisticated or inexperienced in the ways of the world. Or maybe I just don’t want to give people the satisfaction of provoking me in that way. But whatever it is, and whatever Robyn’s motives were, we played it cool.
For one shower, a friend of Robyn’s from church asked to tag along. We reluctantly agreed, then cringed as she repeatedly pointed, giggled, and called out to us, then held up merchandise with a mix of glee, embarrassment, and just a pinch of fear. She seemed like a lovely girl, but there was probably something a little Mean Girls about the look I gave Robyn. The one that said, “This simply will not do.”
Along the way, at least one cashier mistook us for a couple. She recommended a book for us to try for when you didn’t know how to communicate your desires to your partner, which I found hilarious because if there’s someone I could say anything to, it’s Robyn. And she’s never been one to hold back her feelings either, which is one of my favorite things about her.
She’s one of my favorite ladies even though we don’t see each other very often since she moved to Cleveland. It’s mostly an email here or a voicemail there about movies we think the other might like. Sometimes those messages start of with, “I don’t know of anyone else who might like this but you…” One of those was a movie so dark and disturbing I almost threw up, but she was right that it was amazing. She is truly a kindred spirit, and while I’m having trouble finding the right dress for the occasion (somthing that says, “I love you. Thank you for not getting married in Cleveland in the winter. Now, where’s the bar?”), I’m thrilled for her and her fiancee, Steve. Congrats, guys!