bill and karen

Whether I met Bill or Karen first is lost to the annals of time. I met both of them at one of the parties at the infamous Delta Nu house.

Bill and I became friends nearly instantaneously, and Karen’s always a great person to be around.

Bill thought so as well.

It didn’t take long for Karen became integral to our adventures. And then the obvious became obvious to everyone except for Bill and Karen.

When Bill joined the Army, one of the things he told me before he left was that he didn’t realize how much he was going to miss Karen. But no one knew at the time where he would end up. They kept in touch and finally, in 2011, their Facebook pages were filled with iterations of “It’s about time!”

And, finally, they got married yesterday. I was honored to be a part of the start of their next adventure as a groomsman.

I’ll post the few pictures I have later. It’s too much of an arduous task with a phone and a Chromebook.

We took Bill out on the town in Richmond on Thursday. I haven’t been in the city for an extended period in ages. It felt great to be back. It was also a little sad that I got disoriented a couple of times. I also got to visit some people and see the sights.

When I got hungry, I had to remind myself that I couldn’t run into the house for a bit and make a snack. The infamous Generator House next door to my old place is fully renovated and looks beautiful. I got to see Nia, my former neighbor and fellow Hamptonian. Ben the Great cut my hair.

I still haven’t gotten past the lobby of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which is remarkable because I’ve been to the newsrooms of both Style Weekly and the Richmond Free Press.

The bachelor party was fun. We sucked at bowling. I had far too many pork barbecue sliders. We went to GWARbar. We can neither confirm nor deny that we inadvertently broke an ATM.

On Friday, we headed to Lynchburg for the rehearsal and dinner. Because we’re getting old, we all pretty much turned in for the night early. Never mind that the wedding wasn’t until the next afternoon.

It’s a good thing that it was, because I didn’t sleep well that night. Something made me sick and I can’t for the life of me figure out what. I didn’t eat anything out of the ordinary, and no one got sick. Well, I did have like four crab cakes, but I’ve eaten many a crab cake with no problem, beyond these particular crab cakes breaking my rule of not exactly trusting any seafood west of Richmond.

After taking a mini-tour of Lynchburg in the morning (I can count how many times I’ve been to Lynchburg since 2000 with one hand), it was time for the wedding.

It was absolutely fantastic.

There were points when I could tell I was grinning like an idiot because Bill and Karen are perfect for each other. I literally ran around, jumped and sang ’80s hits purposely off-key at the top of my lungs. A lot of the old gang from college and the few years after were there. I hadn’t seen some of those people in at least five years and it’s a shame. I never took my phone off silent and rarely took photos. Why did I need to care about my phone? Nearly everyone I wanted to see was there, and I reverted back to wanting to experience it all with my eyes instead of through a camera lens.

I should have kept better tabs on my phone and the clock, but there were so many people and things to get caught up on because I rarely get to do that now. Not only were there people I haven’t seen in what seems like centuries, there were people I wrote about from the Tri-Cities. I had no idea I separately interviewed a couple who are good friends of Bill’s parents. I didn’t exactly expect to have multiple conversations about this City Council meeting and its resolution.

Because of that, although it was a joyous day, it was a bittersweet one. When will we see each other again? Some certain people need to get married (you know who you are) or we need to start planning reunions.

I’m all for more activity. I haven’t thrown a non-wedding party since maybe summer 2012. I haven’t been to a general house party since New Year’s. My house growing up was a hub of activity, and while I enjoy my life and career, it sometimes makes the quietness of this life halfway up a mountain deafening.

But I digress.

When it was all over, we planned to meet at a bar to say our final goodbyes. Since Lynchburg is such a hopping town on Saturday nights, and we knew nothing of the place, we picked a spot that was closing in about an hour. I got invited to something next weekend, but I already got two Saturdays off in a row. It’s not worth pressing my luck. I accepted this job with the understanding that I could kiss weekends goodbye.

But I got to be there for Bill and Karen, and that’s all that matters. They have a great story: Being friends for years. The thousands of miles that separated them. the love the blossomed and led to Saturday. They were surrounded by the friends who were there every step of the way. And, again, I was truly honored to be a part of the launch of this part of their adventure.

And now I have more of an excuse to go to Hawaii.