Juxtaposition - 10/17/05
This weekend was my friend Kristian's wedding. Kris and I lived in the same hall freshman and sophomore year of college, were nearly roommates the latter year, and shared an apartment senior year with three other dorm friends, including our buddy Greg. After graduation, Greg introduced Kris to a high-school friend of his named Courtney, and it was love at first sight. On Saturday, Kris and Courtney were married.

My cousin Brennan's wedding this summer marked the first wedding of my adult life, but Kris's wedding was the first wedding of a friend. It was also something of a college reunion party. Thus, as you might imagine, the weekend was a pendulum of alcohol-fueled reminiscence of collegiate times, juxtaposed with the often-emotional realization that we're all starting to reach new places our lives, where we begin to leave such times behind. We're several years out of college now. We all have jobs, responsibilities, and real lives. And yet we're also still endlessly amused by poop jokes.

There were about eight of us from our freshman year dorm sitting at the same table at the reception, and we made it our mission to take more advantage of the open bar than any other table. Possibly combined. This we did, but what we drank served not only as fuel for later drunken dancing, but also as fuel for tears at one of the most touching set of wedding speeches we'd ever seen. The bride's and groom's fathers cried. Their older brothers cried. Kris cried, something I'd never seen before. We all cried. And we loved every second of it.

I've always been fascinated with the contrast between human emotion and human logic. Our logic is what makes us go to college, get jobs, and survive. But our emotion is what makes us make friends, fall in love, and cry at weddings. As someone who loves doing SAT math problems yet has abandoned economic security to pursue a career of telling the emotion stories of life through writing, this contrast has always been especially real to me. Call it Thinking vs. Feeling. Call it Head vs. Heart. It seems that in our information age, we'd sometimes rather have the head than the heart. A systematic thinker who masks emotion is preferable to an irrational romantic who relinquishes reason to the emotional eruption of their volcanic heart. And yet as we all sat there, a part of the roller coaster of two families' love and memories, goodbyes to old lives and hellos to new ones, all I could think of was how much I was enjoying the ride.

Kris and Corky, congratulations, and thank you for reminding us all why it's good to be human.

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