White Horses and Cruising

Remember being little and dreaming of your “one true love”?

I do.

I watched a lot of Disney movies as a kid. Sue me.

I spent a lot of days imagining what that would be like; finding my one true love. He would probably ride a noble white horse and carry a sword. He would be tall. He would wear boots. He would be strong. He would slay a dragon and come wake me with true love’s kiss to save me from eternal sleep. (okay, maybe I watched Sleeping Beauty a lot more than I thought)

I still watch Disney movies but at some point, I grew up. And while I still love Disney movies, my idea about what my love is has changed–especially since I discovered that riding a horse everywhere in a city is wildly unrealistic. Also carrying a sword in public is generally frowned upon. Additionally, where the hell are you gonna find a dragon to slay? And why would I be stuck in an eternal sleep?? I mean, I have a lot of questions.

Either way, I hoped that he’d be funny–like laugh out loud, give me headaches funny. And smart. I hoped he’d be a nerd like me and know how to cook the things I don’t know how to. I hoped he’d be strong and handsome. I hoped he’d listen to country and rap. And metal. And 90’s pop radio. More than anything, I just hoped he’d be my best friend. I hoped that beyond being my “one true love”, we’d be friends. The kind of friends that take care of each other. That will hold my hair back if I’m sick and that would still kiss each other with morning breath.
Ultimately, I hoped he existed.

Somewhere along the way, I gave up looking. It was futile. And stupid. Prince Charming isn’t real. There are no white knights or dragons. I’m not a princess waiting to be saved.

But then, he was there. Not Prince Charming. My best friend. And he was always there.

Since we were 14, he’s been one that makes me laugh until I cry and will debate me on things that no one else will. Who knows how to make caldo de res and who nerds out to Star Wars. Who sings along to Breaking Benjamin and then to Intocable and then to Blake Shelton (don’t tell him I told you). He’s handsome and strong. He’s tall and wears boots. He isn’t so great with his words all the time and he isn’t perfect, but neither am I. He doesn’t slay dragons but he’s saved me from splinters in my feet, from having to get my hair wet in the rain, and from the most awkward, hurtful situations.

And while he isn’t a prince, and I’m not a princess, we are best friends.

Disney got it wrong, the whole Prince Charming thing (BECAUSE YOU CAN’T MARRY A GUY YOU JUST MET, ANNA). Because you don’t live happily ever after with some douche on a horse with a sword, dancing a waltz in a ballroom.

But if you’re lucky, you get a pretty legit life, rapping Dr. Dre and singing Evanescence, cruising around in a truck, holding hands with your best friend.

And that makes for a way better story.

 

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Left: 2004, Right: 2018

Anthony + Richard

This past Saturday started a long time ago for me. 
Wait, what?

Almost 15 years ago, I was standing at a bus stop waiting to ride the bus for the first time to my new junior high. It was my first day at Memorial Parkway Junior High and I knew exactly zero people.

I had also never rode a bus before and I was pretty panicked about it. I kept having visions of that terrifying walk down the aisle where all the Forrest Gump kids tell me I can’t sit with them.

Thankfully, I had like, the very first stop at ass-early o’clock, so there was no one to tell me I couldn’t sit there. I was very lucky that, at the stop right after mine, a tan skinned skinny boy with big curly hair got on and sat right next to me. His name was Anthony and he was in the same grade I was. I was relieved. I made a friend.

That’s Anthony, popping out from under my dress…at senior prom.


Junior high was tough for us because-duh-we were awkward ass 6th graders. From day one, I knew Anthony was different and special. He loved to sing in the choir with me, he was always considerate and he was a great friend. Things were a little more tough for Anthony. He was interested in music and fashion and that made it hard for him as a guy. As a thank you for being such a good friend to me, I (along with all our other friends) always made sure to stand up for him and protect him from the cruelties of junior high. You wanna talk shit about my BFF? I’ll kick your ass.

That mentality still holds true today.

We went through a lot over the next ten or so years. We graduated from junior high, then high school, we went to get higher education, we got jobs, there was drama, we gained new friends, we lost old friends, and we loved each other. 

One night, I was driving back to Baton Rouge from New Orleans and my phone started blowing up. It was Anthony. I was worried. He was crying. We didn’t say anything for awhile and I just let him cry. When he calmed down, I asked, “Anthony, sweetheart, what’s wrong?” 
He answered, “I have to tell you something.”
I said, “you can tell me anything.”
He said, “I’m gay.”
-silence-
I responded, “okay, but what do you need to tell me?” 

This guy had been my best friend for ten years! This new revelation wasn’t changing anything. 
Fast forward.

Anthony met Richard and he was a changed person. Richard loved Anthony for exactly who he is: compassionate, understanding, lover of fashion and Hello Kitty. 

So when Richard proposed to Anthony, I was out of my mind thrilled for them both. 

Photo Credit: @ashleycliu

And sooner than we knew it, September 14 was upon us and this happened:

I got my hairs and makeups did. I also attempted to cover my tan lines. Failed.
Top to bottom, left to right: Me and Marly at her parents’ house (TL), Me and my Maker’s Mark+Ginger Ale (Center), Ashley and me-we were dates for the evening (TR), Me, Colleen, Marly, and Ashley in front of the Houston Skyline.
L to R: coming down the aisle, saying their vows, WE DID IT!
See this chick up there? She’s serving champagne off her dress! 


So! As I wind this down, I just have a few things I want to make sure that I say to my best friend and his new husband.

Anthony,
I just want you to know how proud I am to say that I know you. I am blessed beyond measure to be able to say that I have watched you grow from a kid with big hair, full of secrets to a man with incredible skills with a chi flat iron. I am so thankful that you have found a person who truly loves you for everything you are and can celebrate in all of your wonderful qualities. Everyday, find myself in awe of your amazing ability to embrace life and everything that comes with life while being incredibly strong and never losing your optimism or sense of humor. 
Richard,
You take care of my boy. You love him and care for him and buy him all the Chanel bags he could ever want. I am leaving him in your responsible hands and I have never been more sure that he will be one-hundred percent okay. I am so excited to have you become a part of our crazy family-you are far more loved than you know.

Love,
Aislinn

This is going to be a hard wedding to top. Definitely the wedding of the century!