Friends marriage proposal brings surprise, acceptance

A few months ago, I heard one of my friends had proposed to his girlfriend, and she agreed to marry him. I was fairly upset by this news because he had not mentioned to me he was planning to do this.

An actor, my friend proposed during the opening night of his most recent show. In the weeks leading up to the show, he had told me I should buy tickets for opening night because it would be the best show. However, the play opened during the middle of the week, which is when I am most busy. Unfortunately, he did not mention he would make one of the biggest commitments of his life.

When we were straight out of high school, my friend called me one morning to tell me I had to drive to Laramie that afternoon. I told him I didn't think I could, to which he responded: "Dude, you have to. I'm making chili dogs."

To think our friendship had changed so much during the last few years pained me. How could chili dogs be so important to cause a you-have-to-be-here moment when we were 18 years old but a marriage proposal not cause such urgency now that we're in our 20s?

Lack of news causes sadness

I may be busy during the week, but had I known the true importance of that opening show, I would have cleared my schedule.

Perhaps the most saddening part of the engagement was I didn't hear about it from my friend but from my connections to the University of Wyoming newspaper, The Branding Iron. Feeling bitter and upset, I crawled into bed that night thinking to myself, "He didn't even call to tell me."

Just as that thought passed through my head, my phone began to ring. It was my friend. I shared with him the standard sentiments of congratulations but still felt unsettled by the turn of events. But despite the call, these feelings of uneasiness continued to pester me throughout the week and into the following weeks.

How could he simply not tell me about something so important? I mean, it's one thing to forget to tell your friend since second-grade that you're going to be an uncle or to forget to tell him nine months later that you have become an uncle, but forgetting to tell him you're going to be a husband seemed just plain neglectful.

I was pretty upset about not being informed, but even as these feelings passed, my negativity remained. After a few days of sitting in my dark room listening to the same eight Joy Division songs over and over, I began to realize why I was so upset.

It sucked my friend didn't tell me he would propose, but the fact that his girlfriend said "yes," and he was to be married soon marked a change in not only his life but also mine. I realized how selfish this thought process was, but such a large change in my friend's life will affect my life because the availability of one of my closest friends will undoubtedly decrease.

He wasn't the first of my friends to depart to the world of adult relationships; a number of my friends from high school and earlier stages of life have become fathers and husbands. But this change carried a much higher level of gravity because of our closeness.

Farewell to frolicking

Not to sound like Timon and Pumba from "The Lion King," but his engagement seemed to spell the end of the current state of our friendship and to ensure the gallivanting of our younger days would be no more.

No more battling giant adversaries in the mosh pits of punk shows.

No more staying up until 6 a.m. leveling up characters in Final Fantasy games.

No more watching Godzilla films into the wee hours of the night and creating drinking games from them.

And, especially, no more driving between Cheyenne and Laramie at a moment's notice because one person is making chili dogs.

I felt as if my best friend were being taken from me.

I know my relationship with my friend will change because of this, but I realize such changes are a part of life. To remain upset about the situation would take a level of immaturity so high even I cannot endure it.

As we both develop deeper romantic relationships, it is natural we will begin to share more with our girlfriends and less with each other. However, the influence we've had upon each other while growing up will remain for years to come, and we will always share the bond of camaraderie because of those experiences.

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