A size 8 or 10

Fridays I crash. After a heavy dinner, courtesy of Mom and Dad, I watch Degrassi(if it’s a new episode), Greg the Bunny(yes he’s back), maybe sneak a peek at what’s playing on AMC or IFC and then fall asleep reading my current book. Last night, I had just dozed off when my phone rang. It was my brother, calling from San Francisco, wondering about my dress size. That can only mean that I’m about to be asked to be a bridesmaid. My baby brother is getting married.

My brother got engaged a few days before his birthday. He had shown the family the gorgeous ring a few weeks before then. I, unable to keep the secret for myself, told my closest friend at work, Work Mommy T., and Lisabet. We all waited anxiously and when the big day arrived, it was a moment for tears. My brother, Animal House fan and Jay and Silent Bob soundbite downloader, showed up at his future wife’s office with flowers and got down on bended knee. It’s enough to make anyone believe in the power of love and, yes I’m actually saying it, romance.

Many people have asked me how I REALLY feel about my brother’s engagement. I am happy. Thrilled. Nervous. Excited. Touched. Blessed. I have to admit there is a part of me that wonders when I will be fortunate enough to cross paths with someone who will enrich my life through romantic love. But this is my brother and Letty’s joy and I feel lucky to be involved.

I don’t have any “it could have been me” nostalgia. My ex and I might have had a nice wedding but we would have had a tumultuous marriage. I would have felt forced to limit myself to teaching and family. I would have cringed at his poor financial planning, his immaturity, his lack of gutsiness. I would have been forced to work with the church on my own, unable to inspire him to take communion, pray, or to even believe. Falling in love with someone doesn’t always make them right for us. When I look at my brother and his fiancee, I see they are right for each other. I rejoice in that.

A few weeks ago, Lisabet and I, bemoaning the absence of eligible bachelors, contemplated the love stories of our married friends. Ade met her husband through a friend’s clever planning. Ruben and Eric made eye contact across a crowded dance floor. Gene and Letty met in the Chicano/Latino section of a bookstore. They were life-changing moments that happened without any prompting or effort.

So I’m going to be a bridesmaid for the second time in my life. I don’t know what my dress will look like. I’m not even sure which size will fit best. But, like everything else in my life, I have to wait and see.

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