"You become."

So I spent this past weekend in Burlington, VT for my friend Jay's wedding. Jay married Laurie, an incredible girl, on a boat and I basically bawled my face off during their intimate and touching ceremony.

The thing is, I sat in 8th grade English class with Jay; I had Editors' meetings with Jay in High School; I slept on his parents' porch on prom night with the rest of our buddies and his parents made us breakfast the next morning. Somewhere along the way, Jay grew up and became a GUY who people talked about in Champagne toast speeches and who made countless lovely friends who filled the boat on Saturday night with their smarts and quips and songs.

Laurie's sister read an excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit during the ceremony and sitting there, on a boat at sunset, watching two wonderful friends pledge themselves to each other, I felt the love and I knew one truth above all: I must wait for something like this.

I'm going to retype the passage below because you might not have heard it or read it in quite a while. Also posting photos on Flickr for those who know Jay or who just feel like seeing evidence of a stunning couple. The proof is in the pudding, as my buddy Dave says: it appears that Love is out there, existing, surviving, on boats and on land and beyond.

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with , but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or who have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

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