By Paul Wein
I have to tell you that besides the fact that the wedding itself was a beautiful, elegant affair held at Long Island’s romantic Swan Club – it was the ceremony itself that really touched me.
About four years ago, I met Doug when I was the editor-in-chief at The Brooklyn Baron. He wrote some columns for me called, “Did You Know?” which were about the origins of various things. Through his writing, I came to realize that he was a pretty cool guy, because his form of writing was a combination of relevant information combined with humorous sarcasm – which is Doug in a nutshell. After a while of working together, we began to hang out outside of the office, and became fast friends.
One day, he introduced me to his girlfriend Amy – a sweet, friendly, funny person who I liked from day one. Usually when a guy introduces his friend to his girlfriend, the friend and the girlfriend never like each other. In our case, I thought Amy was a great person from the first day I met her and enjoyed when all three of us hung out together – a true testament that they do indeed belong together.
I still remember when they moved into the apartment they now live in. It was around February or March of 1998. I had some time between jobs, so I helped them move in. I remember the thoughts that were going through my mind as I watched their apartment come together. I remember thinking how happy I was that they decided to move in together and that as their lives progress and the years pass, this apartment that is now nothing more then freshly painted walls and empty rooms will be filled with the souvenirs of their special times together, the laughter of good friends – and the beating of both their hearts as they live together both in the same home – and the same heart.
I also remember Doug talking about marrying Amy one day. “We’re gonna wait a few years,” he told me then. “We just want to get enough money in the bank and have a big wedding.”
It’s hard to believe, but two years after making that statement and after two years of watching their love and our great friendship grow – I had the honor of standing next to my friend Doug as he did what he said he would do – give his life to the woman he loves.
As I stood there watching these two dear friends of mine join together in Holy matrimony – I recalled the friendship that brought us to this moment. I realized that just a few short years ago, we were strangers – and now – I meant enough to them that they asked me to be in their bridal party and bear witness to their joining – what a true honor.
Besides the fact that we were once strangers – I glanced over to Doug’s mom and Amy’s parents and realized how amazing it is that two people can start out in life so far apart from each other, never even knowing that the other exists as they make their journey through the path of life. Falling in love, making friends, getting jobs, breaking up, losing friends, getting new jobs – and then one day – meet each other out of pure chance, enjoy each other’s company, and then realize that they are each other’s one true love – and continue their same path they started – but now – walk together.
When Doug and Amy read the vows they had written to each other – that was when I started to cry. I felt and realized – as all of us who witnessed the ceremony did – that this was indeed the truest form of love there is. Douglas, a man who is always in a laughing mood and finds the humor in everything, had tears in his eyes when he recited to Amy the words that came from his heart – and Amy could barely speak as she tried to read the words she wrote to express her love for Doug – how could anyone not cry.
When Doug stepped on the glass to signify that the ceremony was over and leaned over to kiss Amy as his wife for the very first time – the lucky witnesses to this event cheered in excitement and joy – I did as well, but I was also taken back by the thought that I was a witness to such a monumental event in these two people’s lives. From a reporter and his girlfriend – Doug and Amy have become two of my most cherished friends – and now – they are husband and wife.
To both of you, I write this column with all of my love and friendship. You have both been there for me through some of my happiest – and toughest times. Through joyful events, unhappy moments, new beginnings, bad relationships, great barbecues, occasional arguments and everything else that comes with being a friend – you have both stood by and stuck through everything life has thrown me for the past few years. Even when, at times, I did not do the same for you. You both have shown me what the true meaning of friendship is and that no matter where life takes you – that your friends will always follow.
I have watched both of you grow as well. I have watched you Doug, go from working with bagels and bialys to bioses and bytes. I have seen you go from someone who laughed as I told you I could not come over because I was watching Monday Night RAW to someone who now tells me what is going on in the wrestling industry. I have also seen your writing improve from a beginning columnist to someone who’s writing is highly sought after on many popular wrestling sites.
And Amy, I have seen you go from Doug’s girlfriend, which is what you were when I met you – to Doug’s wife. I have listened with appreciation as you gave me advice on some of my life’s toughest situations – and through your friendship, kindness and love – have come to know you as a sister.
I wish for both of you nothing but happiness, true blessings, and the love of a big family. May the both of you – if you should ever argue – remember the look in each other’s eyes that you had when you read each other the vows you wrote and realize that whatever you are fighting about can never be as powerful as that one moment.
And most importantly – may you know that I love you both very much, and always will – Mr. And Mrs. Farnum.