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Lately, it seems like everybody is getting married.  In the past year, three of the post-docs in the lab have gotten hitched, engaged, or soon-to-be engaged.  My fellow lab tech is now sporting a ring that extends almost 1 cm above her finger (I may be underestimating here).  It’s so huge that it can double as a self-defense instrument, like pepper spray; except, instead of blinding someone with a chemical irritant, she can leave a diamond shaped hole in their eyeballs.

It hadn’t really hit me yet that I was reaching a marriage-able age.  After all, the people I knew getting married were all older than me by a few years.  And even rumors about high school classmates who have made the jump seemed so far removed from my reality.  But I guess I have to finally admit that my cohort—at least some of us—are becoming adults.

Two weeks ago, I flew to Chicago to attend a friend’s wedding.  She was my best friend in high school.  I remember her as a history buff, grammar freak, Starbucks addict, and an incredibly loud commenter while watching movies at the theater.  She introduced me to Korean pop music, caramel frappucinos, extreme procrastination, and a spirit of vibrancy and spunk that brought out the best in me.  She was a frequent online companion during the wee hours of the morning, my favorite person to rant to, and an ideal confidant when it comes to the matter of boys.  She ogled pictures of Orlando Bloom, Brad Pitt, and George Clooney, and on my chemistry notes, you would find her works of doodle art.  She helped me ask my crush to junior prom and she was first to hear the details of my first kiss.  To see her get married was a mix of the surreal and the sentimental, with a permeating sense of time passing.

The wedding was lovely.  I walked into the chapel just as G- and her dad were preparing to walk down the aisle, and she looked stunning.  What struck me more than the delicate folds of her dress was the smile of genuine happiness and the grace and maturity she exuded.  Despite the big time gap since I had last seen her, I felt tender pride and real joy to see her celebrate this milestone.

Now that her wedding’s over, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to see her next time.  There have been plenty of days where I’ve thought about writing an email or picking up the phone, but I don’t.  I can blame busy schedules or long work hours, but the truth is that I’m afraid.  I’m afraid of those long awkward pauses and forced niceties that make up the vapid conversations between people who have nothing in common yet try to feign genuine interest.  I’m afraid that if I reach out this time, after so many missed opportunities, there would be nothing left to grab onto.

Someone wrote once that friends who have grown apart are like strings that had been cut, their loose ends flailing in the breeze.  But sometimes all that it takes to recover a friendship can be something as simple as tying a knot.

I don’t believe that friends have to stay by your side forever.  We all have our own lives to pursue, obligations to meet, agendas to make.  But I do believe that connections between people are never really lost forever, despite the time and the distance.  Put on hold, maybe, but always there if you dig down deep enough.

It’s been a long time since I’ve baked anything.  These pictures were taken months ago when I was invited to a friend’s house for dinner, and I needed to bring a dessert I could whip up in half an hour.  I thought it was best if I used a recipe that I had already tried.  This Lemon Tart was way better than the first time I made it, which was more than a year ago.  I’m glad to know that I’m actually getting better at baking (and all that entails is being able to tell when butter is “fluffed” or when whipped cream is “whipped”).  I’ve also realized that I should remember to write down how my food tastes.  This tart was made so long ago that I can’t remember much about it except that it was good, so I guess you have to take my word for it.