I first met Allyn when I was about 19. She was introduced to me by a boyfriend who had had a crush on her for years and was still totally into her. That’s how that boyfriend was, he never let ANYTHING go. Not at all surprisingly, she intimidated the hell out of me when I met her. She was the object of my boyfriends affection (through no fault of her own… trust me, she did not encourage it), was beautiful, smart, full of ambition, was a domestic goddess (and still is), could stop a clock with her fashion sense and could apply make-up without weeping. She had a way of pulling you into conversation and making you confide. I so wanted to hate her and yet, fell totally in love with this gem and couldn’t help but be her friend.

She moved to Santa Cruz to go to school and while we were in no way religious about keeping in contact, we had a couple of nice visits and one kinda weird one (thanks to the boyfriend). I dumped the boyfriend, but Allyn? Allyn I kept. We ended up in over seas programs at the same time; my courage to leave home largely motivated by her and the new boyfriend (who would one day become my husband). We traveled all over the UK together, hopping trains and finger painting in hostiles. We had a blast and unlike many friendships, felt no strain at all that time together.

It was while feverish and half drunk in her dorm in England that I got to see the spark of her relationship with Erich ignite. We had gone to a party and Erich had escorted us back to her room. I fell into bed exhausted and lay there listening to the two talk and talk and talk. At one point I heard the words, “Well, what should we do now?” and I blurted from the bed, “You could SMOOCH!” Smart kids, they listened to the wise Ginger and did as was suggested.

Yesterday they married each other in an absolutely beautiful ceremony here in town.

You have to understand who Allyn is in order to understand why this is part of this blog. The week before I gave birth to Lily, Allyn flew out here from Chicago and stayed put for a month. She held my leg at Lily’s birth and kept me centered; she cooked and cleaned while we adjusted to life with baby; she infected my daughter with her girly-girlness. She is Lily’s Auntie, confident and Fairy Godmother. She was my maid of honor at my wedding. She can listen to my rantings and find the thread of the thing that is actually bothering me and then gently pull until I let loose and let it go. No matter how much time we spend apart, we fall right back into our friendship where we left off. No questions asked. She is one of my dearest friends and I cannot imagine life without her.

So, raise a glass, toast the bride and groom: here’s to the most amazing friend I will ever hope to have, to the man who loves her and to a lifetime of mischief together. Aho!