Less than three weeks ago I went to a wedding in Dallas. It was mere days before everything in the United States would start get turned upside down by the COVID-19 outbreak. If you haven’t been to Texas in a while, or ever, you might not be familiar with the greatest restaurant franchise in the country: Torchy’s Tacos. I was in Dallas for three days and I had Torchy’s twice. I regret none of it. It will be ages before I get tacos like that again. It also lent itself to one of the cutest baseball moments I’ve seen in ages.
There was a Giants spring training game on the TV at Torchy’s. A kiddo of about eight or nine stood a few feet away from me absolutely enthralled by the game. When his father came back he said “Dad, you didn’t tell me baseball was back!” with a perfect combination of awe and accusation that only a child can really pull off. I couldn’t help but smile at the young fan. I could imagine myself saying something similar at his age.
The wedding itself was a very cool event at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The ceremony was in the gem room in front of a giant amethyst geode. The dinner and dancing took place in the shadows of dinosaur skeletons.
Most importantly the guest list was a perfect compilation of some of my favorite people from the debate community. It was wonderful to see former students, colleagues and competitors. We laughed well into the night and had a brilliant after party at the couple’s suite a few blocks away before heading back to our hotel. I stayed up hours later than I normally stay up laughing with one of my best friends.
That was less than three weeks ago. Last night I got a note from the friend I went to the wedding with that his sister’s wedding, which had been scheduled for April 25 in San Francisco, was cancelled.
I want to pause here for a second because of all the people I’ve met in life few people are as adaptable and go with the flow as this friend’s sister. Her approach to life, travel and experiences are so different than my day-to-day existence. I tend to worry, plan and fret. She plans a wedding with a “tropadelic glam” dress code. And no, before you ask, I have no idea what that is, because she made it up. It’s unique and awesome and perfectly her.
So in the grand scheme of go with the flow, one might think she was dealing with this better than others would.
But of course she isn’t. She’s devastated.
Nineteen days ago one of my friends got married and threw an incredible party. Thirty-eight days from now another of my friends has cancelled their wedding party.
They are planning a private ceremony and despite tremendous disappointment I thought their message to their family and friends was the single greatest thing I’ve read to provide perspective in weeks.
I’ll leave you, and everyone putting huge events and milestones on hold right now, with their wisdom:
This situation requires patience, courage, discipline, calm, generosity, compassion, conscientious and an earnest resolve to love thy neighbor and to treat others how we wish to be treated. We wish all of you the best in safety and we can’t wait until the next time we get to party with you all.