This past weekend, one of my best friends got married.
Lee Gibson and I met at Origin Systems, where we were both testers. He can tell you anything you want to know about Wing Commander IV, having tested the PC, Mac and PC-DVD versions. He’s also a damn good Quake player. Some of my happiest memories of Origin are of me, him and Anthony Castoro playing multiplayer in the House of Cthon.
After we were both let go from Origin, we both found phone tech support jobs elsewhere. (I suppose I should thank Origin for giving me that useful skill, because it meant that I didn’t stay out of a job for long like I would have if all I had on my resume was “tester”.) He suggested I come over to where he was at Dun & Bradstreet, as it paid far better than MaxServ, which is where I ended up.
Thus we stayed in close contact and became even better friends. Finally he left Austin to go back to school and finally finish his aeronautical engineering degree (why yes, he is a rocket scientist). We kept in close touch using various IM programs.
Now, one thing I could never understand was why the poor guy couldn’t get married. I knew him personally, I knew he was sharp, funny and had a bright future, so it just astounded me when he would tell me of yet another flaky girl that he’d split up with.
Finally he met a nice girl named Barbara. From Portland, Oregon. Of course, given Lee’s history, I’m not surprised that he didn’t let that stop him. They continued their relationship using various IM programs.
And one day Lee went up there to see her and didn’t come back. Until it was time for the wedding, of course.
Now, Top Spin 2 had just wrapped the day before, and we’d been crunching rather a lot to get it done. And it’s a four-hour drive from Austin to Plano. I honestly wouldn’t have done it for anyone else.
But I’m so glad I went.
The wedding took place in Lee’s family church, the Custer Road United Methodist Church. The church itself was beautiful, with one of the most amazing stained-glass windows I’ve ever seen. The ceremony was absolutely wonderful – it served tradition well while still having a few laughs to break up the tension (at one point a bridesmaid and a groomsman went skipping down the ailse together).
One thing I noticed was that Barbara’s dress was white with a pattern of red roses on it in red thread. Lee was wearing a white vest with the same red rose pattern on it.
The pastor did one thing I’ve never seen before. At one point he made all of us, the entire congregation, stand up and pledge that we would do everything in our power to help Lee and Barbara in their journey through married life. I gladly said, “I will”.
And I finally saw my friend put the single part of his life behind him, and begin the part where he becomes a family man. I myself look back on the person I was when I was single and I don’t really recognize him. I wasn’t really me until I married Jamie.
And when we got to the reception, the wedding cake was white with that same red rose pattern on it in red frosting!