Never say never


By Lisa Sugarman

Today’s an exciting day for me (last Sunday, actually…the paper’s always a week behind.). Well, hardly just for me, but since I’m the one typing we’ll focus on me for now. It’s exciting because I’m getting ready to go to a wedding. And weddings are, of course, for so many reasons, a special kind of exciting.

For me, the electrical charge you feel at weddings is unlike most other happy occasions. The energy’s somehow different. You’ve got the bride’s nervous, anxious excitement; the groom’s nervy restlessness; and everyone else‘s anticipation and hopefulness that the Big Moment is perfect. But everyone, regardless of who they are, is excited about the joining of two lives and the unlimited possibilities for their future. It’s just a lot of good, old-fashioned joy.

The one we’re going to today, though, well, there’s something a little extra special about this wedding. I’m a little over-the-top happy about this one. Not because it’s in some lavish, ritzy-titzy ballroom with three hundred people and an unlimited sushi station or because they’re skywriting their vows over Manhattan. No, this one is special because no one saw it coming, least of all the two people getting married.

See this one means a little more than the traditional type most of us had right out of the gate when we were in our mid-to-late twenties. And the reason why it means a little more, at least to me, is because the bride, one of my best friends from high school, is getting married for the first time at the age of forty-six.

Now I don’t fault you for wondering why that’s so significant. Because without knowing my friend, you really couldn’t appreciate why her getting married now means so much. Well lucky for you I’m here to explain.

Look, obviously people get married at all different points in their life. And it’s beautiful at any point. But what I love so much about this particular wedding is that my friend had pretty much acquiesced that she was never getting married.

The thing is, she’d had a long-term relationship, ironically, with another very close friend of mine, but it wasn’t meant to be. And for a long time after that, she just never found anyone she cared enough for to build a life with. Now don’t misunderstand, she’d built an incredibly fulfilling and beautiful life for herself. Professionally, she was an animal—driven and successful. And as far as friends and family go, well, let’s just say her cup runneth over. Because if you knew her like I do, you’d know she was just about one of the most beautiful people in this world.

But here’s the thing… she honestly just assumed, as far as marriage was concerned, that she’d missed the curve. She figured the window had shut. Game over. And when we’d see each other, which wasn’t nearly often enough because we’re on opposite coasts, she’d always say how she wished she could find that special guy, but that she was resigned that maybe she’d just missed her chance. Which makes the fact that she’s getting married today so purely joyful for me.

That’s because she never saw it coming. And I think that’s just straight-up beautiful. She had resigned herself to the idea that she may never get married but that her life was full and rich and beautiful just as it was. But I just couldn’t help myself whenever we were together, and I’d always remind her of my theory that the best things in life often kick us in the head from behind when we’re looking the other way. That we can never truly ever say never. Because some things are just meant to be and forces beyond anyone’s control and understanding are always at work, around the clock, making connections happen all the time.

And in their case, the forces had actually been at work for decades. It’s just that neither of them knew it. That’s because they had met each other back in college, friends of friends, and the crazy little universe finally pulled them together again after all these years when they both least expected it. That crazy little universe.

Now I’m honestly not sure if I’m happiest that my friend is getting married or that she proved my theory to be true. I suspect it’s a combination of both. Either way I’m thrilled.

So I guess there’s only one thing left for me to say. And I’ve waited decades to hear myself say it. But, as the saying goes, the best things in life are worth the wait. So here goes…

Never. Say. Never. Oh yeah, and Annie, I told you so.

Lisa Sugarman lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Read and discuss all her columns at She is also the author of LIFE: It Is What It Is available on and at Spirit of ’76 Bookstore.



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