"Friday nights I'd look up there in the bleachers,
And I can see her, with my letterman's jacket on.
And I still got this scar here on my right hand,
From when Bobby told her, she deserved a better man.
She hung right with me down in Panama City,
Raising hell on our senior trip.
And man it ain't funny -- it gets the best of me!
And I just can't forget.
I just can't forget ...
Back in the day? We were wild and free!
She was my dashboard drummer,
Butterflies in the back seat!
Little footprints on my window ...
Parking my Chevy by the riverside --
And four letters in a heart carved in a pine.
A sun dress laying up there on the bank ...
While the water washed our innocence away ...
Back in the day ...
Summer was over, college was calling --
Man, I had to watch her leave.
But I wonder if she ever thinks of me ...
Because back in the day? We were wild and free!
She was my dashboard drummer --
Butterflies in the back seat!
And little footprints on my window!
And parking my Chevy by the riverside?
And four letters in a heart carved in a pine?
A little sun dress laying there on the bank?
While the water washed our innocence away?
It feels like yesterday.
(But it was) back in the day.
Back in the day ..."
-- "Back In The Day" by Brantley Gilbert.
This post ... Jesus, I'm three words in, and getting choked up already.
(Which is why I didn't post the first verse, of Mr. Gilbert's awesome song, as the opening lyrics. That would have been too much ... even if I never dated a Katie in high school, college, or hell, any other time in my life, than the time I dated my best friend.)
Unlike most posts on this site, I will not be sending the link on Twitter, posting this on Facebook, even referencing it in casual conversation. It's addressed specifically and totally to one person, and if you happen upon it, just know -- she's that amazing. She's that incredible, beautiful, supportive.
This is addressed ... to my best friend.
I know she'll see it ... and that's all I care about, in typing this.
Girl, I already let you know how happy, how so incredibly happy, I am for you. I was never good enough for you. You deserved better than me, and you found your "better than me", and I could not be happier. I tried to convey that in my email to you yesterday, and I hope I succeeded.
See folks -- in case you didn't know ... my best friend, is my ex-girlfriend.
And as of Friday night, another guy's fiance.
So let me address that first, and then get to what I want to post, for anyone to see, but specifically those of you, who know us well.
To you sir: you have gone out of your way to treat me with respect, and with kindness, over the last year. I certainly didn't make it easy on you, and for that, I am sorry (once again). But it is to your credit, that you didn't pull a move 99/100 guys would have made, upon getting serious about a girl, whose best friend, is her ex.
You never made her choose.
And for that ... I am so godd*mned grateful.
Instead of forcing her to make a decision none of us (again, to your credit), none of us wanted to make ... you instead chose to respect the special friendship Katie and I have, and not only signed off on it -- you went out of your way to make me know I was not only welcome in your life, but wanted.
You did right by me, in a year when too many close friends of mine, did not. You'll never understand how much I admire -- and respect -- that. And that is what you earned sir: my respect.
All I ever want for her, is to know she's happy, and safe. With you, I am 100% confident of both.
Just know -- you're getting the most amazing girl, that's ever drawn breath on this planet. I literally worship the ground that girl walks on. I wouldn't sign off on this ... if I didn't think you were good enough for her. Fourteen months ago? I didn't think you were. Now? The only person in the room come October-ish who'll be crying with joy more than the bride ... is me.
Do right by her. Love her like you have.
And thank you, for being the 1 out of 100, who didn't make her choose, between the love of her life, and her best friend. Thank you for recognizing, those can be two separate roles.
And to my girl ... to the best friend a dude could ever have:
I will never forget the first time I met you, running late for the start of our bowling league on October 1, 2008. In hindsight, it's the happiest day of my life -- I met my best friend, even if I didn't know it then and there.
I will never forget our first "official" date, at my company's winter party.
I will never forget my boss' husband's reaction (and Jeff is a quiet dude who keeps his feelings to himself): "You will never regret the day you met her. She's amazing." Yes, yes. I concur.
I will never forget the first night on "The Couch", with DJ and Kellie, watching your Gators win the BCS championship against OU.
I will never forget that night in February 2009, when you, me and Kellie went bowling at the ... whatever it's called, on 350 and Woodson.
I will never forget the first morning after, when neither one of us could eat a damned thing at Chili's on Chipman, because we were still so hung over.
We will always have the "Fast and Furious" franchise to us.
(And I'll never forget how you fell asleep within 10 minutes of the first "Twilight" movie starting on the DVD. You spent two months convincing me to watch it ... and were sound asleep for the whole damned thing. It's amongst the best two hours of my life -- just you and me ... ok, a sound asleep you, but still.)
Priest loved you girl. That dog was picky. (And beyond lazy.) He loved you. It was you, he would wake up at 3am, to let him outside. Not me -- you. And you know how much I love(d) my "Special Little Puppy". He loved you, more than me. (Probably a good decision on his part. God, I miss that dog sometimes.)
I will never forget the "Idol" watching, how you somehow got me hooked on "Real Housewives of New Jersey", how you even tolerated my "Lost" addiction.
How you somehow ignored the six overtime 'Cuse / UConn game, not even a month after we started dating. If you'd have never seen me again after that night, it would have been totally understandable. That was over 1,300 days ago, girl. :)
We'll always have Gavin DeGraw at Power and Light, Eric Church at Sandstone, and Lennon at the Record Bar, and nothing can ever take that away.
We'll always have not one, not two, but three!, float trips in six weeks in the summer of 2011.
We'll always have the trip to Milwaukee, for a BuKCs game, at the last second. We'll always have that Friday night at whatever bar my cousin and her husband took us to. We'll always have that drive up, and drive home ... even if you slept for like 18 of the 19 hours.
We'll always have Omaha for the 2011 CWS, seeing your Gators try for a championship ... and we'll always have the ride home.
You will always be the inspiration for the best post I ever, uuh, posted. "Sometimes, you walk into a bowling alley ..."
We'll always have the Chiefs -- "I Heart Beer" boxers, whipped cream shots.
Along with DJ and Kellie, with Josh added -- we'll always have "The Family".
But most importantly girl -- we'll always have each other.
So to the world that reads this: the greatest girl I've ever known -- the greatest girl to ever be born -- is marrying someone other than me.
And I couldn't be happier.
I love ya girl. Now, then, always.
Because I'll never forget my (truly) favorite moment of "us" being "us"*, from the first floater in 2011, when I had to put that grill together using keys as a screwdriver, in 106 degree heat. You had to be there, to get it. You had to be in the situation, in the moment, to get how ridiculous, and yet hilarious, it was.
We were there. We get it.
(*: this is an outright lie. It's my second favorite memory. My favorite, stays with us girl. Unless you share what I told you Sunday night.)
I love you girl -- then, now, and always. I already emailed you, what I truly think. Just know you are the best thing, that ever happened to me. And whatever I may think, Josh is the best thing to happen to you. You'll always be my best friend -- and it is to Josh's credit, he's never once tried to stop that.
I love you girl -- then, now, and always.
Be safe, and be happy. Josh makes you both. Good enough.
I love you girl -- Then. Now.
You'll always be my number one ... but I accept the spot, as your number two. :)