In case you missed my "Today I Marry My Best Friend" article for a href="http://www.rareaustin.com/"Rare Magazine/a. Here it is:br /br /Whenever I leave my mailbox with a calligraphy-ridden envelope, I wonder who else is about to tie the knot. I wager in my head whether they will be marrying their best friend or not. I sift through the first layer of tissue, then the second, then the third layer, then flick off the rose pedals or whatever accent they’ve thrown in. Ahhh, there it is “Today I Marry my Best friend…” Isn’t that sweet? Gag, cough, cough, gag. Really? You’re “best friend”. Really? Even if you truly believe it that you are marrying your best friend, I want you to REALLY think about just how much the sound of it causes a perfectly healthy human being to double over and revert to high school peppermint schnapps style yakking.br /br /Don’t get me wrong. I’m a romantic to a fault. I love the concept of marriage and believe in it wholeheartedly. However, to me there are such distinct differences between a friend and a lover, that I can’t possibly see the two overlapping. br /br /You’re wife is someone you bond with because of the good times, the special pleasure you bring to each other, the release of endorphins through love, affection and hiding egg shaped objects in each other. That… is not your best friend. When I reflect on my best friends through the years, it always comes back to the same thing, overcoming adversity and killing time by being destructive. This is where young men bond. I ask you, “Are these things you would do with your spouse?”br /br /At about age 7, my best friend was Brian. Our time together involved a lot of fort building. We were fearless little criminals taking lots of risks stealing lumber and heading off into the woods with our dads tools. I’m not sure what our obsession was with having a fort. I think our moms forced us outside all day and many of those days called for shelter. Although dangerous to imagine the engineering of 7 year olds, the productivity and focus of it kept us from burning bugs with magnifying glasses all day.br /br /At age 9 my best friend, another Brian, and I started getting into real trouble. A single mom was raising him so we had all kinds of freedom from the time school ended til his mom came home from work. We spent a lot of winter afternoons using water hoses to turn the snow to ice and build our own luge track. The Olympics were much more popular then and I recall the Germans dominating in ’76. So, we would give each other names like Helmut and Gunther then wish Godspeed on each other as we rocketed down the hill. We weren’t steering at all, we were merely passengers of death. It’s amazing we’re still alive. Our fun usually ended with afternoons by say “Hey Karl-Hans, your leg bone is sticking out!”br /br /By age 11 my best friend was Jack. I introduced Jack to skateboarding. He introduced me to smoking and porn. I was at least able to quit smoking after Jack moved away. br /br /At 13 I had moved to Texas and my first friend was Robbie. He stood next to me in choir as we pretended we were altos, our voices were changing daily. Robbie taught me two of the dirtiest jokes I have ever heard and I will never forget. My favorite being “how can you tell if your girlfriends horny?” Unfortunately, I can’t tell you the punch line.br /br /Finally 16. When my friend Larry and I weren’t discussing girls or music, we worked on cars. Larry and I spent many grueling hours lying on hot pavement working on Mustangs and Camaros. We did it out of pure necessity. We had to get from point A to point B. Our cars weren’t very good at going or stopping and every dime we made in our restaurant job went into making our cars go faster. The stopping we weren’t so worried about. I am again amazed that I’m still alive. You wouldn’t believe some of the contraptions I rode around in during high school. It wasn’t uncommon to see Larry and I walking through town with car parts slung over our shoulder.br /br /My wife and I have been together for 13 years, married the last 10. I can’t imagine her building a fort, burning bugs, doing homemade luge, smoking, she’s never told me a dirty joke or a joke for that matter and she sure as hell has never worked on my car. I love her dearly but she’s not my “best friend”. Address your invitations accordingly, just as we did.