At the end of July, I attended a friend’s wedding in Indianapolis.
Sounds simple, right?
Friends, if anything was ever simple, these days nothing is simple.
I was thrilled back in September 2021, when my dear friend and former college roommate, Kristin, texted me a photo of an engagement ring on her finger. Kristin is a dedicated and hardworking pediatrician in Indianapolis, so she’s had little time for romance over the decades since college, but she’d found love at last with a longtime friend and fellow doctor, Jeff. I’d never met Jeff in person, but he’d joined Kristin in tormenting me with pictures and gifts of my greatest living fear: squirrels. I figured it was a good sign; to paraphrase the late Stephen Sondheim, “It’s the friends that you annoy together…that keep marriage intact.”
My first order of business was to figure out exactly where Indianapolis was. (I’m only halfway joking: As someone who has lived on both coasts but whose entire Midwest experience is limited to a few days in Chicago, I conform to the stereotype of those who consider the vast middle of America “flyover country.”)
The next task was to figure out how to get there from here. As with most locations, it’s impossible to get a direct flight from Vermont to Indiana, but I could string together two fairly short flights with a layover in New York City.
Should I take my entire family? I should not. Although my children love her and look forward to her squirrel-themed gifts every Christmas, Kristin assured me that Indianapolis would be hot, humid, and generally miserable in July. This, combined with the cost of airline tickets, tipped the scales: I would attend the wedding alone.