Even ushers get cold feet - By Billy Corriher

Last weekend, I traveled home to North Carolina to be an usher in a good friend of mine's wedding.

My friend, Cam, was marrying his high school sweetheart. Normally, that's no cause for alarm. But for a 22-year-old who was about to see the first of his close friends tie the knot, it was a little overwhelming.

I've known about the wedding for six months now, but somehow it hadn't really hit me. Cam apparently had the same problem.

After celebrating his last night of bachelor-hood with myself and the other ushers, he awoke to a stunning realization – he was getting hitched.

"I'm getting married today," he told me the next morning. "What the hell was I thinking?"

Never having felt such pre-marital anxiety, I don't think I offered much help.

"Calm down, dude. You're doing the right thing," was my feeble attempt to console him.

In reality, I was a little freaked out by the situation, too. Here I was, still clinging to the remnants of my college days, and one of my buddies was getting married.

But, as I struggled with my bow tie and cufflinks, I realized that it could be worse. My mother, when she was my age, was already married with two children. At least none of my friends have little rug rats scurrying around, whacking "Uncle Billy" with a toy hammer.

After the ceremony, I was sitting around with my fellow ushers when my friend Bubba (don't laugh – you probably know one, too) began to reflect on the day's event.

"You know, I just don't know if we'll all be hanging out at Cam's anymore," he mused. "It'll be kind of weird."

Keep in mind that we all know Cam's wife very well, and we enjoy her company, but Bubba had made a very astute observation. It'll be strange going to visit Cam and Ashley's house, instead of Cam's house.

The next time I'm in town, I might call up my buddy Cam and ask him if he wants to go out for a few drinks. "I can't tonight, I'm having dinner at the in-laws," could be his response. "I wish I could, but me and the wife are shopping for drapes tomorrow morning." I can hear it now.

But I suppose we'll all learn to cope. I think Cam will be happy with married life – he's lucky to have such a great wife. And I know we'll always be friends.

I guess I'm just trying to deny the fact that we're all getting older. Another friend of mine is expecting a proposal from her boyfriend soon. So, I guess this wedding thing will get easier as more of my friends drop like flies into the matrimonial soup.

Billy Corriher is the county/government reporter for the News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 281 or bcorriher@news-daily.com