Amanda Gladin-Kramer, Maid of Honor
Amanda takes the award for knowing me the longest, from all the way back in the days when I would teach her how to say words incorrectly just for laughs, and she would pin me down because she has always been, frankly, much stronger than me. I couldn't ask for a better sister. She is whip-smart and funny as hell, and a warm and thoughtful person to boot. Amanda also lives in Durham, with her husband Alejandro, and she very recently (though not surprisingly) passed the Bar exam after attending law school at UNC.
A favorite memory: cruising down the highway in the Mississippi delta on a road trip in early 2012, windows down, blasting "I Will Survive" (The Cake version).
Meredith and I met sometime during the mayhem of high school, but really bonded on a French Club trip to Paris and Normandy shortly before I graduated. Luckily, we weren't separated for long, as Mer decided to attend Oberlin as well the following year. Meredith and I have seen each other grow and change in so many ways since we were 17. Since college Meredith has lived in New Orleans and Portland, OR, and just wrapped up a summer as a fellow at Adamah, a Jewish farming education program in Connecticut. I have been plotting not-so-secretly for years to lure Meredith back to the area — though I'm excited to see whatever comes next for her.
A favorite memory: Over Meredith's 30th birthday celebration in Portland this past February, we and another friend played a moving 3-part-harmony version of "Dona Nobis Pacem." On kazoo. On someone's parents' message machine.
Georgia lived across the hall freshman year and was roommates with Julia (below). We also had an acting class together, and soon I was spending most of my dorm time in their room. I didn't live more than 20 feet from Georgia during college except for my semester abroad. We also both lived in Boston until 2008; Georgia lives there still with her awesome boyfriend Erin, and is the Political Director for MassAlliance, a progressive umbrella organization that works to get progressive candidates elected into public office. Georgia is a kick-ass cook and has an amazing memory for song lyrics and poetry. I've been leaning on her for 13 years and probably always will.
A favorite memory: for our first few years in Durham, starting in 2009, Georgia would come down to visit us every April, and each year was so delighted by the offerings of our farmer's market compared to Massachusetts' late season, that we (well, let's be honest — she) started hosting an annual farmer's market dinner at our house. In this photo she is being tickled pink by beet options.
In the fall of 2005, while living in Boston, I found what had to be the last crappy (and thereby affordable) apartment in the South End neighborhood. I needed a roommate, and Kim was the "random" pick who won me over right away with her bright nature and her being from North Carolina. What a good choice I made; Kim is a warm and wonderful friend, and her happiness is infectious. She kept me fed throughout the 1.5 years we lived together, and embraced Matt like a brother when he came into my life. We both independently moved to Durham, and now she's a real-life doctor at UNC, making the world such a better place for everyone she meets.
A favorite memory: Once in the South End we met two elderly Red Hat Society ladies (google it) coming back from tea; they'd grown up in North Carolina and become friends in their early twenties, and had been friends for over 50 years. We knew then and there that that would be our story, too.
A favorite memory: The morning Julia left to go back to Ohio in the summer of 2001, after attending the American Dance Festival in Durham, we went out to the pond for one last morning swim. We decided to dive into the water together, and as we counted to three and dove off the dock, we both caught the perfect reflection of ourselves in the water, holding hands, before we broke the surface.
Sanden lived next door to me freshman year, and we made sure never to live too far away at Oberlin, finally sharing a house with Georgia and Julia our senior year. Some of my most prized letters are those from Sanden, and even now, every once in a while, a real live post card or letter shows up in my mailbox from him, always illustrated. Being around Sanden is like living in a great episode of This American Life; he is at once scientific, narrative, philosophical, and human. Though I think he wishes he were a robot. Sanden is the science reporter at KPCC, the NPR affiliate out of LA, and writes pretty incredible comics on the side.
A favorite memory: During our sophomore year Spring Break, Sanden and I took a road trip to Montreal. We shared a bottle of wine and traipsed around the Contemporary Art Museum and then the city's Biodome, where we spent a good hour watching a community of penguins play and naming their distinct personalities and character traits.
Rachel and I were good friends in college, but our friendship really gelled during my years in Boston, where she lives still with her fiance, Jesse (another Obie!). My favorite things about Rachel are the sharp intelligence she has for human behavior and relationships, and the dynamic range of her friendship; she's up there with the funniest, quickest-witted people I know, but is also a natural listener and solid sounding board. Makes sense that she decided to be a social worker; the world is lucky for that.
A favorite memory: Rachel and I were assigned to the crew of an opera our freshman year - the title has long escaped me, but I do remember dancing around backstage with her singing one of the production's feature numbers: "How WON-derful to be a duck!"
Adam Nichter, Best Man
Adam, my cousin, was introduced to me while I slept in my crib. Within hours of knowing me, he tried to drown me with stuffed animals while I slept. This competition for survival has continued through adolescence and into adulthood. Recently, we have decided to compete for who will outlive the other. There's no one else who's put up with my arrogance and stupidity as long; here's hoping Jessie's willing to do it too. Adam lives in Jersey City, NJ and works for Energizer as a national account manager.