Dana and Mike are married!! Two of my best friends, the most generous and genuine people that I know, are married. It feels like just yesterday we were pressuring Mike to propose, and I feel so honored to have been included in their special day.
Dana and I became friends when I started visiting Emily at RPI. After many sleeps on the glitter factory couch and then tons at Dana's State Street place in Albany, I am happy to be able to call her one of my very best friends. Dana has done so much for me over the past few years. She has provided countless pans of buffalo chicken dip and bottles of Andre for random pig-out days. She has been present, and very consoling, whenever the most recent flame has broken my little heart (tequila usually guaranteed to follow). She has opened her home to us whenever we needed to stay, and she has plenty of extra rooms for her “children.” She is always thoughtful in gift-giving, most recently giving me a camera as a bridesmaid gift, knowing that I wanted one for Thailand so badly. She is sure to be found in Albany about once a week and show up for any and all events, although Dana and Mike moved to Hopewell Junction last year. Dana is selfless and I am thankful that I have her in my life.
As for Mike, he won me over the first night I met him. On this particular Friday night, I had zero plans of going to RPI because I was incredibly broke, but suddenly after student teaching that day, I had texts saying that Mike Passante was taking the girls out to dinner and I would be missing out. Free dinner? Yes. Okay fine, count me in. Mike took all 7 (?) of us girls to dinner at Carrabba’s and this was the first time he had met most of us. Sangria, apps, sangria, dinner, and more sangria later, I was sold. It was like Dana and Mike had been together forever, and from that night on, I never thought twice about their relationship.
In the weekend that is supposed to be dedicated to them, Mike and Dana were extremely generous, as usual. Gifts were given, nails were done, lobsters were eaten, smores were made, boats were ridden. These are just some things that Dana and Mike did for us, just as much as for themselves. Although Dana is allergic to seafood, she made sure that everyone got lobster, clams, and mussels at the rehearsal dinner. On the night of the wedding, the reception ended at 10:30, but who wants to stop partying then? So they planned a bonfire on the beach with a bar and ingredients for smores. Then, why end a Friday night wedding on Friday night?! Most friends were staying until Sunday, just because we wanted to have each other’s company, but Dana and Mike insisted on finding something for us to do. Booze cruise anyone?
I couldn’t be happier for these two amazing people. I literally cannot find another word other than perfect to describe this weekend. I will now agree that a bit of rain is good luck on a wedding day. Dana has dreamed of getting married on a beach in Cape Cod since she was a little girl, and there was a moment when we all almost broke down crying because of the rain. We watched the radar all day, and we finally found that the rain would break 20 minutes after the ceremony was supposed to start. So, we waited. Really, what is 20 minutes when this is what you have wanted your whole life?! As soon as the rain let up, we got into wedding mode, telling the wedding planner to GO, GO, GO! The ceremony was perfect. Perfect temperature, perfect sunset, perfect bride, and perfect groom. You could just feel the love on that beach at that moment (and the tears dripping from Allison's face), and I can only hope that I experience that from a bride’s perspective at some point in my life.
Dana Ciborowski is now Dana Passante, and I don't find it weird in the slightest bit. These two are meant to be together. It is obviously cliché to say about a newlywed couple, but I don’t know that I am so sure of anything else in my life at the moment. Dana and Mike have been through a lot, and everything in their lives finally fell together at the right place, right time. I am happy to call Dana my best friend, and happy to call Mike my sugar daddy. Happy to call them both family.