Thursday, October 21, 2004

Honeymoon is OVER!

I'm back from the Islands, with my new bride. I just got home, and don't feel like writing much now. Once I'm back in the swing of things, I'll tell you all about the trip. But, until then, I did promise to share my wedding night toast with all of you, so here it is:

Ladies and Gentlemen, fill your glasses. This is going to be a long toast.

Tonight, I am the luckiest person here. Many of you would argue that the Bride is just as lucky. But many of you don’t know me very well. I married well. She could have done better. Be that as it may, I’ll have a few remarks for her in a moment.

First, allow me to address the Bridesmaids. Each and every one of them is the fourth most beautiful woman here, immediately behind the Bride, my Mother-in-law, and my mother, and way ahead of my ex-girlfriend, whom I saw in the shadows at the back, slipping hors d’oevres into her purse. I want to thank you for being here for Jenny. We couldn’t have done it without you. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bridesmaids!

I want to come back to Jenny for a second folks. Here’s to the bride!

Many of you may have noticed the gentlemen standing next to me throughout the service. Over the past few days, these guys have put an awful lot of effort, understanding, and time into helping make today as special as it was. More importantly than that, however, they’ve spent years putting up with me. I chose the groomsmen I did, because they’ve all been an important part of my life, and each of them has played a part in making me who I am today. And each of them will answer for that at the final judgement. I also chose them because they will be important parts of my life, no, Our life, in the years to come. Today could not have been as special as it was if it weren’t for them. My groomsmen!

Speaking of my groomsmen, I’d like to mention a couple of guys in particular. You can see the family resemblance in the ego, because they both think they’re the best man. I suppose, to avoid confusion, we could make Todd Best Man and Tanner Best Boy, but that would make Eric and John Key Grip and Gaffer. No, I think we’d best stick with Best Man 1 and Best Man 2, or Best Men, if you will. All the same, I think I have the best Best Men this side of the Mason Dixon. Todd has always been there for me whenever I needed him, where-ever I needed him, no questions asked. There’s an old joke: “A good friend will bail you out of jail, but a great friend will be sitting next to you saying ‘Damn that was fun’.” Todd would always say, “No officer, I acted alone, he kept telling me to stop.” Tanner, on the other hand, has never once been arrested. He doesn’t smoke cigars or drink whisky. And I’ve never once had to lie for him, or help him bury a body. Don’t worry buddy, you’ve got time. Here’s to my best men.

And while were drinking, let’s have another toast to my wife.

Now’s the part of the speech that I’ve had the most trouble with, except of course finding words that are even close to what I feel for Jenny. What to say about my family that hasn’t been said already at least a half-dozen times in the pages of the police report. I guess what I need to say is that, for better or worse, they’ve made me who I am. And they’ve been tremendous in their support of Jenny and I. Thank you for being here, thank you for everything you’ve done leading up to tonight, and thank you in advance for baby-sitting anytime we ask, for free. My parents!

And, The Love of My Life!

I’d like to address just a couple of words towards a group of people that have made today so special for Jenny and I in so many different ways. All of you. Whether you’ve traveled a thousand feet or a thousand miles, we really appreciate you coming to show us your love and support. I’m trying to see everybody tonight, at least long enough to say “thanks,” so if I don’t make it around to you, please make it around to me and let me shake your hand. You’ve all been an important part of our lives to date, and you will be important parts of our lives for years to come. May you be half-an-hour in Heaven before the devil knows you’re dead.

We’re on the home stretch here folks. Anybody need a refill? If you don’t, then join me in a toast to Jenny. Now how needs a refill? I know I do. I’ll wait…

Of course no groom’s toast would be complete without calling some attention to the folks who have made this evening possible, my new family. Bob, Jerri, Sam, and Rachel have been wonderful, not only through these past, harrowing days, but throughout the last two and a half years. They were probably wonderful before that, but I wouldn’t know. In any event, not a moment has gone by in which I did not feel welcome, appreciated, and even loved. Today I gained a new family, but I haven’t earned a new family. I’m going to spend the rest of my life doing that in the only way I know how: Loving and caring for Jenny. Of all the things you have given me, she is the most wonderful, the most precious, and the most appreciated. And unlike the other things you’ve given me, you won’t find her for sale at Rink’s next weekend. Folks, if there is anybody here tonight that deserves a “Thank You” and a hearty “Here’s to your health” from each and every one of us, it’s the Dahler’s, and specifically Bob and Jerri. Ready guys? “Thank You” on the count of 3. One….Two….Three! THANK YOU!

Finally, I suppose I should say a few words about Jenny. I’ve put it off as long as I can, and I still don’t know what to say. I’ve tried for two and a half years, and still I can’t find the words. Either they don’t begin to say what I want them to, or they are repeated on the radio every fifteen minutes. I guess all I can say is that, every day, from now to eternity, I’m going to try to tell you how I feel, and how much you mean to me. And one day, maybe fifty, or even a hundred years from now, I’ll finally get it right. And you’ll finally know. Until then, I need you to be patient, and understand that for all my faults, I’m trying to be the best husband I can be. Ladies and Gentlemen, I ask that each of you drain your glasses in honor of my bride, because if God made anything better, he kept it for himself!

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