Saturday, March 18, 2017

My Speech at My Sister's Wedding

Good evening everyone. Welcome to Niki and Aram’s reception. My name is Tommy and I am the brother of the bride which is, sadly, a historically undervalued and underappreciated position, until today.

I will also be your Master of Ceremonies. When Niki and Aram first approached me about acting as their emcee, I paused and considered running as it was two against one, but I decided to hold my ground and play dead which didn’t work as, much to my surprise, they aren’t bears. I know, I was as surprised as you are. I then responded as any proud and eager person with my level of education and articulation skills could, I barked like a seal. Aram, you should know, that seal barking is quite the tradition amongst the men in our family going back many generations though my understanding of the original Hebrew texts, to be totally honest, is non-existent at best.

But, seriously, I was literally as proud as a peacock to be chosen –that’s right, that proud. This emcee gig had me instantly at a level of euphoria that is the reason my wife has her paramedic friend on speed dial. I considered covering myself with thick layers of creams and lotions, so that if the evening didn’t go as planned, at least people could take turns sliding me around like a human curling rock.  Human curling rock is, quite coincidently, what I affectionately called Niki as a young girl. I was dangerously nearsighted.

For many years now, I have had but one goal that has helped give me the motivation to keep going when times got tough: to bring something, anything down from the inside and failing that to emcee Niki’s eventual wedding reception. I know what many of you are thinking – wrong tie – and also, is he really planning on killing two birds with one stone? Bringing something down from the inside while emceeing this reception? The short answer, no. The long answer, nooooo. But yes, I do plan on killing two birds with one stone, if those two birds are Niki and Aram who I am “killing” with this “stone” of a speech.

I am living a dream right now as I’ve wanted to follow Niki around with a microphone and commentate parts of her life so badly for so long now. By the way, early reviews of this speech from the critics are in and they are calling it “the best speech since sliced bread” and “a call to arms” and “proof that exposure to large amounts of industrial strength glue is bad.” I like to think my job has been well done if Niki and Aram are smiling - not under duress this time, as this evening is all about them (and a little about me) as we celebrate their union. I also want to argue that we are also celebrating their intersection – don’t spend too much time thinking about that – I didn’t and I said it.

As you can plainly see, I am overjoyed for Niki and Aram. Or at least I was. Not that I’m making excuses, but I just spent the past 9 months living in such a state of extreme joy and it is just really hard to maintain that level of stress on my cheek muscles and brow area. And as happy as I am for the newlyweds, I must admit that my second thought upon hearing the wonderful news of their engagement was how is this a positive for me, Tommy? I know how selfish and horrible that sounds, as I recorded it at listened to a few dozen times. But all of you out there who claim to not be thinking about how you too can use this wedding for their own gains, either monetary or spiritual, are completely lying to themselves and everyone they love and care about. I, for one, refuse to lie to my loved one any longer.

But is that too much to ask, that the marriage of two other people who are both not me nor marrying me make my life noticeably better? Shockingly, some would argue ‘yes’ and that I need to get off my high horse once and for all as men of 46 shouldn’t spend so much time on a play horsey anyways to whom I reply, “whatever Niki and Aram.” But all joking aside, I am so happy for Niki. I will now resume joking.

I know for years Niki was looking and looking for Aram, even with her glasses on intermittently and once using a high-powered telescope that I “borrowed” from the local observatory, but he proved elusive. And then Aram finally decided to show up and their paths crossed sort of like those of two nearby large celestial bodies that would cause the cataclysmic end of our world, only with significantly less destruction.

Though Niki’s adorable belief that everything would work out in the end occasionally wavered, she continued to believe in the age-old clich├ęs that good things come to those who wait, that someday her prince would come and when a door closes a window opens. Little did she know, but a window was open the whole time thanks to yours truly who was just messing with her, opening random windows, letting the breeze in and leading her to buy tons of new sweaters and blankets that she didn’t need. Joke was on her. And now they are married and the joke is on me. Ha ha ha, really funny guys. I, for one, hope they don’t get too cocky and let this day of adoration go to their heads and we find them walking around acting all cool and stuff, like they are better than everyone as that would get insufferable, believe me, I’ve been there and I know.

But, what is marriage? What is it really if not a joining of two, hopefully healthy, mostly youngish, people who feel a love for one another that is infinitely more love than they feel for a good cup of coffee, to which some people would say “shouldn’t you know, you are married?” to whom I say “quiet kids, daddy is doing his speech right now.” It brings me great joy to welcome Aram into our family, which is quite exclusive I must add, I now see you as the brother I never had or the brother I once tried to bribe with...oops, that’s a bit too weird, scratch that.

Let me wrap this up by proposing a toast to the married couple. To Niki and Aram, may you have years and years of love and happiness and wedded bliss. May you also continue to find opportunities for me to write speeches and then perform them in public that will allow me to shamelessly plug my wonderful blog (search for Tommy Paley on Medium.com when you have time). May you continue finishing each other’s sentences, aggressively if necessary, and counting to ten in unison just to prove that you can. May you never cease being unrelentingly silly together for the rest of your lives only taking breaks when chopping vegetables using sharp knives and using the washroom as that is not a time to be silly I was told in preschool. To my wonderful and amazing sister Niki whom I am infinitely proud of, congratulations from the bottom of my heart. Also in the bottom of my heart, according to Wikipedia, are my ventricles.

To Niki and Aram!