I've been trying to write my Maid of Honor (hereafter "MoH") speech for Jessica's upcoming nuptials all day today, and I'm proud to report I've only cried once. This is what I and Darwin like to call progress. Interestingly, it's what my sister Jody likes to call abject weakness. I think Death Valley sheds more tears than Jody does, but I'm not here to accuse anyone of being a crusty old coot, so you keep on keeping on, Dry Ducts McCoy. (Also, I know you would never use a word like "abject." I just couldn't help myself, Dode.)
Since this is my first trip down the aisle bearing the coveted title of "Bridesmaid" (as opposed to flower girl, candlelighter, or, you know, guest-trying-desperately-to-upstage-the-bride), I'm taking this speech very seriously. I've started and stopped at least a dozen times, phrasing and rephrasing, adding and deleting (though adding a lot more than I'm deleting - much to the chagrin of anyone who has the unhappy plans of sitting through said speech next weekend). An example of my initial opening paragraph went a little something like this:
"I don't know if this 'Maid of Honor' speech will in fact, be public, given the joyously unconventional nature of your nuptials (and in typing that I just now realized - for the first time - that the word is nuptials, and not nupitals, as in NEW-pit-uls, and I'm forever grateful to my computer's spell check to graciously allow me to save face in the event that this speech DOES, in fact, find its way into the ears of your some-400 wedding guests)."
And that, my friends, is what they call a rocky start. What's supposed to be a concise and charming paean to the NUHPTCHEWALS of Jessica and Tyler has devolved into a rambling, anecdotal bumblefest, replete with multiple references to earthquakes. And I might also add that though this is my first stab at the whole MoH thing, I'm pretty sure a 3-page single-spaced 10pt font speech is a wee bit long, even from a Presidential debate standpoint. After all, wasn't it Lincoln who blazed the trail of the Short n' Sweet?
For a spate of giggles, I went ahead and google-searched "Maid of Honor speeches" to see what I might unearth that could possibly inspire abridged greatness from the pen of yours truly. Of course, reading the example speeches only stormed my imagination with a maelstrom of tulle-covered visions, each more strapless and taffeta'd than the next. And if you thought it was literarily impossible to be taffeta'd, then you've never been a sinner in the hands of an angry Bride, my friend. But far be it from me to judge the venerable and long-standing tradition of wedding speeches. So, like madlibs, I've filled in and adjusted the appropriate blanks to fit my purposes for next weekend:
"When I look at the bride and groom, I feel such a whirlwind of emotions? [sic. Question mark? Like, do I feel these emotions? Lord knows! I only know that I feel an underwhelming sense numbness in my lower extremities, due to this GORGEOUS strapless
sausage casingdress!] I know that _____ [Jess] has found her true match and I know that theirs will be a marriage of long standing [again, sic. Long standing what?...Joy? Magic? MagicKisses? I'm going with MagicKisses]. My heart is bursting with love for you two today. [Angina's tough.] I know you have a wonderful adventure ahead of you [replete with multiple references to earthquakes! mazel tov!], and with God's blessing your marriage will last for decades to come [at least two, right? I mean, at least]."
On second thought...
"Separately, you are two special, remarkable people [Like Barbie & Ken, except you aren't made of plastic and your hair doesn't stand up on end disappointingly should a devious wee Laurel decide to play stylist for a day, and UNLIKE that scenario, hopefully, your marriage won't end in a temper tantrum], but together you are complete [Oh, right. Like the B&K analogy I just mentioned. Let's just stick with that one]. As you sit side by side through this roller coaster of life [Are we talking Six Flags-style, here? Or like, Legoland? Because there is a BIG DIFF, guys. Six Flags is like...honeymoon baby and AHHH WE LOST OUR CREDIT CARDS and there was an earthquake and our house fell down! Crap!, and Legoland is more like, Wow, Tyler, you're wearing the Hush Puppies again, babe?], remember to scream from the peaks [so predictable], hold hands through the dips [yawn], laugh through the loop the loops [I'm pretty sure that's not even in the same PARKING LOT as grammatical correctness], and enjoy every twist and turn [But don't puke, because that's just nasty].
For the ride is much better when you share it together."
I'm pretty sure there won't be a dry eye in the room when that mic is finally pried from my hands three hours later.