Monthly Archives: June 2012
As my wedding day approached, I knew I was going to be called on to deliver a toast during the reception. I spent a lot of time coming up with ideas about what I wanted to say and I spent a lot of time surfing the web for what I was supposed to say. Then, I knew I was supposed to say something about my bride and say a little about our life together. Inspiration for the toast came from random moments, but there was a time during a Radiohead concert that a flood of ideas came to me. There was something about listening to their music that opened up my creativity. I spent part of that concert e-mailing myself the ideas that kept popping into my head.
While I wrote a speech and converted that into an outline for what I wanted to say, there were many things I thought of and added while I was up there. I guess the pressure helps with my creativity. Anyway, here’s the speech:
“I’d like to thank everyone for coming and sharing our special day. Thank all those who traveled so far to be here with us today, including my brother Mark & his wife Marla who came all the way from China. They came a week early with their three children and got them re-acclimated to the eastern time zone. I really appreciate that you’re here.
I’d like to thank Bill & Sharon for giving me their daughter’s hand in marriage. You did an excellent job raising her. Well, I’m sure you did the best you could.”
I’d like to thank my sons, Nick, Alex, and Stephen for being groomsmen. Thank you for making Alana feel so welcomed by you.
I chose Doug to be my best man because he was available. Seriously, he is always there for me. He will drop everything and help me when I need it. He helped me get my first job. He worked at an RV and camper sales place as the mechanic and I washed the campers.
I’d like to thank Danielle for agreeing to be the matron of honor. You did an excellent job of getting Alana down the aisle in one piece. We know how hard that was! Thank you to all the bridesmaids for being such good friends to Alana and for accepting me as quickly and completely as you did. Please raise your glass in a toast to the heath and happiness of the bridesmaids.
Alana and I clicked right away. I quickly found out that she was as sarcastic and irreverent as I am. On our first date we went to Go Bananas. Being with her that night felt so natural it was like we belonged together. I’ve never been flipped off so much on a first date. What I have learned since then is, when she flips me off, I just won the argument! Seven months after that first date, on our vacation to Aruba, I asked her to marry me. I’ll always remember it was July 4th because immediately after asking her, fireworks exploded in the sky. I didn’t plan it that way, but I’ll take credit for it anyway.
Being so loved and accepted by her has given me the freedom to be myself and actually figure out who I really am. And, apparently, I’m a sick bastard! I have become her clown just so I can see her smile and hear her laugh every day. We have so many inside jokes now, don’t we? Just so many! We have different backgrounds, different religious and political affiliations, different ages, but we respect each other enough to make that not matter. As for our age difference, my immaturity level makes us even. As fas as politics, I let her have an autographed Hillary Clinton campaign poster on the wall in her office and she lets with me have an 8×10 photo of Ronald Reagan in the garage. On a shelf. Behind the weed killer. As for religion, I tried teaching her how to make the sign of the cross but when she did it, it looked like she was giving me the sign to steal second base! So it’s our respect for each other’s differences that makes us work.
To my beautiful wife – I couldn’t be happier to call you that – I love you and I will be your clown for as long as I live. Please raise your glasses and join me in a toast to my beautiful bride.”
The rest of the night was a blur. I had a great time seeing everyone who could come. We had a great time dancing and drinking and celebrating. I would do it again if we could afford it! We’ll have time to celebrate every day for a long, long time.
Today was my first day of Boot Camp since the days of Army Boot Camp when I was 18 years old. This boot camp differs from the Army in many ways – I get to wear running shoes instead of boots, there isn’t a drill instructor screaming at me to “drop and give him 20″ (push-ups) every time I screwed up, and I don’t have an M-16. By the end of this morning’s boot camp, I really wanted the M-16!
To prepare for this boot camp, the instructor e-mailed everything I needed to know. I would need to bring a mat, a towel, some water, and some weights. I messaged back asking how heavy the weights were supposed to be and she suggested two 8 pounds and two 12 pound dumbbells. My ego told me I should just get two 10 pounders and two 15 pounders. My ego is an asshole! When I’m at the gym, I get to pick a weight off the rack, lift it, and put it back. I can handle more weight that way and I don’t have to carry it home. For boot camp, I had a gym bag filled with a total of 50 pounds of weight! Getting the bag to the car was enough of a workout to make me want to go back to bed. Then I found out that the workout was down two flights of stairs! Fuck you, Ego!
The workout began easily enough. It was in a school gym and we had to jog five laps around the court to warm up. I can run marathons, so running five laps was child’s play! We then proceeded to run suicides, which involves running to a line on the court, bending down and touching the line, running back to the start, then going to the next line, touching it, back to the start, etc, until you have run to the other end of the court and back again. I may have been sweating at the end of this exercise.
Then it was time to use the weights. Using the heavy weights, we were to put one foot forward and do a lunge while simultaneously doing arm curls. After a few minutes of that, we got to switch legs and do it again. I was unable to figure out at this point how to switch arms, so I was still doing arm curls with the same arms! Now, with my arms tired, we were to hold a plank for a minute or so. Just when I thought that was enough, we had to go from one side of the court to the other on all fours in what can only be described as the Mowgli. Imagine how Mowgli was walking when he was in the jungle and then imagine a 51 year old, slightly overweight, man doing the same move. It wasn’t pretty! By the time I was half-way across, I had to stop for a moment just so I could survive! I made it across and back just in time for the instructor to tell us to do it again! My knees may have touched the floor once or twice by this time.
Now it was time for us to do squats while lifting the lighter weights overhead as we stood up from our squat. At this time, I mentally returned the 15 pound weights to the store and never touched them again! With no rest, it was time to go back across the gym by first getting into a push-up position and going sideways like a crab to the other side. This time, I know for a fact my knees hit the floor! My shoes were squeaking every time my feet hit the puddle of sweat I left on the floor. I left an impressive snail trail. (I dare you to look that up on Urban Dictionary)
The morning began promptly at 5:30 AM and was supposed to end at 6:15. When she told us to do one more exercise at 6:15, she was very lucky I was without my M-16! Somehow, I managed to finish the final exercise, put the weights back into the gym bag, get back up the stairs and to the car without dying. The bag is still in the car and will remain there until I return those damn weights! The most insulting part about all this is hearing the “ding, ding, ding” you hear when the car thinks there’s someone in the passenger seat without a seat belt. I had to put a god damned seat belt on my gym bag! I hate you, Ego!