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.
When you think of Spock, you think of an emotionally detached, logical perspective. My life is ruled by logic. If it’s not logical, it’s just stupid! Many times, I have stuck my foot in my mouth by saying “Why would you do that?” I also get in trouble by saying, “That makes no sense!” Knowing I have a propensity to question other people’s motivations and thought processes has caused me to mask my questions with sarcasm. That’s not necessarily a good thing!
For example, I have a person in my office who begs for sarcastic responses! She doesn’t know it, and she’s not intentionally ironic, but she makes my logical approach to sarcasm entirely logical. Today, she tried to tell me that other people in the office were going to have a meeting on Thursday and they would be expecting my input on a certain document. These people have been meeting every Thursday for about a year now, so Thursday was not a surprise. The document was delivered to me a week earlier, so that was not a surprise either. So, I’m in the middle of my to-do list for the day, with the review of this document at the end of said list, when she came to my desk to interrupt me. She said, as she often does when she interrupts me, “Are you busy? I know you’re always busy, but I just wanted to remind you that the document needs your input, especially parts 3, 5 and 7 because that’s your area of expertise and they want to finalize this document at the meeting on Thursday, so it would be good if you could look it over and give them your input by tomorrow.” That’s not a run-on sentence, that’s how she talks! Every time she brings me information, I pretend to listen while thinking, “I know that, what’s your point?” In this specific instance, I mumbled after she left, “Really? I did not know that! Thank you for sharing!”
She starts every disclosure of information with a monologue of what she was thinking while making her decision on how to handle something. She will tell me things I taught her when I hired her!!! Why the fuck are you wasting my time telling me things I taught you??? Just give me the Cliffs Notes version and go away! This is not logical!!! When I asked her to give me a copy of the most recent Duke bills for a property we manage, but only the Duke bills that have gas charges, she gave me copies of every Duke bill for every month of 2011, prepared a spreadsheet showing the charges, and prepared a graph showing the fluctuations of the charges. My first, and only response was, “Why did you do this?” Her response was, “I already did this for another manager in the office, so I just thought I’d update it for you.” Of course I said, “I don’t need this! I just want a copy of the most recent bill with gas charges on it! How does this help me?!?” Once she pulled out the most recent bill and gave it to me, I was able to recycle the remaining 20 pieces of paper she wasted. Where is the logic in that thought process???
Okay, so I’m realizing I’m missing the emotionally detached piece of the Spock persona. Every time someone does something “highly illogical,” I get confused, which forces me to wonder how they could do something so clearly illogical. This confusion leads to my love of sarcastic responses because they deserve it for their illogical thought process! So if you see me with a confused look on my face, it’s not because I don’t understand you, it’s because I’m confused by how you could think in that way. It’s not a voluntary response, I really can’t help it! To answer the question I know you’re thinking, “Yes, I know this makes me an asshole!”
All my life I’ve felt like I operate outside of the “normal” of the rest of the world. In a family of 13 siblings, I was a loner. That upbringing is probably the genesis of my ability and desire to sit back and observe what goes on around me, all while seeing the absurdity and humor no matter how bleak.
After a three year stint in the Army and four years in college, I went to work at a major public accounting firm. None of that would lead you to believe I would be operating outside the norm. You don’t do or say anything in the Army unless you want to clean latrines for a living. My college life consisted of being married and driving from Fairfield to Oxford and back again, followed by studying most of the rest of the day. I was a “serious” student! When you think “accountant,” you don’t think “funny accountant.” That’s an oxymoron if I ever saw one! However, I met quite a few “not-normal” accountants over the next few years. I still tried to fit in as best I could.
I didn’t always speak up. When I was young, I was hesitant to say what I was thinking because I didn’t want people to see how weird I was. Today, I have no such qualms! I have absolutely no filter and I will say what I think as soon as I think it. One nickname I had while working as a loan officer was “The Silent Assassin.” When I asked why, the nickname giver said, “you don’t say much, but when you do you come out of nowhere and say some things that hit the bullseye!.”
Nothing I say is meant to hurt, unless I mean to hurt you (which is rare). Sarcasm mixed with a dry sense of humor are tools I’ve honed to a sharp edge. Writing this blog may help you begin to understand how I see the world. It won’t always be abnormal, but I’ll try.