Ten Years Ago.
“I’ve known Dave for thirty years. We were next door neighbors growing up. I’m not sure if you guys know this but Dave is a blackbelt in Karate. Yes, it’s true. He’s been kicking my ass for thirty years...”
This was the speech that I gave as the best man at the wedding of my best friend Dave ten years ago, almost to the day. Back then it seemed as if Dave and Nicole were the perfect couple. They were both good looking, smart, fun and also a tad nauseating. After all a good couple is suppose to make you a little sick when you’re around them, right? All the finishing each other’s sentences, calling each other cute nicknames, gross PDA, and by that I mean repulsive lip pecks after each cutsie comment or inappropriate rubbing when sitting next to each other, is suppose to mean that a couple is meant for each other. Right? At least that is how they portray it in fairy tales.
After all, I was that guy not too long ago and my marriage is still going strong. Well, maybe strong is the wrong word. Let me try again, after all, my marriage is still in tact. We get along. Granted, we have a baby on the way but that doesn’t mean that we’re trapped together for the rest of our lives, does it? Does it? Shit, it might mean that.
“I’m not sure if any of you know this either: Nicole, Dave and I all went to preschool together. In fact, that is where Dave and Nicole met. I can remember the day as if it were yesterday.” I paused for a dramatic, dreamy effect. “Dave and I met at the bus stop, on our first day of school, both of us in our snazzy Garanamals outfits. Me in a very chic purple hippo number and Dave in an orange giraffe getup. When we arrived at school we both met Nicole as she sat in circle time looking fetching as ever. I, of course, sauntered over and sat right down right next to her. Dave, competitive as ever, placed himself on the other side of her.” I turned to Dave and whispered into the mic, “asshole”. Dave and Nicole laughed as did the rest of the two hundred and fifty guests that I turned back toward.
This was a snazzy wedding. Nicole’s parents were wealthy and this wedding was certainly proving that point. The wedding was a tented affair on a beautiful summer night on the Bride’s family’s plush four acre estate. Everything in white, so far, down to the elegant china where my appetiser of a “ravioli” of sea salt roasted yellow beets and tarragon-scented Maine lobster salad topped with Russian caviar was placed. Yes, it was delicious.
Rumor had it that after the dinner was served the tent was going to transform into a club complete with multiple rooms playing different music with different size disco balls and mood lighting. Club “Happy Couple”.
“That whole year we both vied for Nicole’s love and she knew it. Don’t play coy Nicole,” I said pointing at Nicole as she blushed and shrunk into her chair, “You know you did!”.
“So, you all could imagine my disappointment as my hopes and dreams were shattered when I caught Dave and Nicole sharing a carton of chocolate milk, at snack time, each sipping from a straw like they were sitting at a 1950’s soda shop. This was a doo-wop nightmare for me. I ran from across the room at them, my little arms wildly swinging. Dave calmly took his straw out of his mouth, got up and roundhouse kicked me square in the jaw. He then proceeded to use his karate skills, systematically kicking my ass leaving me in a Garanimals blood stained heap. Nicole ran into his arms and they kissed while I stared up from the ground. Well, at least that is how I had remembered it.”
“I had lost. Dave had won. I couldn’t compete with true love and in that moment I realized that is what Dave and Nicole had and I must have been right because here we are twenty five years later celebrating the marriage of my two good friends. So, everyone please raise your glasses in a toast to the happy couple, David and Nicole. I love you both and wish you a lifetime of joy and happiness.”
Champagne glasses clinking, laughs, “ooohs” and “ahhhs” and “oh mys” resonated from the two hundred and fifty guests as I walked over to congratulate and kiss the happy couple. This is a wedding. These should be the happiest memories of your life. Stop and take a minute to take a mental picture of this moment because sometimes in life you need to hang on to memories when there’s nothing left to grab.