19 August 2005

Making Speeches

While attending our friends' wedding rehearsal dinner, the groom's father had set up a microphone where anyone could say a few words about the soon-to-be-wed.

Now, we, meaning my family and I, are the outsiders of the wedding party. We've met the bride and groom's parents before, but other than that, we don't know anyone. We knew the bride in her more destitute, solitary times. She was mostly anonymous while attending college at Southern Oregon University in Ashland. We spent a couple years watching her loneliness, but appreciated her choice of hermitude—choosing to stay away from her very, very large network of friends in Reno so as to focus better on her studies.

Her man would drive five-plus hours every weekend to visit her, and we usually didn't see her then. But, I liked it; she is highly deserving of love.

I believe we saw the real bride, the one who had no one else to talk to, no past to cloud our perceptions as to who she is now. We love her and her mate. They are two of the most decent people we've ever met.

So you see, I had something to say after all. But, this is the story of my life. I can't bust out a speech on the fly, and if I do, I usually think later about how I should have said this instead of that, how I should have added this analogy or that anecdote.

Of course, some of the things I had to say were not exactly positive. Some of them would insult many of her friends (I mean, claiming her ten closest friends didn't know the real bride?). Some would reveal the desolute bride, the desolution she would rather not share with everyone else.

Renee, my wife, tells me I should use the speech I conjured up twelve-hours late at the wedding tonight. Alas, I'm afraid to stand up in front of the some 200 guests, especially the younger ones; my jokes, conversational pieces, and observations have been met with offense and befuddlement so far. It's interesting that most of the wedding party members, friends of the bride and groom, don't get me, when both of the couple get along smashing with me.

Well, maybe this is more of a moan than an exposition on the difficulties of making a speech, but one can only "strike out" so many times before keeping one's mouth shut. After all, by keeping silent, one appears the sage.


J. Breedlove said...

Keeping silent has served me well for many years. But there's something to be said for saying the right thing.

Kyle Stich said...

I usually opt for silence as well.

Adam said...

Oof. I have to make a best man speech in less than two weeks from now. I'm not sure at all what I'll be saying. My friend asks me now and again how the speech is coming because he knows I've been thinking about it a lot, and I think that is building up expectation in his mind.

It seems like all the stories that I have that would express the foundations of our friendship and its significance to me would be a little out of the safety zone for a speech like that.

Kyle Stich said...

LOL, Adam. I know about those off-limits anecdotes. Mixing family and friends can be a tricky wicket. But, I've seen you give a speech, so I'm sure you'll do fine.