A New Experience

Yesterday i was greatly honored to have a brand new experience: i was the officiant of a wedding. Although i requested a formal script, i was also invited, by both the bride and groom, to add my own thoughts. Here is what i said:

E. and M. have invited me to share my own thoughts about marriage—ostensibly because the two of them—or at least E.—have flattered me by saying that my wife Alison and I have a fantastic relationship. They’ve also suggested that I would be good for keeping things lighthearted.

Well, as far as the lighthearted part, i’ve got my concerns. Some people have suggested the most serious event I be allowed to MC is the farting contest at a Tractor pull. For the first idea, however—that Alison and I have a healthy relationship—I’ve got to say, you’re right: We do.

I’ve thought about it, but I don’t think I can lay any super heavy wisdom on you. I don’t think it would make any sense. Most of the super heavy wisdom in the universe people have to figure out for themselves. It’s a personal thing, and it’s usually the result of getting good at improvising. What I do want to lay on you however, is very pragmatic and brief and I’m going to divide it into three lighthearted parts: 1) the corporeal 2) the political and finally 3) the metaphysical. (Don’t worry it only sounds heavy)

For the corporeal: Alison and I discussed it at length and we decided that one of the most important, and basic aspects of what we’ve got going for us, is the simple ideas of stubbornness, of immovability. We both believe that—as romantic as it may sound— love is not a feeling. It’s a decision. There’s times when you’re just simply going to feel like you don’t love the other person, and in those moments nothing but pure stubbornness is going to help you though it. A core-o-llary is immovability. In other words, combine those record collections! Put all your books on the same shelf. Your pots and pans should hang together. That way, after that giant fight to end all fights, you’ll realize it’s probably more trouble to separate all that stuff than to actually stick together.

The political: This part is simple: Alison and I are trying to create an egalitarian relationship. I think both of us have figured out there is no benefit in us trying to conform to silly notions of what the world thinks we ought to be. This is not a well-charted course, and, counter-intuitively, works to our advantage. It means we can’t fall back on standard roles, but have to search our way through things together, as equals. It means we limit the deadly “expectations” we might place on the other—and rather than being each other’s critics we must act as partners-in-crime. It means we can always try to play to our strengths—no matter what the situation.

Finally, and most importantly, is the metaphysical. Sometimes, when all else fails, when the sorrow is too great, when your demise seems imminent, you need to remember one very important word:


I want to ask Alison up here now to help explain just what this means…

At this point i went and got the banjo and Alison and i sang the song Skinnamarinky.
Quite a few members of the "congregation" sang along, too. It was beautiful.
I'm proud to say that, to all appearances, the whole thing came off as a great success.


Alison said...

Biffle did a great job. He and Ed both cried quite a bit--and as soon as one of them would start, it would inspire the other one--but they persevered and Biffle did not have to go hide behind a tree, as he had feared.

After the ceremony he said, "I need to lie on my back on the ground for about seven minutes, then I'll be okay."

The Mom said...

I love it! I can just see it (hear it?)! (Sorry for the exclamation points, Walter...)