Several weeks ago I had the privilege of attending the wedding of my two dear friends, Andrew and Carl, with my two dear friends Kimberly and Celest. I’m of the opinion that weddings are fun as long as there’s music at the reception, and a powerful showerhead in whatever hotel you’ll be staying at afterwards. And speaking from personal experience, I can now say that weddings are even more spectacular when the person your fantastic friend is marrying is your other fantastic friend.
I started bugging Andrew and Carl two years ago to let me give a speech at their wedding. They weren’t engaged yet, but that was besides the point. I had (arguably unoriginal, but still a load of heartfelt) things to say. So several weeks ago, they indulged me. Originally, I wrote a speech. Long. A sort of people-should-sit-down-for-this situation. But the more I tried to feel out the vibe of the event, the more Andrew shouted “CASUAL! THINK CASUAL!” to every question I asked: what to wear (in the end, a dress from Target; Isaac Mizrahi, thirty bucks) where to stay, (a Best Western a stone’s throw from the interstate. Whatever. Decent showerhead. I was happy), what to bring (Andrew and Carl asked that, should their guests be in the giving mood, they should donate to the website http://www.idofoundation.org. That answer doesn’t really work with my ‘casual, think casual” refrain, does it? No. It does not. I just thought it was a great idea and so worth passing on.) The point is, by the time the wedding rolled around, I decided a speech would be too much, and went instead with a toast. A more casual, “Let’s all raise our glasses/you guys are amazing/I wish you all the best,” summation. I’d been too distracted by the green-tea frosted, chocolate wedding cake, and also by Celest’s hat, and also by Kimberly who, earlier in the afternoon, finally told me a decent street joke (“Did you hear about the man with five penises?” she’d asked over watermelon slices. “No,” I said. And then: “HIS PANTS FIT HIM LIKE A GLOVE!”)
So I didn’t say all I had to say. So, my papis, here’s what I would’ve said had I felt more comfortable exhibiting emotion for seven and a half minutes in front of a large group of people:
“Andrew and Carl (I would’ve said; a clever beginning, no?)
I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I wanted to say to you first. And I realized that basically it’s just that I love you both so much and I’m thrilled and honored to be here with you today to celebrate the awesome occasion of your marriage. Also, I want to embarrass Andrew. Not with a mention of the boa and flashing tiara I forced him into at his bachelor party; a get-up that would later get him nearly gay-bashed post-East Village karaoke; although yes…that was fun – but by talking about all the reasons why I think he’s one of the most spectacular people I’ve ever had the privilege to get to know.
Of course, I could if I wanted, just ramble on about how absurdly smart he is, about his innate, creative streak and about how such creativity and intelligence have combined to make him a phenomenal and gifted musician. I could talk about his dashing good looks, his excellent taste in clothing, his even better sense of humor, his overwhelming generosity, OR his sensitivity (he famously sobbed when he and Carl and I went to see “RENT”… the movie. Oh! And at a documentary about surfing.) I could ramble on about any and all of that and how absurd it is that that level of awesomeness in that many departments exists in one person. But that would be doing Andrew a disservice, I believe, because it would ignore the most amazing part of him: he has the biggest, kindest heart of anyone I’ve ever known. Andrew is loyal and giving and kind, and so for all of us who have the pleasure of both knowing and adoring him, he inevitably becomes that person who you look at over coffee (or in my case, that person you look at on the 99 degree day that he commutes over an hour to your apartment and single-handedly installs your 7-ton air conditioner) – and you think: I did something very right to deserve you as my friend. What I think, Andrew, just as often as I can, is that my friendship with you is one of my proudest accomplishments.
To know Andrew is quite simply, to be wowed by how spectacular he is; and when you meet someone like that, before you meet his partner – when you know there is a partner – you think, “Who could this guy possibly be to deserve him?” And then you meet Carl. And then you think, “Right.” And you think “Right,” because no one has a sharper mind or more incisive wit, no one makes you laugh harder, no one has better taste in shoes – or hats! – no one else is as kind or as generous or as supportive as Carl effortlessly is on every occasion you get to share with him. To know Andrew and then inherit Carl, or to know Carl and then inherit Andrew, this is the awesome gift they give their friends. A gift somehow – impossibly! – more awesome than a powerful showerhead at a Best Western, as it’s the sort of gift to keep on giving. So thank you both: for love, inspiration, joy, laughter and strength. And for allowing us the pleasure of celebrating alongside you.”