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Brian and Sarah got married! (23 Oct 2005 at 00:02)
Brian and Sarah got married!
Phew! Sarah and Brian got married. I have to say, some people have a lot of stamina, and those people are not me. I am rather exhausted after helping out with this wedding, and there are lots of people who did at least ten times as much work. Anyway, it was totally worth it. Sarah and Brian are two of my favorite friends, and the wedding was unanimously declared to be wonderful.

Aside from offering my minivan for mum and chuppa hauling, and being a groomsman (and all that entails..) my duties were twofold. First, prepare a bachelor's party. For this, the usual beer and scotch and Halo sufficed, plus an added twist: in order to preserve and fortify Brian's manliness (which superstition dicates is stripped of him upon getting married, being the reason for a boys-only evening), I bought a bunch of "man" costumes like beards and nunchucks and fake cigars and elvis sunglasses, then we posed him a variety of humiliating postures, and photographed him. The best of these photographs were shown at the wedding reception thanks to a bit of cooperation from the bride. (And I will post them soon..)

The second duty was the "first toast," which I was deeply honored to give. [For you wedding neophytes, as I was only yesterday, this is the toast that accompanies the grand entrance of the bride and groom into the reception after the ceremony.] I don't deny shedding a (happy) tear or two when preparing it (uh, in the car right before the wedding) and during the delivery! Although I was really nervous in preparation, I got a lot of people complimenting me on it afterwards (and I made Sarah cry, but that is easy) so I think it went well. I figure I should post it, since I went to the trouble of typing it up (though I ad-libbed the actual one, for max flow):
Hello everyone. My name is Tom 7 and I've been honored with the duty of giving the "first toast." I don't know what that means, but I know that at the end I just need to say, "to Brian and Sarah," and then you guys clink your glasses and they kiss and you drink or clap and I raise my hands like this or whatever. But--wait--not yet. First, I want to tell you a Brian and Sarah story, and it's the story of how they started dating.

The story starts one summer a few years ago when Brian and Sarah and I and several other people who are here tonight were at a party, playing a game sort of like "truth or dare"--Sarah's invention, actually, where the truths or dares were written on little community chest cards like this (card). It came Sarah's turn and she was forced by the truth card to admit a crush on "someone in this room," and that turned out to be, of course, Brian. I'm really glad that this card came up, because compared to some of the dares in there, this was pretty much the best luck Brian and Sarah could have had.

Well, look, I'm just trying to book-end this story, so I don't want to go on about that party, but it's important to mention that at this point we came up with the idea of going on a road trip. The idea we invented was the "random road trip," where we would just hop in the car and drive with no particular destination in mind, with no potential for "are we there yet?" At the time I guess I supposed this was just one of those crazy party promises that would be forgotten by the next morning.

But in fact, after a long long night and a memorable walk--or--roll home, and then just a few hours of sleep, I got a call from Brian the next morning, proposing just such a random road trip. And despite how little sleep we all had, there was a certain vigorous excitement to his voice, and my friends know that I can never resist Brian's plans, and so we went: Brian and Sarah and Tom on a random road trip, which ultimately took us to Columbus Ohio.

Now what I didn't know at the time, and what is the reason that I am even telling this story at their wedding, is that in those few hours, I'm talkin' maybe five hours, between rolling home and leaving on the road trip, Brian and Sarah had decided to be boyfriend and girlfriend.

This random road trip that we went on was easily one of the most fun and most memorable weekends of my life. We played with glow-sticks, ate grits at a waffle house in the middle of the night, got kicked out of a Budweiser factory where we had discovered the most amazing device, which was a beer spigot in the sky like six feet in diameter, climbed on broken machinery at the fairgrounds, and a hundred other tiny things we'll never forget.

This whole random road trip they never let on that they were a new couple! Even when we stayed in this absolute horror show of a hotel room (according to one patron, "this place can get kinda 'off the hook' at night"), a double room, Brian was gentleman enough that he and I shared one bed, and Sarah the other!

In retrospect, it is obvious why this trip was so fun: I was witnessing a new couple's first day together, and that sense of excited wonderment, where everything, even Columbus Ohio, is interesting and beautiful. They've got a name for this: love! And I'm happy to say that it lasted, and that there's still a palpable sense of this joy whenever I spend time with them. Guys, this one was meant to be.

So, thank you for sharing the random road trip, and your first day, with me. (Don't worry, I won't ask to come on your honeymoon, too.)

So now that I've gotten choked up a bit, just enough to betray my manhood but not enough to, you know, get anything wet, I can say the stuff we talked about before that makes this a toast, and you know what to do:

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mr. and Mrs. Brian and Sarah. To love!
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Neal (pool-68-162-182-108.pitt.east.verizon.net) – 10.23.05 03:46:27
Your reference at the end of the speech reminds of a dark story I once overheard at La Fiesta. I was minding my own enchilada when the conversation picks on at the next table. "True story, I swear!"

There was a group of evangelicals that had been friends all the way through high school ... man, this story is completely inappropriate for casual mexican dining btw ... anyway, we're talking about a group of devout believers who never drank for instance, and all believed that any sexual impulses should only occur during marriage. A year out of high school two of them get married. Another one of them had always been the joker of the group (in a harmless Christian sort of way). The harmless joker learned of the specific hotel room that they were going to have their honeymoon at. So he gets it in his head to play one last innocent prank. And before the couple arrives he manages to sneak into their room. He's thinking he's going to hide underneath the bed and when they walk in they'll be he's going to give them quite the zing when he shouts "oogah-boogah-boogah." He's thinking laughs all-around.

You'll forgive him for thinking this since sexuality had been completely supressed in their evangelical circle. His whole world, including his impression of the relationship between his two kwa-zee friends, had been entirely platonic.

But with divine sanctification, those boundaries burst open. The two kiddos had gone from engaged to _engaged_. And when they arrive at the hotel the guy-under-the-bed can hear that they're all ready going at it against the outside door. There's all kinds of dirty talk going on. All of a sudden joker realizes that his plan is inappropriate, and he starts to get really scared, and then he gets paralyzed. So when the couple comes in, he stays absolutely still.

The guy is beneath the bed, in his wedding formal wear, sweating like a pig. He's been sexually repressed his whole life, and now his two best friends have transformed into rabid animals mere feet above him. He has to listen to every filthy detail. And he's scared as hell that he's going to be discovered and ostracized. And worse, he has no idea when this is going to end.

This must have been quite traumatic, because the couple went at it again, and again, and again, and again. Something like four or five hours. He only got out because they decided to mix things up and hit it in the shower.

The joker ran far, far, away.
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Tom 7 (h-67-100-132-206.phlapafg.dynamic.covad.net) – 10.23.05 09:23:54
Damn, and since it was after the wedding, he didn't even get to tell the story!
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jcreed (pool-141-151-170-210.pitt.east.verizon.net) – 10.23.05 09:34:43
That's a surpassingly beautiful toast, tom. Does Brian have to change his last name from "Potetz" to "Brian and Sarah" now?
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Tom 7 (h-67-100-132-206.phlapafg.dynamic.covad.net) – 10.23.05 10:59:36
It's much easier when you mean it!

I think Sarah is becoming "Pressman Potetz," and I puzzled over how best to say this succinctly. I dunno what I even said at the wedding.
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Mr. Brian Brian and Sarah (dhcp-57-155.dsl.telerama.com) – 11.01.05 21:45:16
Tom - thanks for being the awesomest groomsman ever. The bachelor party was way better than I imagined bachelor parties could be, having never been to one except ficticiously. Now I have a night I can look back on with fond memories, forever. Thanks!

> (and I made Sarah cry, but that is easy)
You don't know the half of it. Sarah told me a couple times that evening that she was "holding it in" - trying not to get too teary. Later that night, while comparing notes & reminiscing over all the details of the day, it was when we got to your speech that the dam finally broke. Seriously, though - touching! And well done! And, we should really do another one of those road trips.

And what am I doing with my hands in that photo?
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Tom 7 (h-67-100-132-206.phlapafg.dynamic.covad.net) – 11.02.05 09:21:44
You are totally welcome! Did you really take notes? I didn't even notice the dictaphones; very covert.

You know I'm up for a road trip whenever.

In the photo, I think you were holding something, like a broken bit of corsage. It was funny how you handled it so delicately and worked it into a distinguished pose. Tuxedos can make you move in funny ways, huh?
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