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MY HARDEST WRITING ASSIGNMENT

Bill
Employee
Employee
Believe it or not, I've got "writer's block." Certainly not as it pertains to "Nuts About Southwest," of course–I can always find something to share with you guys–nor does it pertain to my work. Trust me, the Schedule Planning Department is hummin' these days, and the only difficulty I'm having in writing up studies and reports is trying to find at least a little humor to "punch up" the otherwise bone-dry (but interesting!) content. The problem is that I have the most important speaking engagement in my life coming up. I'm the Best Man in the wedding of my son, Officer Owen, and I am struggling MIGHTILY to write the Best Man's toast. And yes, I'm writing the toast, in advance, treating it as a speech. I do not trust my brain to fully deliver instructions to my mouth before my mouth decides to start speaking on such an important occasion. Don't get me wrong, I usually enjoy speaking extemporaneously, but sometimes words just start flowing before my grey matter has finished delivering instructions, particularly when I'm stressed, emotional, or trying to multi-task. Take the incident a few years ago, when I was carrying an armload of food into the breakroom that my Department shares with the Revenue Management group. Unbeknownst to me the R.M. folks were having a staff meeting in there, so as I struggled through the door, my arms laden with food containers, 28 startled heads turned my way. I swear, in my head, I remember starting to say "Don't mind me!" and for some reason half way through I switched to "Don't let me bother you!" Unfortunately, what I actually said was a cheery and booming "Don't bother me!" Or, for a more recent example, yesterday I was discussing details of the upcoming nuptials, and the question that I intended to ask was "how many invitations are you sending out for the wedding?" In true form, what actually came out of my mouth was, "how many invitations are you sending out for the funeral?" To make matters worse, I was talking to my future daughter-in-law at the time. So for the wedding–the toast should be scripted. That's not the problem. The blockage is over what the script will say. I hardly think I'll be holding myself up as a paragon of wedded bliss, as the Officer's mom and I have been divorced for many years now. But there are things I can, and do, want to tell the newlyweds–things I feel intensely and deeply about. Principles that have guided me for years...like the binding power of love. The healing power of laughter. The destructive power of anger. And the redemptive power of forgiveness. Or, maybe, I should simply toast their future and offer some guidelines for success, many of which my Mom and Dad taught me. Obvious things, like figure out what you like to do, and then find a way to make a living doing it. I certainly have done it–16 years and counting at the best airline in the world!–and I hope they can find similar fulfillment. Or maybe a tip you can only learn from experience, such as never, ever cook a steak more than medium-rare (the Gods weep at brown, dry meat). Or perhaps just some simple "user instructions" for a marriage–like "IF YOU HAVE TO LIFT A LID, PUT IT DOWN WHEN YOU'RE DONE." (This applies both in the bathroom and in the kitchen) I don't know…maybe I will just speak, extemporaneously, from the heart. Maybe I've said all I need to say over the past 23 years, as has the Officer's mom, and as have the parents of the future Mrs. Officer Owen. Maybe a simple "health, wealth, and happiness" toast will be best. Hopefully, we parental types will have many years to offer gentle reinforcement of previous lessons...and those same future years to learn new lessons, together. Six weeks to go until the wedding--and yes, now I think I know what I'm going to say. And if you have any advice for my toast, or for the kids....please post them as replies. I'll make sure they get them. What a cool, and unexpected, wedding gift that will be!
14 Comments
Mark8
Not applicable
OMG - DO NOT SPEAK OFF THE CUFF. Sorry, no advice on what to say but... I've seen too many best mans (LOL) totally botch it because they are so nervous. And since your son chose you as best man, you must be close, so this is bound to be an emotional time. You are so smart to be thinking about this now. Write it down - nobody will mind if you read it. And if you emotions get in the way, stop, take a deep breath (everybody will be pulling for you to make it) and start reading again. OK, here's a goofy one just to be in the spirit: May all your ups and downs come only in the bedroom.
Cindy9
Not applicable
Could you please come over here and clean off my monitor and keyboard?? I should know better than to try and drink anything while I am reading some of the posts here!! Just reading this blog tells me that you won't really have any problems speaking at your sons wedding, although from the sound of it your daughter- in- law might just be a bit nervous about her perspective father- in- law speaking at her funeral, oops, sorry mean't wedding.. After 31 yrs of marriage I think the sense of humor is a must!! Another biggie is time put aside for each other but also time alone to do those things that you enjoy that your spouse might not.. Oh, did I mention sense of humor??? Big, really BIG!! Congrats to all of you and I bet you'll do great as long as you can remember that your at a wedding...lol You'll have to come back and let us know how it went and don't forget to pass those ((((((((hugs))))))) out....
mhennes
Not applicable
Well, Bill, you're the second to the last person in the world that I could imagine being speechless! So, here's a little something to put on a card in your pocket in case absolutely all else fails... "I've watched as my son has become a grown man - not a thing I can do now about it... "Gained respect, love, and friendship from so many here - and I'm so proud of him I could shout it... "And today as he starts a new path in his life with his bride and companion, who'd doubt it... "That each day til he's grey he'll have love in his heart...and will not see one sun rise without it." Happiness always to you, Tyler, and the rest of the family!! Can't wait to see the pictures!! Mer
R__Brookis
Not applicable
Southwest is the coolest airline. It truely puts all the legacy carriers to shame - makes them look as old and dated as they are - heck, they might as well reserruct thier 707's and DC-8's from museums, to go along with thier rude and aged staff, many of whom obviously started thier careers on these planes, if not DC-3'a. Thanks Herb!!
Toni_B
Not applicable
Bill, thank you for bringing me to tears (of laughter) so early in the morning. I can feel your pain as I share your afflication of blurting merged thoughts before the edit button kicks in. In spite of what may come out of your mouth, your son will,no doubt, feel your pride and know the LUV that surrounds the toast and your blessings for the couple...and based on your blogs, you will do a stellar job of delivering a message that means alot to them both. Best of Luck on the big day! Mer, who is the LAST person you could imagine being at a loss for words??
Bill
Employee
Employee
Toni, I bet I know who the *last* person Mer could ever imagine being at a loss for words....HER!!! And thanks to you, and the rest, for the good wishes. And SMS (her other nickname, other than Mer, is "Sing Mary Sing")...I've already got it written down. In a pinch--I'll use it! Just don't expect a byline. :) Bill
slogan
Not applicable
Bill, I admit that I'm a complete sap, but reading your post choked me up a little. I, too, can't imagine you at a loss for words, and I know you will do a FANTASTIC job giving the toast at your son's wedding. You MUST inlcude something about the principles you're passionate about...just reading you write about the binding power of love; the healing power of laughter; the destructive power of anger; and the redemptive power of forgiveness gave me goosebumps. I've been happily married for over 10 years now, and I couldn't have said it better myself. Good luck, my friend. You will be great. 😃
jmalone
Not applicable
Bill - I can't believe you are without words!! I'm sure you will come up with something witty and charming. Tell Tyler I wish him well on his upcoming wedding celebration. See ya soon! James
FriendofBlogBoy
Not applicable
Bill, Ya know, I've read and re-read your newest blog post a number of times, trying to think of what to say. My failure to respond has not been due to lack of interest at all, but being puzzled as to how to answer. You and I have only met once briefly, but as a father of two, I "feel your pain"! LOL First, I think it is an incredible honor to be asked to be your son's best man. That speaks VOLUMES about what sort of father you are and of the quality of the relationship that you share! Congratulations on that!! Not knowing your son makes it harder for me to offer a suggestion, but building on the basis that he feels that close to you, I'd offer these ideas: a.) express your pride at being his Dad b.) express your gratitude at being selected best man c.) offer your hopes/wishes/prayers for a long and loving marriage d.) express your desire that some day Tyler will have as terrific of a son and as great of a relationship with him as you've been blessed to have with Tyler. e.) then sit down as quickly as you can since this is "their" time in the spotlight and not yours! I am sure that you'll do just fine, although I cannot say the same for myself. As sentimental and emotional as I am about my own kids, I've forbidden my daughter from ever getting married, because I bawled and blubbered like a baby at her college graduation and I'd NEVER make it through a wedding! Best wishes to you and especially to Tyler and the future Mrs. Owen, Kim 🙂
pcerda
Not applicable
Oh man, at least you'll be there! My best man for our wedding had a spinal tap 4 days before the wedding and it never closed up. Needless to say, I rushed him to the ER 2 days before the wedding. I had one best man and 3 additional groomsmen. One of my groomsman who took over the best man speech for him did a great off-the-cuff job, but I definitely don't recommend it! I'm sure you'll do GREAT! And for a gift you can offer them a few non-revenue space available passes!!!!!! Give the gift of flying standby! LOL!
nicholas_frasca
Not applicable
"Brevity is the soul of wit" - I recommend keeping it to "To my best friend". That will be memorable. Anything longer than a sentence will surely be forgotten by most. I met both you and your son once on a very memorable day, a long time ago. Please send him my congratulations. If by officer you mean police officer, that will make two of you who have followed you passions.
Paul_Curry
Not applicable
I agree that a brief comment will carry the day more than even a short speech. Try: Heres to the best son and man could have and his lovely wife, may they have a lifetime of joy. As a retired Deputy Sheriff Lt. (33 1/2 years) I wish your son the best and hope he will always be vigilant.
Bruce_Etheridge
Not applicable
Bill, I gotta say, you "nailed" the Best Man's Toast! Very inspirational words indeed, for Mr. and Mrs. Officer Owen, and the guests in attendance. I may for you to write them down for me. Unfortunately, my "forgetter" works much better than my "rememberer". It was a pleasure to meet you and it was definitely an honor to be in attendance at your son's wedding and share in their joy. They looked so happy and excited together. The reception was a blast too. 😉
Spiro
Not applicable
interesting