Saturday, May 19, 2007

To Matt and Jenny (My best man toast)

Well Matt, I hope you made the most of your speech as now you're a married man that'll be the last time you get to speak for 5 minutes without being interrupted!

For those of you who don't know me, I'm Simon, Matt's Greatest Friend. It's great to be stood up here today because, after all these years, Matt has finally admitted that I am, in fact, the best man.

When I was asked to be the best man, there were a lot of things I wanted to say like how honored and humbled I felt. I've never been asked to do anything quite so responsible before. But then as time went on, I realised that I'd have to do a speech and that at some point during it I would have to say something nice about Matt. The problem is I've had very little experience of doing either, so you'll have to bear with me, actually common advice to inexperienced public speakers is to imagine the audience in their underwear. But unfortunately, I am only able to picture myself in my underwear and it is making it worse.

Now in the run-up to today, Matt and Jenny had a bit of an issue with the seating plan, because they really couldn't decide whom to put where. So as best man, I offered to step in and help work something out. What we finally decided to do was to use the wedding present list, and put those who bought the biggest items nearest the front, and work it back from there. So if they can hear me at the back there thanks to Liz and Bill for the oven glove.

Apparently the best man's job consists of two tasks: The first being to make sure Matt got here on time and in decent form, sober and smart - it is my responsibility to make sure his face and hair are in order. I think that this duty is quite unfair, and have frankly just tried to do the best I could given what I had to work with, although I think I did a pretty good job on his hair.

The second task is getting 5 minutes to assassinate Matt's character and reveal some of the embarrassing things he managed to get away with in his bachelor years.

So now I will do my best to give Matt the most uncomfortable five minutes of his life. For the record, the most uncomfortable five minutes of Jenny's life will be coming later on this evening, courtesy of Matt. So, what can you say about a man who came from humble beginnings and is now quickly rising to the very top of his profession based solely on intelligence, grit and the willpower to push on where others might fail? A man who is beginning to distinguish himself amongst his peers and where no one can say a bad word against him? Anyway that's enough about me. I'm here to talk about Matt.

Matt and I first met on a church retreat in college. I was there trying to dig him out of the rubble as the roof had caved in on top of him. It wasn't too hard to find him as we just followed his laugh. From this day on, our friendship fell into place. I think back on the times when Matt has made me laugh: Like in Galveston, when he was wearing a tank top, a pair of pastel pink plaid shorts, his the salvation army won't even accept them anymore Birkenstocks and purple socks. Or the time he got arrested for returning soda's to Tom Thumb. Or being chased from the donut shop as we were dumpster diving.

One word I always hear mentioned about Matt is frugal. Now, personally, I think that is highly unfair. I think that closefisted, miserly, parsimonious, or just damn cheap would be better ways of describing him. In Jamaica, Matt negotiated for 3 hours for an ugly ass walking stick, and was happy when the man accepted $6 and a Marlboro Medium 100. In Mexico, he negotiated over $3 on a chess set, and then in order to seal the deal, made the man wrap the pieces in newspaper.

But one day I received a call from him. "Simon, I've met a girl" was what he told me. "Oh ok, that's cool," were the words that left my mouth, but in my mind I was thinking, "Uh huh, yeah right." Then he said where he met her. At a garage sale. Now this was becoming a little more believable, I thought. Then he says "She was running the sale, and I forgot to negotiate." At this point, I asked if he was feeling ok. I asked what he thought was causing these wild hallucinations. He felt more ripped off than he felt happy for finding the woman of his dreams. He was however able to negotiate a refund during the first date, and the rest is history.

None of you will know this, but I've actually congratulated the Matt already, I said to him, 'Well done! You will always look back on this as the happiest and best thing you've ever done.' Fitting words, I thought, at the end of a fantastic bachelor party weekend. Now of course there's a couple of embarrassing stories I could say about the weekend, but I won't, mainly because of the hefty bribe Matt promised me before I started preparing this speech. Jenny, you didn't know I was going to Corpus with you both did you?

On a more serious note let me say that the bridesmaids look absolutely stunning today, and only rightly outshone by our bride, Jenny. Jenny, you look absolutely beautiful today. Like an alabaster Tina Turner, if I may be so bold to say. And, I'm sure you'll agree with me gentlemen, today is a sad day for single men, as another beauty leaves the available list. And ladies, I'm sure you'll agree that today's passing by, actually, without much of a ripple. So could we put our hands together for Jenny and the bridesmaids.

I'd also like to thank the ushers today, they've done a great job of ushing – which has not been an easy job with the type of crowd we've had here today.

I'd like to thank Ed and Nicky for letting us have the wedding here at there lovely home. Apparently they forgot what happens when we have parties. Hope your insurance is paid up.

I'd like to thank all the organisers for their hard work in preparing this wedding. I think you'll all agree it is a fantastic venue, has been organised meticulously.

And I'd like to thank everyone here for attending. It still amazes me how far people will travel for a free meal and some complimentary booze.

There are obviously two very important people here today, without whom very little of this would have been possible. Many of us will know them pretty well already, and the great thing is that as the evening progresses, most of us will get to spend more and more time talking with them. So please join me in a very special toast – to the bar staff.

Joking aside now Matt's, been a great friend to me and we've had some excellent times together and I'm sure we'll have more in the future and it's been an honour to be the best man today. When Matt told me he had asked Jenny to marry him, I was obviously delighted, I wish them all the happiness in the world.

Ladies and Gentlemen, for those of you that are still capable of standing, would you now do me the honour of rising to your feet ………..

………and raising your glasses to Mr and Mrs Krystinik May your love be modern enough to servive the times, and old fashioned enough to last for ever.