Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Toast

My sister, Bridget, is getting married Saturday and I am co maid of honor with my little sister, Maggie. I still haven’t written my speech.
To add to my stress level, Maggie is a drunk savant and will probably say something so disgustingly charming that I will come off looking like the idiot sava … er … drunk.
In my panic a couple of days ago, I thought I had come up with a brilliant idea to reference the three sisters being like a shamrock and Brad, the groom, making us a complete four-leaf clover. Maggie, thankfully, told me this was lame. I then looked into hiring a Kenny Rogers impersonator, Bridget’s celebrity crush, but he was busy. And cost five grand.  So I started YouTubing “maid of honor speeches” to help get my creative juices flowing.
There I sat, bawling like I was watching a marathon of “Extreme Makeover: The Biggest Loser Edition, Brought To You By Oprah.” My sobfest was interrupted by some terribly corny jokes and obvious attempts to appear on “The Today Show” (was anyone else aware of the trend to rap the bride and groom’s life stories to the tune of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”? )but overall, the speeches were genuine, albeit a bit formulaic.  And they make sure to set themselves apart by all captioning their video “Best. Speech. Ever.”
Maid of honor speeches have a general blueprint. They always start with a “for those of you who don’t know me” intro. This makes the speaker look humble even though she knows damn well everyone knows who she is or that they can look in the program where it clearly states “College friend/Sister /Insecure cousin who would throw an adult temper tantrum if she wasn’t asked”. And if nothing else, it's safe to say everyone can surmise the bride asked her maid of honor to give a speech and not Aunt Judith fromPoughkeepsie who she hasn’t seen since she was 6. She then shares an embarrassing story from childhood that guests politely laugh at while inconspicuously checking their phones. Insert slightly crude statement regarding an inside joke (e.g., “… and you and I both know what happens when you don’t wear clean underwear, don’t we?”) and end with some tear-jerky sentiment of how happy they are for the couple.
So why was I actually moved by watching the videos of these speeches? Because regardless of how cheesy or poorly read or incredibly bland they were, I was watching the bride and in every clip, she was looking on as though she was watching the Best. Speech. Ever.
So I am just going introduce myself, tell an embarrassing blurb with a semi-crude joke, and probably cry as I look on at mybeautiful big sister celebrating the biggest day of her life. And if ends up being the worst toast of the night, at least I was able to use a highly circulated newspaper to publically wish them the Best. Life. Ever.
Top that, Maggie.

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