25 February 2008

A trio of buttons

Here is a list of the pin-on buttons that sit on my desk at school:

1. "Be in Command." A reminder for myself when students come in and try to argue about a mark I gave them.

2. "I have True Grit." A reminder meant to inform those same students that my will can crush their will.

3. "Happiness is . . . CLEAN, STRAIGHT TEETH" (included is a rather chilling depiction of a donkey wearing braces on its razor-sharp fangs). A reminder to brush my teeth.

18 February 2008

Revised wedding speech


Kristen and I have been married for two years today.

I don’t remember much about my wedding speech. I faintly recall reciting to the attendees a structured argument against getting married (an artifact from my bachelor days). I also think I awkwardly presented Kristen with a book of poems that I had written for her—and I have no idea why I chose to do this during my speech, given that the attendees had no possible way of knowing if it was something they should or shouldn’t applaud (it could have been really bad poetry). In retrospect, I don’t see why anybody should be forced to get up and say something intelligible on their wedding day. Some people pull it off. I’ve seen it happen. To make myself feel better, I’ve concluded that the people who pull it off don’t actually love their spouses.

Now that I’ve had two years to think about it, here’s the wedding speech I should’ve given (I’ve designed it for both the Toronto and Folsom receptions):

First of all, a million thanks to the wonderful friends and family who flew across the continent to stand in the -20 degree weather on our wedding day. And thanks to everyone who worked so hard to decorate, cook food, take pictures, and generally make the receptions run smoothly. Both moms deserve a billion more thanks than we could ever give. Dads, thanks for being patient with moms. We love you guys.

Gabby, Grammy, and Grandpa: thank you for making it to Toronto to support us. The day wouldn’t have been complete without you.

Nate and Ivy, thanks for flying out on your birthday. Happy Birthday! A special shout-out to Nate, who wins the award in the friend category for the longest distance traveled to make it (Elisabeth takes that honor in the overall category, having flown from Berlin!).

And speaking of birthdays, Happy Birthday to my little brother Sean. And thanks to Sean and Elisabeth for their wonderful musical presentation. My favorite piece was “When I’m 64.”

Ammon, thanks for the wonderful film you made and for flying out in the midst of your final preparations for the bar exam!

Tammy and Noel, thanks for flying out to the Folsom reception to represent the Wood girls!

Russ and Betsy, thanks for crashing your car, leaving it and hitching a ride just to make it to the reception before it ended! And thanks for telling the Packards about the wedding.

Grandpa Pallin, thank you for the tender way in which you conducted the ceremony. And thanks for showing my folks on the Wood side all of the places connected to my Grandpa Wood.

We want to thank everyone for the generous gifts and wishes.

Most of all, thanks to Kristen for settling for me.