We would like to thank Gerald and Ruth, Steve and Wendy, for making us. Without them, we would be atomic dust. A few decades ago, these people either accidentally or purposefully set out to create and raise little human beings that would grow up and find their way in the world. And they would get these little humans into their adult lives with confidence and success. Hell, in my case, my parents were just happy to get me there alive.
And now that we stand at the precipice of marriage and parenthood and commitment without fear, we respect them more and more as we get older and hopefully wiser and discover that they must have done a pretty good job because we are pretty alright.
Speaking of Gerald, I knew I was going to ask Colby to marry me and I knew that I had to do the right thing and ask his permission and blessing. This has always been the way it is and to be honest, I kind of looked forward to it.
As we were leaving one day, I seized my opportunity. Colbs went out to the car before me and she had already said her goodbyes. Ruth had left with Portia, the little white fluffy munchkin. I went back into the house and called Gerald. He came halfway down the stairs. I said that I had something to ask him. He sensed it was serious and I asked him if he would be ok with me marrying his daughter. He took a step, sat down and exhaled.
He said Son, yes you can, but I am gonna quote a friend of Colby's Mom. Her son was getting married and at the wedding she said, Son, if it doesn't work out, you can always come home, but when you take Colby, she can't come home. That's it.
I laughed and said, should I ask Ruth?
Gerald said, tell Ruth I said it was okay.
Thanks to both of them for trusting me with their daughter. Thanks Gerald, for giving her away, though, I am sure you have dreamed of this moment for a long time now. I mean, you practically pushed Colby down the aisle. People could hardly get a picture.
I am very lucky to have Ruth and Gerald and Stefan and Katie as my family-in-law. I could have gotten maniacs. I mean, Colby did warn me that they were a bit crazy. Then she met my family and realised all families are psychotic. It is just the way of things.
I would like to thank my parents because they are the most supportive and unbelievably wonderful people in the world. I was a weird kid, what with the GIJoes, Michael Jackson, Flute playing, air cadets, modern dancing little emotional wacko I must have been.
They are not only my parents but they are my pals. I was telling a friend about a 7 day road trip that my dad and I took this past June. He thought for a while and said, what the hell did you and your dad talk about for seven days?? I can assure you that we never ran out of things to talk about but we didn't just fill the silence either.
My Mom and Dad have instilled in me the empathy and respect that is my code to live by for life and to pass on to others. This is their legacy.
My parents paid for and supported a lot of things that were dropped as unceremoniously as they were thought up. But they almost always went along with it. I can't imagine they were stoked on the idea of a motorised go-cart track in the empty lot next door or me riding my dirtbike on my paper route. I am pretty sure the Motley Crue and Iron Maiden coming out of my bedroom stereo in grade 9 wasn't loved.
I suppose the most important footprint my parents have left on me is their 42 happy years of marriage that I hold up as a benchmark for what is possible between 2 people that love each other. My sister Gina, I love you and thank you for making the journey. I also thank you for listening to all my fairytales and going along with all the crazy, half baked ideas when we were kids. Ian was older so I had to go along with his half baked ideas. It was only natural I would bestow mine upon you. My brother Ian and his wife Brandi and their two little people, Marin and Trenton, and my sister Austyn, couldn't be here today but they are in spirit.
And to all the others, everyone that has taken this journey for us. For us. We feel absolutely astonished that all of you would come down here at our behest. If you are sitting here now, you are truly valuable people to us and to each other.
Some of you are new-ish friends and others are old friends. Some are family members. We didn't take the liberty of inviting all of our families because, as we all know, some family members don't look good in real life.
Some of you have never met each other but have heard about each other through Colby or I.
Because the gathering is relatively small, you can meet each and every other guest. How exciting. Just mind the religions and politics. We don't want to have to break up any fights.
The reason Colby and I didn't have a wedding party with a head table and all that is because that denotes best friends, when all of you here, are our best friends.
I hosted my own bachelor party in September that took place over a weekend at some cabins. I may have hosted my own party to avoid the ubiquitous drunken tomfoolery that may have ended up with me passed out, naked (save for the pink tutu) and tied to a pole downtown, replete with Facebook photos and a night in the local drunk tank.
At one point in the weekend, I remember looking at the whole group and thinking what an amazing crew of friends I am blessed with. I am so grateful for all of you.
And now, without further adieu, I must speak about Colby. Any of you who read my blog know that if I am not ranting about some injustice somewhere in the world, I am probably writing a poem about Colby.
This woman makes me want to write poems. She inspires me. It is her that convinced me to take my art out of the leaky shed in East Van and into galleries. It is her that caresses my ego's fragility and gives me the confidence to take on the world. As I have said, I wear the pants but she picks which ones.
She said she always thought she would be with a business man, said that she would have visions when she was younger, of making dinner with, listening to jazz and drinking red wine. All of those things have happened but the business part is a bit of a wash. My fiscal policy consists of my iPhone calculator and an ability to make a car payment on time.
The beauty of us is that we do complement each other. I know all couples say this but we really do. I am the yin and she is the yang. She is Earth and I am Air. Our compositions are scientifically and spiritually perfect for one another. Think about it, if we were both creatives, replete with all those air tendencies, we wouldn't even be able to feed ourselves. We would starve. And if we were both earthy and fiery, we'd be almost obsessive-compulsive nutcases, voracious for details.
So we meet in the middle and glean crucial knowledge from one another.
Of course, there are a few speed bumps along the way but we respect each other, not only as lovers but as best friends.
And speaking of friends, I am lucky that she doesn't have any crazy friends that I loathe to spend time with. Well, Monica is a bit crazy but she is cool. Plus, she lives in Paris, so how bad can that be?
Katie, Dee, Tara, Amy, Glen, Nicole, The Shorkeys, Steve.
You know the old saying about how you can tell the measure of someone by the company they keep? Colby and her lot are a fine example of that.
Colby is actually afraid of flying. For someone who flies all over the place all of the time. She has a customer profile picture on the wall at YVR. I think she just likes the atavan. Secretly, she loves flying. Not frightened at all.
But seriously, that just shows she kicks her fears in the nuts. Which is what she has pretty much always done, if I have my facts straight. I mean, a definite pain in the ass as she voices her every inner thought and equation and the possible outcomes but we all know we are better for listening to it. She does have a certain power to convince people that I haven't seen before. I'd even go so far as to say she's like the Jim Jones of persuasion. People drink her cool aid. Or eat her hemp hearts.
She aced school like it was nobody's business. Although, she did once tell me that they wanted to move her up a grade, when was younger and she was like, "No way, I'll kick it down here and shine with ease".
Regardless of how it went down, she left school with scholarships and accolades that follow her around for the rest of her life. When we were in Melbourne we met up with one of her high school teachers that Colby has maintained a friendship with after all these years. I found it incredible that she had made the effort. This teacher is an extraordinary person and she knew it. She understands the value of good people and keeps them around. If someone isn't that good, they won't get many chances before they are on the 'do not call' list.
For me, the added bonus is that all of her friends are high quality people. So I don't have to suffer fools at all. They might even suffer me.
School is where she met Steve Merkely. They have known each other for a long time. Since like grade 9. Old pals. So, if there are embarrassing stories of Colby's early life, Steve would be the man to ask about that. They are both smart asses that compete against each other for the floor. Couple of last word Larrys. Old friends know you and don't let you get away with anything. They keep you honest like nobody's business. Your family, too. They saw you piss your pants and fall off your bike. They know you.
And there is something really comforting about that.
The other night, Colby phoned, she was with the Shorkey brothers, and one of them had told her that 55% of marriages end in divorce. And, like 51% of people cheat or something. I was like, thanks guys. And I know, we will for sure be in the 45% that win. Hell, elections have been fought and won on way less margins than that.
The secret to the success of the 45%? This is as succinct as I could whittle it down to; for her: Knowing when to be quiet, for him: Stopping to ask for directions.