One (I have a few!) of my favorite speeches from our wedding was given by Brian’s best man, Jeremy. I knew he wouldn’t disappoint- what can I say…he’s just a really funny guy. But what I didn’t expect was for him to also make me cry….
Thank you, Jeremy. You killed it.
Brian asked me to be his best man on Christmas Eve while I was over at Steve and Zina’s for dinner, a longstanding tradition and one that they have been kind enough to include me in for many years. It’s something I look forward to every year and I’m pretty sure Zina and Steve like having me there as well. I tell Zina all the gossip about Brian that he won’t share — and Steve gets to talk about football and golf for a night instead of photography and succulents.
I was touched and immediately excited by the two responsibilities that befall a best man. The first was planning the bachelor party. The second of course is writing and giving a speech. After lots of discussion on the appropriate level of intoxication with thus I should be delivering this speech we—- Brian, Kate, their families and my Rabbi — settled somewhere just past the point of legally too drunk to operate heavy machinery and just short of when the crying starts. I’ll let you all be the judge if I’ve appropriately walked that line.
I came to Campbell Hall in 9th grade and I think it’s safe to say that Brian and I were not fast friends. I had a few things working against me. I was new. I only used 2 ounces of hair gel per application as opposed to Brian’s mandatory 4 ounces and most importantly the fact that Brian already had friends. As most of you probably know, Brian is a bit of a creature of habit — and by creature of habit I mean Robot. He already had friends so why did he need any new ones? Bottom line is Brian thought he was too cool for me, which to this day I still find offensive. Kate on the other was actually too cool for both Brian and I so at least that made sense.
But as luck would have it there is one thing that trumps all other qualifications for friendship when you’re in high school and too young to drive. More important than common interests, similar class schedule, whether you can actually stand each other or not — Geography. It’s no coincidence that all three Campbell Hall Alumni in Brian’s wedding party grew up within 2 miles of each other. Kate, I imagine that this might sound strange to you. You’re probably sitting there wondering why we didn’t just get upper class guys with cars and licenses to drive us around. Just trust me that option was not on the table. Brian and I didn’t choose each other, Geography did.
So thanks to the fact that Brian and I lived a mile apart and neither my parents, nor Steve and Zi na had any interest in driving us around — thank you both — Brian gave in and we set off on our friendship. Not that there weren’t rocky moments; Not speaking to each other for six months after a disastrous class trip to the Colorado river where Brian refused to paddle and for a moment it seemed like we would both die together, stranded in a canoe. Me making it my life’s work trying destroy Brian’s Buddha for an entire semester. No that’s not a metaphor. I literally tried to destroy his Buddha every single day. Or the time when Brian ditched me on a ski trip to Tahoe. That experience was much worse than it sounds. But we survived, mostly because Brian is a robot and it’s easier to keep the friends you have than make new ones, even if that friend is me.
But then something very strange happened. Brian and Kate reconnected, started dating and Brian started acting very weird. He started doing very unlike Brian things. A recap of Brian’s weekends before he began dating Kate would almost solely subsist of the following in some order: Got drunk, went surfing, fruitlessly talked to women, ate burritos. Now please don’t lump me into this way of life by association. I don’t know how to surf.
But then Brian’s weekends started to include eating at Vegetarian restaurants, doing yoga and going on weekend trips up the coast, to Sedona or camping. And this stuff was a little surprising to me but it was all conceivable. When I would lie awake at night or lose myself in the shower thinking about Brian and his life none of this shocked me. — But then things just got crazy. He started talking about… feelings and specifically his feelings for Kate. I was pretty sure Brian didn’t know what feelings were but I was positive he didn’t have them. I spent the next six months searching for signs that Kate had replaced the old Brian with a new and improved Robot model that just happened to look like Brian. He still dressed like a metrosexual lumberjack — but he had a new haircut so hey it seemed possible. But nope. It was the real Brian. He was expanding his life, discovering new experiences and having and even expressing these bizarre things the rest of us know as feelings.
They say love is all powerful. We are all here tonight to bear witness. A real life robot has become a real life man.
Now I don’t want you all to take this tale the wrong way. This is just kind of tone of Brian’s and my relationship. Brian drove me to high school every day our senior year. He would show up on time every day and I would never be ready. He would get out of the car, bang on my window and wait for me to crack the blinds and confirm what he already knew. I was still sleeping. — I’d open the door and make him watch 90210 reruns on Sopanet while my parents walked around the house in their bathrobes and I showered and got ready. This happened every single day. Now if someone can tell me how a high school senior would rather start the day then that, — I’m still waiting to hear it. But please don’t feel bad for Brian. All this wasn’t for naught. After an entire year of this, as a thank you my mom bought Brian a 200 count CD case. — So after 16 years, one of us has the best friend a guy could ask for and one of us has a CD case.
To Brian and Kate and a lifetime of happiness.