The Wedding Toast That Never Was

June 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

This past weekend I went to my friend’s wedding in Sonoma. It was the first wedding where I was in the bridal party and probably the only wedding I will serve as a groomsmaid.

When the bride and groom e-mailed the bridal party a few weeks ago, asking who wanted to give a toast, I considered raising my hand but I couldn’t think of anything to say. It had been so long since we had lived together in the dorms and I didn’t even remember what it was like to know the bride and groom apart.

However, listening to the other toasts during the wedding made me reflect upon my relationship with the couple, and more specifically, my friend, Tim. Therefore, I know it’s late but here’s the toast I would have given if I could do it all over again.

Hi everyone,

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Joanna and I am Tim’s, self-proclaimed, Best Woman.

Tim and I met eight years ago when we were freshmen at Cal. We lived on the same floor in the dorms and were somewhat forced to get to know each other through floor dinners and meet and greets but it wasn’t until we had our first one on one conversation that I started to think that we would be good friends.

I still remember that conversation vividly. I was sitting on my bed in my dorm and he sat on a chair in front of me.  We started with the usual perfunctory questions like, “Where are you from” and “What do you want to major in” but quickly went on to things like, “What do you want in life” and “What is your view on relationships.”

I liked Tim right away because he was honest and thoughtful and was comfortable with who he was. He had no qualms about telling me about the challenges of moving around as a child, growing up in China, and the fact that he had never dated anyone prior to college. We had a lot of similarities and clicked in our worldviews so I was hopeful that he would be a good friend to me in college.

Throughout the years I’ve seen many sides of Tim but my view of Brittany was skewed at first. Because Tim and I are so similar, it was hard to understand her point of view when they would get into disagreements and for the longest time I had trouble relating to her. However, slowly but surely I got to see the entire picture and I was able to see Brittany for who she really is, a kind, generous, and loving person who would sacrifice everything for someone she loves.

Actually, now that I think about it, I’m probably one of the few people who can best empathize with Brittany in her grievances with Tim. Tim and I were swing dance partners in college and although it was a wonderful experience, it definitely had its ups and downs. Similar to how Tim approached his relationship with Brittany, he always had the best intentions but somehow those intentions didn’t always materialize.

To give you an example, one time Tim and I were practicing a lift when he forgot to lift before flipping me and ended up giving me a head concussion. Obviously not intentional but very painful to say the least. I really should have logged all those injuries to get credit for free medical advice but to be fair, we didn’t know he would become a doctor back then.

There were so many things we didn’t know back then. In that very first conversation that we had, Tim and I had yet to really discover who we were and what we wanted in our careers but we were both certain of one thing: we both wanted to find that perfect partner in college and hopefully marry that person. The rationale was that we didn’t want to date just to date and would only get into a relationship if we could see a long-term future with that person. At least that was the dream.

It’s always beautiful when a dream is realized. As we grow older, it’s so common to see dreams deferred by the realities of adult life. Yet here we are, eight years later, and Tim is marrying his college sweetheart.

To Tim and Brittany, may your future children be blessed with your insane bodies and kind hearts. I promise to visit you in New York at least once and I wish you all the happiness in the world. Cheers.

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