Friday, July 09, 2010


And here sits the mother of the bride, wondering what she should say in her one-minute speech at the reception. One minute? Has the mother of this bride ever restricted her comment on anything to one minute?
The bride says, “Say whatever you want. Take as long as you like.” Oh the power of permission-giving! She’s a shrewd one, this bride.
Given that the mother of the bride has no idea what to say, one minute ought to do it. She wants to say, “We like you Derek. Welcome to the family.”
But that will shock everyone. They won’t even have started listening by the time she’s finished, and on the way home the guests will say, “Too bad the mother of the bride couldn’t think of anything to say.” What should she add?
She could start with a little joke. Jokes are always a good option. Always? Well, maybe not always. She might never forget the joke told at one wedding by the master of ceremonies, a well-respected relative. He said, “Marriage is like a bathtub. After a while it’s not so hot.” It’s not the kind of joke one would want to remember forever. Jokes can be a little bit dangerous. Stil, a tasteful joke might be nice.
“Last June, when Edmontonions were being bitten by mosquitoes, our daughter was bitten by the love bug. At first the symptoms were barely noticeable, mild fever, slight agitation. But in only a couple of weeks we saw signs of a full-blown infection.”
But that won’t do. It’s the start of a longer story, and the mother of the bride gets carried away if you let her loose on a story. She doesn’t think she can tell a story and welcome Derek to the family in a single minute.
She could give a bit of advice, like Robert Fulghum would. Think of all the money he must have made publishing Everything I Ever Needed To Know I Learned In Kindergarten! And what would she say? She has had a long and happy marriage. What has she learned?
“Be nice to each other. Let your mate overhear you praising him/her to others. Listen hard and seriously to what the other person is saying. Have fun every single day.”
Would she say, “Don’t go to bed mad?”
Are you kidding? The mother of the bride may have had a long and happy marriage, but she also believes firmly in the importantce of a good night’s sleep!

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