To Alex And Katie

On Saturday, my youngest brother got married, and I had the privilege of serving as co-Best Man (with our other brother Mark). As such, I had the opportunity to do a speech that seemed to go over pretty well. I thought I’d share a portion of it, snipping out the things that are really specific to my brother Alex and his new wife, Katie.

One common trait that all three of us share, we’re all optimists and quite imaginative. Alex, Mark and I are always seeing the possibilities in life, and plotting out the course on how to get there. We get excited about the future, picturing all the little details about how great it’s going to be. Of course, real life never conforms to plan. Our paths twist and turn in ways we never imagined, leading us to a different place.

[Edit: Some ‘what if?’ questions about how Alex wound up getting to meet Katie.]

His path wouldn’t have lead him to Katie. Inevitably, the future doesn’t turn out EXACTLY like we expected. But for the Nassi boys — intelligent,  good-natured, and devastatingly handsome — the actual destination turns out even better than the one we originally envisioned.

Alex, Katie, I see you two fitting together like puzzle pieces. There’s no one else that fits with either of you like you fit with each other, and once you snapped into place, there was no separating you.

You two are a team, now and forever. You stand united against the world. No one has your back like you have each others’ back. Make your decisions together, asking “What’s best for us?” instead of “What’s best for me?”

Alex, as your big brother, it’s my responsibility to share knowledge and experiences with you, to pass on to you what I’ve learned. I’ve been married now for almost 2 years, so I’m an expert on making a marriage work. Just ask April. Who totally gets credit for teaching ME most of the rest of this stuff.

There’s an old quote that’s been paraphrased to, “Talking about love is like dancing about architecture.” It’s not the right medium, the right language to describe what you think, what you feel.

After you’ve gotten the first one out of the way, it’s easy to say “I love you”.  Once you say it that first time, it rolls easily off the tongue. It’s almost TOO easy to say it. When it’s that easy to say, your partner has to BELIEVE it every time you say it. So saying it isn’t enough, it’s not nearly enough. It’s not a fact you read in a book once, long ago. You have to LIVE IT every single day. You have to PROVE it.

Love is not a finite resource. It’s not a fossil fuel, it’s not time. There’s no reason you should run out of it. You have an infinite supply of love to share. But love is not only a noun; it’s also a verb, an action. “To love”. If you think of love as a verb, then love as a noun, love as a resource, can be replenished every day.

You can’t express your love the same way, over and over. Challenge yourself to find new ways to express your love for each other. Keep your partner on their toes. Try new things. Diversify. Variety is the spice of life. Routine is a four-letter word when it comes to love.

Store away the things that work, the tried and true, and break them out when they’re least expected. The sweet nothings that only you find cute, the jokes where only the two of you get the punchline.

Alex and Katie, you guys have figured a lot of this out already. That’s why we’re all here today, celebrating your marriage and the love you have for each other.

Now I’ll stop talking about love, and I promise not to dance about architecture. Let’s all raise our glasses in honor of Alex and Katie’s love, and let them hear how much we all love them by saying, “Mazel tov!”

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Photo courtesy of April Nassi

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