One of my duties as my sister’s Maid of Honor was to give a toast during the reception. This is the draft of my toast I wrote up ahead of time as insurance against rambling or being dull. I think the actual toast I gave was funnier, but that could have just been because the audience had three hours of drinking under their belts by the time I started.
About twenty-three years ago, Pappa made a huge mistake. He handed me a tiny, cold, lonely thing whose two primary modes of communication were to scream and to smell bad. “This is your baby sister,” he said. “You have to look after her.”
This was a mistake because he should have known that I am not good at sharing my things. My. Baby sister. Pappa, you created a monster.
That makes it rather appropriate that the first words Bobby heard from me went something like, “Hello, defiler of my sister’s virtue and chastity.” He was borrowing my sister, and I did not approve. That’s why he was really thrilled a few months later when he found out I was coming to visit her.
“You do realize he’s not any taller than you, right?” I said after I met him the first time. She rolled her eyes and ignored me.
Then another thing happened on that trip. We got back from being out doing something, and [Sister] ran into where Bobby was playing video games to say “Hi.” From the door, I watched as Bobby held the video game controller in one hand, then made eye contact, carried on a conversation, hugged, and kissed my sister, all without dying. When Jacqueline came back she kinda stared at me. “What’s that funny look on your face?” she asked.
“This expression is approval,” I say. “It looks funny because you’ve never seen it before.”
At that point, I could see where this relationship was headed, so I started dropping hints about how smart people don’t get engaged while they’re still in college. You’ll understand, then, that I was a bit speechless when I get a phone call from Jacqueline. “I don’t have time to talk because it’s I-Con weekend, but Bobby said I had to tell you so you don’t kill him because he proposed and I accepted and now you know.”
To which I eloquently replied, “Oh.”
“I know you said smart people don’t get engaged while they’re in college,” Jacqueline said.
“That’s okay, honey. I never said you were smart.” And then, after a minute for the shock to wear off, I got to the important part of the conversation. “Who’s your maid of honor?”
“Well, I know you don’t really like weddings and you aren’t into marriage, but I was hoping it would be you.”
“Of course I will. You’re my sister.” All mine.
That girl right there in the white dress is my favorite person in the whole world. She is awesome and I love her and I am so, so proud of her. And now Bobby has married her, so that means I have to share with him. And he’s got two sisters who love Jacqueline too, and treat her really well, and I suppose I have to share with them. I still don’t share my things well, but if I have to share my sister, these are good people to do it with. Mildly threatening comments aside, Bobby, I approve of you, and I hope you two have a long, happy life together.
My willingness to publicly endorse my sister’s choice in spouse has nothing to do with the fact that they bribed me ahead of time by giving me a cutlass.
I am so hanging that on my office wall once it gets here.