During the cabaret, we each had a few minutes to say something to the other. Below are the speeches that we made:
Kate's Commitment: "Delighted Beyond Reason"
I had a powerpoint showing the year over year increasing ROI of marrying Rosemary, but they tell me that the projector isn’t working. So, no powerpoint tonight.
I wasn’t sure where to start with these vows, these thoughts about love and passion and commitment. In situations such as these, they can be so personal that you squirm with discomfort (TMI!) or so generic that you have a hard time remembering whose wedding you witnessed or so long that the flasks come out (I’m talking to you, Uncle Frank).
So, I will start with as good a jumping off point as any … a bastion of love and fidelity: Hollywood. Now, regardless of your feelings about Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez as dance partners in “Shall We Dance?” there is a surprising nugget of inspiration from Susan Sarandon on marriage:
Why is it that people get married?
Because we need a witness to our lives.
There are six billion people on the planet.
What does any one life really mean?
In a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything…
The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things,
All of it… all the time, every day.
You’re saying “Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it.
Your life will not go unwitnessed - because I will be your witness.”
This idea of bearing witness has formed the foundation of at least one global religious movement and is the underlying idea, I believe, that is driving the fundamental shift in our culture towards each of us living increasingly digital lives.
But, I digress.
“Your life will not go unwitnessed – because I will be your witness.”
Rosemary, I could stand up here and rattle off a litany of reasons why I love you: your humour, your heart, your beauty, your wisdom, your kindness, your breakfast omelet, your hoarding of the last bits of things in case of another Depression, your tolerance of my gadget fascination, your warm smile. But it all really comes down to this … every morning I wake up thankful that I am your witness and delighted beyond reason that you are mine.
I pledge to you, that I will strive to be worthy of your witness. And hope that on our final day, you will look back and say, “Yes, my life was enriched by you.” You are an inspiration to me and I am privileged to love you.
Rose's Commitment: "Dent for My Head"
I never tire of telling the story of how I found Kate. It was 1:00 a.m. on a Saturday in 2003 and I was alone in the dark noodling around on Skip’s computer. Suzanne Ranson and I had recently made a pact that if we were still single by July 27th, we’d look into this newfangled online dating thing and that night, I thought I should maybe take a look at a few personal ads and see what I had to look forward too. Not much, as it turned out – most of the young ladies “had cats”, “loved camping” or had user names like “camping cat-lover”.
I had almost given up by the time I got to the end of the page, but clicked on the last one anyway. As I scanned the page, the answer to “What book have you finished recently?” popped out at me. She had written: “For some reason, every summer I have to reread Microserfs. Very geeky.”
I was transfixed. I LOVE Microserfs. I read further and by the time I’d finished reading through the whole thing, I was not so much transfixed as transformed. I remember sitting wide-eyed, shaking and blushing furiously alone in that dark room and thinking “That’s her. That’s my girlfriend. I guess I should . . . let her know...”
In the beginning, I agreed with everyone’s advice that I shouldn’t put all my eggs in one basket – but secretly, I was already tucking into a delicious omelette I’d made from those eggs and picking my teeth with the basket straw. Sure, I figured we’d have the same challenges and misunderstandings and ups and downs and thrills and spills of any relationship, but I also knew that my soul had recognized hers that night and somehow it would all turn out well.
A few people have commented that I seem a little calm or casual or even blasé about the lifelong commitment we’re making today – in truth, I am none of those things. I am simply fearless. Because, Kate, from the day I found you, I have known that you were the person I most wanted to go through life with and the person I would love until the end of our days.
I love that you are determined and kind and bold and have a giant brain. I love that you once reassured me that you didn’t have a dent in your arm FROM my head, but FOR my head. I love the way you clap your hands when you’re excited. I love that you encourage and support me in all of my endeavours, be they artistic or IKEA assembly related. I love that you are the person with whom I am entirely myself.
I promise to love, honour, cherish you always. I promise I will always make the coffee. I promise to try not to leave tiny bits of things in the fridge in case the zombie apocalypse comes and we need that last, rancid swallow of orange juice. I promise to support and encourage you in all of your dreams and goals and endeavours. I promise to be your witness in this life and to knit you many ill-fitting hats. I am so grateful to have found you and so excited that you chose me to go on this journey with.