Best Man Speech

My little brother was married to his lovely girlfriend/fiance in June of this year. He asked me to be one of his two best men, the other being our eldest brother.

I said 'yea, of course,' with a big smile.

And then I immediately began sweating.

I knew what this meant. It meant I had to get up in front of others and talk about my little brother at a large gathering of people wearing their Sunday finery. This made me slightly nervous. What also made me nervous was that my little brother has made the bad habit of looking up to me, which makes it even more of a challenge, cause what I have to say is actually going to be listened to.

Everyone that's ever given a Maid of Honor or Best Man speech knows that the best route is to just speak from the heart. Agreed? Agreed. Shoot 'em straight. Some say that 'winging it' is best.

But 'winging it' isn't deserving enough of my little brother. I needed to express myself. I don't do it often to those I love, and that's something I bet we're all guilty of every once in awhile, but this was my opportunity. This was my chance to tell him what he means to me, his family, his friends.

I was looking at it all wrong. What an incredible opportunity. I love that damn kid.

I put more pressure on myself to write something stellar than I've ever put on myself for anything I've done.

After months of sitting down, beginning, stopping, re-starting, stopping, growing frustrated, forgetting about it, remembering about it, so on and so forth, it all finally came to me in one airplane ride.

Here it is.
(I mention 'you' a couple times and that is in reference to myself. Like stage directions.)

When you goto give speech, act nervous.

'Hello, I'm Justin...Jon's other brother. I wrote...uhhh..something...'

Pull out a tiny, shredded piece of napkin with 'speech' on it. Hold with two hands. Squint.

'To Joan...(stumble, look up, embarrassed) Jon. I love you. You're a great bro-'

Flip napkin over.

'-ther. And Blair, hi, you're awesome. (pause. Wipe sweat from forehead. Look around. Take time. Really mik it.)

'Ah, forget that one. I wrote something else, too.'

( Put napkin back in pocket. Reach for ipad, Eric will be holding it.)

Grab Ipad and begin.

'The say don't blink or you'll miss it.
Well, I think I must have blinked somewhere along the way, because I missed it.
I missed when my little brother became a man.

It must have been somewhere between the butt pad undies when he was six and today.
The all star selections in every sport he ever played and today.
The goosebumps, the vids, the pogs.
The going off for 12 straight points in a fraternity game and today.
The 90mph fastball, The high school all time rebounding record, the SMU masters degree, the law school entrance, the world of Warcraft, and today.

And then I thought of something.
It must have been the moment he met Blair.

Jon- you're getting a beautiful wife with a quick sense of humor, a massive heart and an even bigger smile. You're getting a woman who is a wonderful teacher, sister, daughter and above all else, person. To find such a complete person in today's world is tough, take it from me, the loser with no date to his little brother's wedding. (Who wrote this? -act confused)

Blair-you're getting a husband who is strong, caring, handsome, funny, loving and genuine. He is, by far, the best little brother in the world.
It's true, I checked.
He's perfectly imperfect, massively talented, and a man of his word.
He is, however, not much on car care. Looks like they filmed the trash compactor scene from Stars Wars in his front seat.

So, Jon and Blair- I, along with the rest of the people in this room, wish you a
happily ever after.

But remember, fairy tales aren't always like the ones we see in the movies.
There are rarely little mice or hummingbirds around to dress us in the morning.
Or a talking crab to comb our hair with dinglehoppers, er, forks.
Or a fast talking blue genie to grant us everything we've ever wanted.

But those fairy tales do get one thing right.
And that's Love.
We are all here today for your love, Jonboy and Blairski.

I mean, look at this place!
Lookit how hot everyone is, all gussied up.
For you two!
Take it in.
Maybe Kiss each other.
No, like really, kiss each other, like make out.
We're waiting. (they kiss)

Geesh. Gross, get a room.

In conclusion: Don't ever blink.
Don't miss any of your happily ever after.

I love you.