I apologize that I have not been posting recently, as I have been preparing for my brother’s wedding, thus I have been rather busy. Instead of a normal story, here is the speech I wrote and performed.
A couple of things to note, I am very good friends with both my brother and his now wife. My brother and I look nothing a like and are very different people. Also, we have a personal inside joke to Babe 2 Pig in the City. Lastly, it was an incredible day and I am so incredibly thankful for both of them and the opportunity to be a part of the proceedings.
Here we go then…
Firstly, I would love to welcome all of you to Tom and Alice’s wedding. Family, friends, acquaintances and others. I will keep this speech short, as I have been told to talk for as little as possible. Which is frustrating as I did have musical numbers, puppets and the story of Tom through the medium of contemporary dance and physical theatre with a special appearance from Gary Barlow. But this will have to do.
For people who don’t know me my name is Jake, I am Tom’s younger brother.
My brother and I are vastly different people, even though we look completely identical (this is a joke, we do not look at all similar). Tom coordinating chemistry formulas and experiments, me working behind a canvas and camera. Myself emotional and fantastical, Tom logical, cold and robotic. However, through this mismatch of loves and desires we get on very well and always have done.
I grow up alongside Tom, which I am led to believe is common practice for siblings, growing up in the harshest of white middle class environments. 23 years of struggling through piles of pita breads, smoked salmon and taramasalata, uniting against the tyrannical dictatorship of Mom and Dad. Now I stand here, at his wedding, as his best man, which is an honour and an expected privilege.
Being the best man today does come with certain duties, to mock and tease the groom, through anecdotes and tales from youth. Rooting through my memories of events, plucking narratives from my nostalgia. Like the time in which Tom caused me to chip my tooth on the tiled edge of a swimming pool at my 9th birthday. Or the time when I filled Tom’s bed with snails in the glare of the hot Australian sun. Or when Tom changed my msn messenger account name from “J-Dawg smiley face, smiley face, smiley face, exclamation mark” to the much simpler “I am gay”. However, none of these stories would do for such an occasion like this, and would be rather pointless to even mention them.
Through my recollection, flickering back through visuals and thoughts, remembering the earliest of events. Playing together, laughing together, whining at Mom and Dad together. Watching my brother walkthrough half-life 2 as I covered my scared face, him giving me courage to watch. Tom and I amassing partially used old jars of peanut butter, jam and marmite spreading this collective substance on bananas, ham and crusted bread, thus creating the ultimate sandwich. Visiting butterfly parks in Stratford, playing crazy golf in the sea breeze of Little Hampton. Being there through the happiest times, him supporting me through the rough parts of my life. Him being the Samwise to my Mr Frodo, the Spoke to my Kirk, the dingery to my doo. Tom is not only my brother, but adorably and a bit tragically he is also my best friend.
Then there’s Alice. The beautiful rose. The rose which I soon discovered had no petals and was mostly thorns. She was quiet at first, but the cackles and evil grin began to show. Under the polite innocent exterior is one of malice and evil, as she Gollemed into our home to steal my brother away, my brother the maths lover, Pokémon trainer, dead gerbil owning brother. But, through this sibling stealing she devil, was Alice. The real Alice, not fake Alice, not the one you describe to a crowd of friends and family, possibly at weddings for dramatic effect. Knowing Alice, you find yourself confronted with a confident person, a caring person and most importantly a kind person and friend. It is a true honour to have met you and a true pleasure to welcome you into our family, mainly just to make Tom slightly more interesting.
How onto the topic of love? which is hard for me describe what love is, without referencing to the 1993 song by Haddaway “What is Love? Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me no more”
So instead I shall read a little story, from Babe 2 pig in the city.
“Owl? What is love?” asked Babe, from Babe 2 pig in the city.
“What is love? Why do you ask little pig?” replied Owl.
“I don’t really know what love is. Only the love from my sheep dog mother”
“Sorry what?!” questioned Owl.
“Oh I was adopted.”
“By a sheep dog”
“Yes, it was explained in the first film” said Babe from Babe 2 pig in the city.
“Oh okay then” Owl paused.
Well love is kind of like the relationship between a Sheppard and his sheep dog. Each partner taking it in turns to be both Sheppard and hound, collaborating together. The dog can struggle gathering the sheep, maybe leaving one by a fence or a cliff edge, it is then the Sheppard must support the dog, help it to gather all his sheep. But, it is only when the Sheppard and the hound are totally in sync. The Sheppard and dog working as one to heard the sheep into place, when the relationship truly forms. A relationship of trust, friendship and love. To individuals becoming a whole.
“Is that what love really is?” Asked Babe from Babe 2 pig in the city. Wiggling his snoot.
“Yes of course it is” said Owl, flapping his wings.
“I don’t think people would particularly like you implying one of the people sitting next to me is a dog, and quoting Babe 2 pig in the city at a wedding” replied Babe from Babe 2 pig in the city.
“Well it doesn’t matter anyway” said Owl
“Why doesn’t it matter?” asked Babe from Babe 2 pig in the city, mildly puzzled.
“Because this isn’t a real quote from Babe 2 pig in the city.” Said Owl “actually thinking about it, there isn’t even an owl character in Babe 2 pig in the city.”
Puzzled, Owl vanished under his own logic and reasoning. Leaving a pig alone to wonder the streets of New York city.
And isn’t that everyone the true meaning of love.
In all, hope your life continues with the same level of interest and excitement. And wish onto us all we may have a pinch of the friendship you both share. And I welcome everyone to join me in a toast to my friends, Tom and Alice.