Embarking on the Great Adventure

This past weekend, I had the great fortune of being the best man at Neil and Kelly’s wedding.  It was a great celebration!

Below is my toast.  The first three sentences have been cut off, but I’ve included the full transcript below.  Congratulations, Neil & Kelly!

Ladies and gentlemen,

It’s a privilege to celebrate this happy day with all of you. I’ve known Neil since college. He’s one of the most considerate people I know. To see Neil and Kelly so happy together is proof that good guys do win and that life is beautiful.

In addition to his great sense of humor, Neil has his peculiarities. I was the one who first convinced him to try lettuce. We were at Subway. After taking a few thoughtful bites, he looked up and declared, “I can’t believe I went through life without trying lettuce.” To this day, he still gets lettuce in his sandwiches.

Months later, I offered him tomatoes. He politely refused. “Have you ever even tried tomatoes?” I asked. “No,” he replied, “but they can’t be good.” As if that explained it all.

Neil didn’t even like Paris the first time, when he went alone. It’s true!

Then he met Kelly. And things began to change. Neil began to try more things. Eat more things. Adapt to shifting plans with a spirit of adventure. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not like he went skydiving, Rocky Mountain climbing, or spent 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chew. But he did love deeper. And he spoke sweeter. Mexican food, a favorite of Kelly’s, now had a fighting chance. It seems love is great enough to conquer even cheese, and possibly tomatoes.

After all, life is a great adventure. It’s about sharing experiences with people you love. Seeing Neil with Kelly has shown me how we can encourage one another to explore the unknown. If that’s not the power of love, I don’t know what is.

Neil’s a big fan of music, so I tried to find some profound insight from the radio this morning about how we should capture life’s fleeting moments and take chances. It’s a lot to ask of a radio in 15 rushed minutes, but here’s the best I could do:

Lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance
Opportunity comes once in a lifetime.

Remarkable the type of sage advice you get from 106.1 KISS FM.

To help you seize life’s opportunities, I bought the two of you a few gift certificates: to go skydiving (with Skydive Snohomish), Rocky Mountain climbing (well, actually, a three-day Rainier hike with REI), and – I assume you know this – there’s no bull named Fu Man Chew. But I’m told there’s a bar in Pioneer Square that has a mechanical bull, so I got you a gift certificate for that as well. I’m sure you can beat 2.7 seconds.

Ladies and gentlemen, please raise your glasses with me. To Neil and Kelly:

May you live long, happy, fulfilled, and leave nothing on the table.
May you do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with your God.
May you spur each other on in life’s great adventure.

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance – I hope you dance.

2 Responses to “Embarking on the Great Adventure”

  1. Georgette says:

    I found your post via a link in an email message dated Thu 9/18/2008 12:00 AM and titled Top 10 most useful secrets in Office. After reading the section “About the author” and the fact that you managed to almost get fired twice, I had to read more about this intriguing and well written writer.

    Your writing is silly, crazy, witty, fun and moving – all in the most wonderful of ways. Besides, you mentioned two of my favorite songs in your post about Neil and Kathy. They are lucky to have a friend like you in their lives…

    I have one question for you (strictly from a motherly perspective): Why aren’t you married yet?!?!?!

  2. philipsu says:

    I’m glad you like it, Georgette!

    And actually, I am married… another post that goes into it more: http://worldofsu.com/philipsu/?p=113

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