I am reorganizing some my Google docs and came across this gem… I think I was working on it in preparation for my speech as Liz’s Maid of Honor a few years ago. I ended up going note-less and winging the speech (I was told it was a good one–I’m a nervous public speaker). I decided to share it here because I know Liz likes to read blogs where she is mentioned and I am sure a few of our other friends would appreciate the nostalgia, especially Annaliese.
So without further ado: what I might have said at Liz and Justin’s wedding…
“I first met Liz in the sixth grade when we were barely twelve years old– not quite teenagers, but already getting warmed up for our upcoming drama-filled teenage years. We were there for each other through our many weekly and re-occurring crushes, the awesomeness that was orchestra (and the Almighty Artisans!), the transitions from middle to junior high, then to high school, college, and finally into the “real world” as so-called “adults.”
I think that one of the things that really got us through those tough transitions (besides our everlasting friendship and support for one another) was that we had already planned out some of the best-case and worst-case scenarios that our lives might entail.
When we were in junior high, Liz and I and some of our other girl friends would write each others “fortunes.” They would typically involve the crush of the month, lots of babies, an awesome career, and then a tragic ending. (At one point I was supposed to live in the Himalayas wearing nothing but burlap sacks, raising 15 kids while my husband ran around with the natives until he fell off a cliff.) Every now and then we would write “nice” fortunes that had happy endings… but it was more fun to write the interesting and tragic stories of our friends’ futures…
Liz McNeil survived the ninth grade and continued on to the high school with her loyal friends by her side. She had a few love interests, but they all lacked that something special that made her insides sing with joy. She knew there was something, someone, out there for her beyond the walls of BHS– beyond the little town of Bremerton where she was raised. She just had to go out and find it.
Liz graduated high school and moved to Bellingham to attend college. High school seemed to repeat itself– Liz met guys, dated a few, but they all seemed to lack something. She couldn’t put her finger on what it was that she was looking for; they just didn’t fit.
Senior year came and went, and another summer of weddings approached. Liz didn’t have a boyfriend and couldn’t bear to attend her friends’ weddings solo. So she did what any enterprising young lady would do: she accepted applications for the position of “wedding date.” Justin Steyer, a fellow journalist on the school newspaper, applied for the position complete with experience and references. He was by far the most qualified applicant.
What began as a not-quite-desperate need to find a wedding date quickly turned into friendship, and then something more. Liz found that something that was missing; she found someone that fit.
Liz and Justin got married a few years after the beginning of their romance in a beautiful ceremony surrounded by the people that loved them.
They had lots of babies, amazing careers, donated to charities, and lived happily together for another 70 years before one last final adventure together: skydiving.”