My onliest daughter is getting married in four days.
The past eight-or-nine months have been a gradually increasing whirlwind of choosing colors, registering at this place or that, and organizing the who, what, where and when of the big event. Mr. VISA must be riverdancing for joy every time he sees a receipt for another pair of shoes or more flowers tossed onto the already mountain of purchases avalanching from the McBeady household.
And it all culminates in a 20 or 30-minute service this Saturday. So far, my father-of-the-bride strategy of laying low, avoiding eye contact and keeping moving has worked. (I notice Groom has adopted it, as well, though not with the panache my 30-plus years of marriage and fatherhood have granted me. "Ahh, but patience, Glasshopper. Your time rill come.") Mama of the Bride and Daughter have taken care of most things, and I have only been involved those few times I've been ambushed. I.e., Bride's Mama:
"Hope you enjoyed the steak tonight, Honey. By the way, doyoulikethepuceorthechartreusheelsbetter? Oh, and canyoubeadearandpickup16foldingtablesfromtheweddingrentalplaceonyourwayhome? Please, Sweetie?"
Me: "Huh? Wha? Um, I...I guess so...."
Those were rare instances, I must say, and mostly I managed to avoid being pulled into in that dreaded, dark world of "W-E-D-D-I-N-G P-L-L-A-A-A-N-N-N-N-I-N-G." But now, fate has caught up with me. I find myself faced with having to make the dreaded (with echo) "F-A-T-H-E-R O-F T-H-E B-R-R-I-I-I-D-E S-S-P-E-E-E-E-E-C-H-H!"
So, I've only just begun to give it a thought or two. I've been looking online for suggestions on the perfect Father-of-the-bride speech-slash-toast. I've concluded it doesn't exist.
Why? Because, no matter who you are, you still are the Bride's Daddy. She's about to wed the one man on earth who rivals Jesus in the perfection department, ever. But she is still Daddy's Little Girl. That nagging certainty buried deep in our little pea brains that says Groom is NOT GOOD ENOUGH for her will screw up our Father-of-the-Bride speech!
Nevertheless, I think I can do it! Especially if I am reinforced just a bit with the taste of the brewski....
Here's the plan: I'll welcome everyone to the joyous occasion, just as all the advisories recommend. I'll thank everyone involved in making Daughter and Groom's wedding celebration so special, just as they say you should. I'll make loving remarks and tell gently amusing anecdotes about the newlyweds. I'll welcome Groom to the family, tell him how very blessed he is and promise to love him and his bride and pray for them. I'll urge them to get on with some grandkids (I'm not gettin' any younger, you know.).
I'll probably throw in a few other comments here and there, as well, although I have yet to decide what they'll be. I'll thank Groom's parents for raising such a fine young man I'll be proud to call son-in-law, and I'll tell them how happy I am that we're now all family. I'll thank Mama of the Bride for hanging in when times were tough so that together we were able to raise such a fantastic daughter. Then, I'll toast their health, their happiness, their faith and their love.
I know I can do this; not because of the little taste of brewski. It'll be because I'll be wiping my eyes, sniffling and blowing my nose and trying to hold back the tears. Regardless, I'll be blubbering royally, there won't be a dry eye in the place, and no one will understand a single word I'm saying. So, no one will know when I screw up!
What a plan! It's undoubtedly foolproof! However, in the unlikely chance something does go wrong...
Maybe we can just dance....