Ferocious Blue


Best Man Toast, Felder Wedding
June 29, 1991

The following is the text of the toast I gave at the wedding of my dear friends Kenny Felder and Joyce Mahoney (now Felder). I consider the opportunity to deliver this toast to be one of the great honors of my life.

But to appreciate this historic address, there are a couple things you need to know:

One   The setting is outdoors, the height of the afternoon, in the height of summer, in North Carolina in the sun—easily 95 degrees, and the kind of humid you feel when you breath. Now picture our party in full, formal, charcoal grey tuxedoed splendor...and top hats! And that's not even to mention the walking pneumonia I'd managed to give myself in the days leading up!

Two   Public speaking is not my forte. It is, however, the stock in trade of UNC's Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies, of which both Kenny and Joyce, on the other hand, are distinguished alumni—organizations devoted to the celebration of the rhetorical arts, and a union of two of their own was certain to be lousy with them. So for weeks leading up the wedding, I fretted over this ceremonial duty the most, concocting the most pusilanimous drivel I could imagine—to insure that expectations were assuaged, everyone mollified, and exactly nothing got enflamed.

For some reason, the very morning of the wedding, I changed my mind, jettisoned the flotsam, and wrote this.

Three   Kenny insisted on very few things about his wedding, but he was adamant on one: that there was, under no circumstances, to be a hint, even the slightest whiff, under pain of death, of First Corinthians

…at this time, Iím expected to toast the couple.

But I think that something else more important has been left out of the ceremony. This is a very important thing, something that needs to be in everybodyís ceremony.

By way of the beginning of my toast:

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails…

Love is fastidious, orderly and squeaky clean. Love washes behind its ears. If you look into love, you can see yourself.

Love does not do Hammer dances in its underwear.
Aside to Kenny: (Remember that tonight.)

Love calms you down and picks you up.

Love is generous and forgiving. Love does not draw a line in the sand.

Love is not fuchsia, oblong, balding, or overly spicy.

Love does not twitch, wiggle, or do the hokey-pokey. Love is not half-price.

Love grows without obscuring, shines, without blinding, and nibbles without leaving a hickey. Sometimes.

Love speaks out, acts up, and talks back. You canít take love anywhere.

Love does not clip, check, shank, whiff, or hit soft in the pocket. Love posts up, shakes and bakes, and drives to the hole. Love has excellent hang time.

And finally, love is not a joy that consumes; love is a joy that radiates.


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