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Friday, September 27, 2013

Happy Anniversary Bigou!

Sunday marks 6 years of marriage with my luv. We have a lot to celebrate this year... a happy home, a vivacious 2 year old, another little nugget on the way and a union as solid as it was when we said our vows more than half a decade ago. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm truly lucky to have found the love of my life when we were so young. I can't imagine having anyone else by my side through everything that life throws at you. We have literally grown up together and my love for him grows deeper with every day that passes. 

We're celebrating this weekend by going to our favorite Italian restaurant, Angelini Osteria tonight for a yummy meal. Then, since our actual anniversary falls on Sunday, Grant is going to recreate our wedding meal - an antipasto of assorted meats and cheeses, butternut squash ravioli with a brown butter sage sauce and tender fillet mignon with roasted vegetables. In lieu of the pumpkin banana bread I said Hayes and I were going to make on yesterday's post, we're going to whip up an old-fashioned banana cake with cream cheese icing in honor of the delicious dessert we enjoyed that day.
Last year, I posted our vows, which are always a nice thing to look back on to remind yourself of the promises you made when embarking on your "official" union (I say "official" because let's face it, this relationship train left the station a loooong time before that!). This year, I decided it would be fun to post our ceremony, which was written and performed by somebody very special in our life, Grant's grandfather Olie. It was a unique, silly and perfect ceremony and I'm grateful we were able to include him in such an important part of our day.

Grant and Chanel’s Wedding Ceremony
September 29, 2007
Olie Dake

           Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen, Bonjour Madames et Monsieurs,
G’day Mates,  Hi Y’all, Shalom Alickem,  and Howdy Paddners;

Several months ago, when Chanel asked me to conduct this ceremony, I said, “Chanel…I’m deeply honored that you asked me; but, you know; I’m an old man, and by the time of your wedding, I’ll be 77 years old.”  And she said, “Oh, that’s O.K. if you’re not still alive, you don’t have to do it….if you don’t want to. 

Well, as far as I can tell, I am still alive; and I do want to do it.  

And, let me tell you, I am absolutely overjoyed to be here; and I assume that all the rest of you are too. (Otherwise, I don’t know why you would have bothered to get your hair done and your toenails painted...to have spent hundreds of dollars on a new dress, got a last minute shot or two of collagen, and got yourself all, “Farpitzed,” just to come out here and subject yourself to the illusory ramblings of an old rouĂ© like me…;and that’s  just the men I’m talkin’  about…..).

And I know that all the grouchy relatives and associates on both sides were sent invitations with the wrong date…So we don’t have to worry about having any curmudgeons tryin’ to put “Asunder,” what we’re going to put together here today.

So you and I are gonna have the time of our lives in celebration of the decision of two of the most loved, respected, and honored people in our lives--Chanel and Grant--to legally commit to a mutually exclusive, connubial relationship that has already been in de facto effect for nearly nine years. 

And let me tell you, that over the past eight years, I have been in their company many, many times, and I have never--not ever--not once--heard one harsh word between them…no whining, no puling, no dissembling, no bickering, no disparaging …no accusing, and no keveching.…And I think that that bodes very well for a continuing harmonious and productive relationship…

However, if you’re from the old school--as I am--you know that there comes a time in all relationships when a real man has to temporarily set aside domestic democracy, and do his manly duty! “Oh, Honey, I forgot you were here!  I’m sorry…really, I am!...I didn‘t mean it!…Oh boy, I’m in for it now!!!…Oh well,.. nothin’  new!…..

(Oh, by the way, I want this to be an interactive proceeding: I’m going to ask you some questions from time to time, to which I want you--and that means,“ All of you,” to answer, “Yes,” or “No,” (no multiple choices). If your answer to a question is, “Yes,” I want you to say,“Yesss!” in your affirmative,“Outside,” voice and cheer and applaud.  If your answer is, “No,” just keep your vile mouth shut…please!  Now, do you understand the directions? (Apparently not!…I guess they were too complicated) Let me repeat:  If your answer to any question is, “Yes,” say, “Yessss!” and applaud…Now, let’s try again; Do you understand the directions? *Good, you’re fast learners!)

Now, as I was saying; If ever two people were perfectly suited for each other, Grant and Chanel are those two! For two very privileged and indulged young people, these two have remained amazingly unspoiled; and they are the most optimistic and joyful people I have ever met…

And, just look at Chanel! Boy, is she the most gorgeous, radiant, and happy looking bride you’ve ever seen?  And look at old Grantee.  Is that the Cheshire Cat or what? And who could blame him?...For both of them, this is  a dream come true!

            And, now, it is my pleasure to welcome you all here on behalf of the entire Mailloux family: Chanel and her beautiful sisters; Jessica and Whitney; Jessica’s betrothed, the lucky, Matt Kelly; Penny, the universally loved and respected matriarch, and healer of all wounds; And Sir Wayne, known also as the Great Provider and the ruler of the household…and also, the generous man with the deep pockets, (And by the way,  Speaking of that, some of you probably already know that Wayne, being a prudent and resourceful--as well as reasonable, and pragmatic man--told all three of his daughters that he was setting aside a certain--and I must say--‘handsome’  amount of money for each of their weddings, and that each could choose to have an elaborate wedding--such as this one; or she and her lucky suitor could simply take the money and get some old Reverend like me--or a Justice of the Peace--to marry them on the cheap and then take all the rest of the money and invest it wisely…perhaps in “Ask Me Now,’ warrants, or shares of Coca.., Oh! I mean Pepsi Cola… --Sorry, Wayne-- And secure their financial future.

      Well, when Grant told me about that, and said that Chanel had opted for the elaborate wedding, I said, “Grant! how can you marry a girl who isn’t smart enough to eschew all the fluffy  stuff, and just take the money and secure your future?”  And Grant replied, in his loving, gentle, and diffident way, “Oh, shut up! Old man.” So I did… And, you know what? Now I’m glad I did… because, if they had taken the money instead of the wedding,, instead of being here, havin’ a wonderful time, most of us would be at home  watchin’ reruns of  “The Dukes of Hazzard,” or “Desperate Housewives.” 

       Anyway, on behalf of the, “Maillouxs,” and the Cohens: Grant, his precious sister, Victoria, his incomparable mother, Nini, and the man who could sell “Tighty-Whities,” to Prouderwillies, the man rumored to be Grant’s father, Darryl, I am happy to welcome you all here today to help us celebrate this most joyous occasion. 

And I emphasize, joyous, occasion; for this is not a solemn, or a sacred, or a blessed occasion.  It is a serious, thoughtful, and heartfelt one; but, most of all, it is a joyful celebration of the miraculous power of the love that brought these two beautiful, and fortunate, people together…and, I am confident, will keep them together forever… or, at least long enough for us to enjoy this party.  

And I know that many of you have come from far away--and even exotic--places… (at considerable expense), to be here to do your part…Let’s see…..I can usually tell where people are from by looking… Hummm, I see some hearty folks from Canada,--a little north of here, Ayee?  Some from Florida, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, Connecticut Washington D.C., Texas, (Oh boy!), Missouri,  Montana, (Baaaaah), Colorado, Washington State (Go Cougars!), some from California, and Arizona…and even some folks from Bermuda (Day-O, Daaay O.)…and France,(Uh la la), and, Jolly old England…and..oh yeah, I almost forgot, there’s also  a gang--ahh, excuse me!  A, “Family,” here from New Jersey… Now, don’t get excited; the security guards patted ‘em all down before they let ‘em in, so you don’t have to worry about Tony, or Pauley Walnuts , But…if you see ‘em eating whole onion rings in a single bite, maybe you should take cover….But seriously,  They’re just nice people like the rest of us….{aside};but as soon as I see that they’re not lookin’ at me, I’ll point ‘em out to you…just in case!   “Yeah know wat I mean?” 

      I would also like to thank all the others of the supporting cast that I have not already mentioned: First, Chanel’s Maid of Honor, her sister Jessica, the bride’s maids: Whitney, Victoria, and Cassie… Grant’s Best man, Patrick, his Groomsmen: Beau, Robbie, and Dan;  The Ushers: Cameron and Davis, The lovely Flower girl, Stella; The wandering Minstrel,  Walt, Darryl’s mother, Shiffy, and his father, the undaunted, and tenacious  humanitarian Activist,  Les Cohen….and--in case you don’t Know--I’ m Grant’s other grandfather, the newly anointed, “Right Reverend” Olie Dake.  (My, “Adoring”--as well as, “Adorable” wife, Myrna, says it would be appropriate for you common folks to call me “Your Oliness”)

Anyway, I conducted the wedding ceremony for Grant’s parents’ 31 years ago; and they’re still together, so that---along with the fact that Grant and Chanel knew I would perform for free--is why they asked me to work my magic on them.  And I am truly honored to do so.    

       Enough of the serious stuff!  Now, let me tell you a little bit about how Grant and Chanel met and how they got to be the Love Birds that you see here today:                                                

        In the fall of 1998, Grant, a callow, but self-assured, optimistic, and irrepressible, 16 year old bon vivant from Alamo, California, had been sent abroad, to the prestigious TASIS school near London, to help him broaden his horizons, enhance his understanding of international relations, and to aid him in his quest for further refinement and erudition--And, hopefully, to get his sagging pants pulled up to a more, “Geeky,” level.

       Chanel, the goluptious and noetic second daughter of the highly respected and accomplished Pepsi Cola executive, “The Lone Wanger,” and his Pretty and affable wife, Penny, was already comfortably ensconced and highly regarded at that school…as well as hungered for by all of the boys…and had been for several years.

         Well, as the will of Aphrodite would have it, on the very first day of school, their eyes met, by chance--or design--and they both felt an immediate and profound fluttering in all of their vital organs! Somewhat befuddled and perplexed by the intensity of this unexpected and inexplicable amatory experience, they both retreated from it’s dithering impact, and sought solitary refuge to try to regain their equanimity and “Sang-froid,” but, alas! Cupid’s arrows had found their hearts; and any efforts to resist the compulsion to, “See more of each other,” was fruitless.  They were hopelessly in love…forever.  

And, each day thereafter, merely confirmed them in their “Afaire de Coeur”: They noticed each other more frequently; and the urge to actually meet intensified…so much so, that on Crispin’s Day--after their final class of that fateful afternoon--Grant had emerged from his Nuclear physics class--where he had just finished splitting an atom (into two pieces…one for himself and one for Chanel );  and , Chanel had, “Merengued,” lithely from her Shakspeare  class, where she had been poignantly evoking the persona of Juliet in the play, “Romeo and Juliet.” 

Upon beholding her in such close proximity, Grant had no choice: Her radiance and magnetism had tugged him o’er the threshold of ambivalence: He had to meet her; and this is how their first meeting and ensuing conversation went:
(By the way, there’ll be a test on this later, which you must pass to get a place at the dinner table; so pay close attention!)

Nine years ago, on Crispin’s Day,
Grant met Chanel--or so they say,
Near London--at the Tasis School,
And that poor boy began to drool:
She was sooo Gorgeous and well kempt,
He feared he might become farklempt
If she rejected his advance;
…But… he pulled up his sagging pants;
And, like a man, he took a chance:

“Hi…I’m Grant,” he said; and she said, “So?
What’s in a name? I’d like to know!
Would not a rose still smell as sweet,
If we called it a cabbage, or a carrot or a beet?
And were Thee called, ‘Achmed,’ or ‘Irving’?
Wouldst thou not be as deserving
Of my love and future troth…

And pledge to keep thee by my oath…
In times of sickness and of health….
….And times of poverty and wealth….

(But!…if those hard times get too hard,
Then I’ll just use our credit  card.
For girls can’t live on love alone…
….Too many things that they must own!)

Chanel: back to Grant:
So, tell me more than just your name;
And I will gladly do the same,
For you have won this maiden’s soul:
…I’ve heard the magic bells that toll
For none but lovers, brave and true,
Who don’t just promise, but who do
Foreswear all others save the twain,
(As my mom, Penny, did with Wayne.
And Darryl did with sweet Ni ni.)
So, tell me Grant, what thinkest thee?
…Have I too much  my heart bespoke?
Have you bethought it all a joke,
Now that my heart I’ve opened wide
To show you all the love inside….?
…So, prethee…..to us both be true,
And tell me Darling: ‘How’s by you?’”

Then Grant--his mouth agape--replied,
(With wonder that he could not hide):
“I know not why you query me
In rhyming words, iambically…;
…..But…let the reason rest a while;
I’ll answer thee in my own style:

A name is just a group of sounds,
Prescribed within a certain bounds;
So you may call me, ‘Herb’ or ‘Nancy,’
…Or any other name you fancy;
…But I shall call thee, ‘Sweet perfection,’
…And you will never know rejection;
For you have won my heart, my Dear,
(And every  part that’s man…..I fear).
And turned a rogue into a swain,
To walk with you down lover’s lane;
…For until now, I’ve scoffed at love;
…Shot poisoned  arrows at the dove;
But now,…in perfect irony,
Those arrows have turned back on me,
And pierced my heart with ecstasy.
So any  fool can plainly see
That I am drifting helplessly
Upon the tide of your confession
….like a happy, helpless Hessian….
Yes, you--whose name I don’t yet know--
Have smitten me from head to toe,
And left me so galdarned  bedazzled,
All my sinews have been frazzled!”

Then Chanel answered:
“Oh!”…I shall ne’r erase the, ‘G,’
Or, ‘R,’ or, ‘A,’ or, ‘N,’ or, ‘T’;
For I--like you--have found my love,
(With guidance from the stars above),
And, ‘Grant,’ sounds good to me: ‘Chanel’;
So, when I’m asked to show and tell,
I’ll shout to all who want to know,
That, ‘Grant’ ‘s the name of my new beau!”

And as a tear welled in her eye,
Grant held her close and did reply,
“Be not  farmisht, my darling , girl;
For I do love thee like a squirrel
Doth love the acorn…from the Oak;
For I am not a churlish bloke,
Who can not hear and will not see
That I’m  for you, and you’re for me;
So, I shall always hold you dear…
Like a precious jewel in an Ethiop’s  ear….”

And she replied with voice so sweet,
That he was swept clean off  his feet
“Oh, No!  ‘tis not a tear of sorrow,
For I shall greet each new tomorrow
with a heart o’rfilled with joy;
So, with thee I will not be coy:
…..I give both heart and hand to Thee
And promise that I’ll always be
Exactly what you hear and see,
Without dissembling or pretension
THAT might BRING…unwelcomed tension
Twixt the two of us, my love,
Who’ve been made one  from far above.
By stars that to each other led us,
Hoping that our love would  wed us,
So no man might put asunder,
Such a joyous, blessed wonder.”

And then she hesitated, momentarily, but soon continued:

“But, ‘Ask Me Now,’… if you can find
A question in your heart or mind
That might be answered by a Mola
Sipping Diet…….Pepsi Cola.”

And Grant Replied: (Speaking aside :to himself)

“Oh, that my joy-filled brain could find
The words to match my state of mind,
So I could scribe upon her scroll
The depth of feeling in my soul
Without resort to Delphic riddle,
…Or the slightest taradiddle.
*  For MY love speaks like Aphrodite
Spoke to Paris--(in her nighty),
Urging him to take her hand
And join her in the promised land
Where lovely children of both genders…
Would bring them joy…like chicken tenders!
….Oh!…Her precious words do incubate…
Both in my heart and in my pate……….
But, ‘oyevey!…I’m so bumbfuzzled;
From all the nector I have guzzled…
(Not through my mouth, but through my ears
….Where little is as it appears),
That naught but babble takes my tongue,
And leaves my song of love half sung….
….But I’m so smitten by her candor,
That the keys I’m going to hand her,
To my heart…my soul…my head,
…With caveat that we be lead,
By our commitment to each other:
To be a father and a mother
Like the ones who gave us suckle…
And--on occasion--cracked a knuckle
On our stubborn heads to teach us
When no loving words could reach us….”

Then, having convinced himself, Grant turned to Chanel to answer her question about whether or not he had a question that could be answered by a Mola…sipping….
“No question dares to enter plea
To cross the stars of you and me;
For this is London…not Verona
…There’s no whale…and there’s no Jonna,
Or other monster… metaphoric,
(That might require a paregoric)
To relieve us of the pain
That, otherwise, might put a strain
Upon our, ‘Lovey” and our, “Dovey.”
(And those who nestle in our covey).
So, allll is well with you and me…
And me thinks that…‘twill always be…
…If you will only trust in me….

        And Chanel indicated that she would, and then they grabbed onto each other and jumped around in their bountiful merriment and vast wonder that they had , “found,” each other, and decided to be best--and only-- boyfriend and girlfriend---forever!

Now, that is precisely how Grant and Chanel met and how they spoke their mushiness unto each other on that magic day in the Fall of 1998, (according to the archives in The Tower of London…..not far from Stratford on Avon…which--along with their unique precociousness--may account for their unusually poetic diction and Elizabethans syntax.

And from that day until this minute,
They’ve stayed in love and frolicked in it;
From London Town, where they  first met
(On Crispin’s Day--lest we forget--),
To Miami Beach…and the Hurricanes,
Where they worked hard to fill their brains
With theories, facts, and, “Smart guy” stuff…
(Enough to make them huff and puff,)
….But through it all, they kept their cool;
And right on time, they’d  finished school,
And headed off to Tensile Town
To go to work…and settle down.

And so…nine years…have come and gone
And these two lovers carry on
As fresh and joyful, and committed
As when they found that they were fitted
To each other’s wants and needs,
(Like Afghan soil to poppy seeds).

So we’re  all gathered here today,
As witnesses to what they say,
As they exchange their wedding vows;
About the whats and whys and hows
Of their commitments and intentions,
(….And caveats that either mentions)
To assure themselves and us,
(before we old folks catch the bus)
That they’ve considered…with great care
The pros and cons of this, “affair,”
And have concluded…without doubt
That this is what they’re all about:

But now,   before they swear their troth,
I do beseech you…for them both;
If there be man with soul-so-dead
He’ d dare to show his evil head,
And say this deed should not be done,
….Let, now, that scoundrel spoil our fun…..
** With all the lies that can be flung…
…..Or ever after…hold his tongue…!

Good!  So, now--seeing that no such rapscallion lurks among us--let us turn our attention and our affection to Chanel and Grant, as they commit to each other in profound, and precious words of their own choosing:

To Grant:  
Now, do you have a ring of gold?
For that’s important, I’ve been told .
Grant:    “Oh, Yes, I do, I have it here,
And I will slip it on my Dear….”
Olie:      And do you take her for your wife
To love and honor all your life?
Grant:     ( To Chanel): “I do, I do;  I promise true
To keep myself for only you.”

And you,  Chanel,  do you foreswear
All others,  and pledge to be fair,
And take this man to be your mate
Forever after…from this date?
Chanel:  (To Grant):  “I do, I do; I promise too,
To keep myself for only you….
To have, to hold, to venerate
Forever after…from this date!

Well, then…‘tis done …,‘tis consummated;
All the papers  have been dated….
And the warrants  bona fide;
So now, I think I’ll kiss the Bride!
…Ahhh, but, Grant, I do the chide…
For you da MAN, so kiss your wife,
And keep it up for the rest of your life!

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