Monday, May 4, 2015

Fulfill Your Dreams

Sunday evening I officiated Ashley and Chris’s wedding ceremony at the Dallas Arboretum in Dallas, Texas. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

Ashley and Chris will always be Texans at heart, (Ashley maybe more so than Chris…) but today they live in a town with a name that could only exist in one state – Studio City. If you are still not sure what state I mean, consider what a French friend of mine once said about it (in my best imitation of a French accent), “That state is like granola; you take out the nuts and the fruit and you’re left with the flakes...” Yes, California. It is probably one of the only states that folks all over the U.S. and indeed folks the world over migrate to, to fulfill their dreams. How many of them are successful? That is difficult to say, since different people define success differently. However, by all objective measures, you would have to say that this couple is one of them.

Now, interestingly, if you think about it, marriage is a little like California. The very idea of two people becoming one, you have to admit is a little nutty! Yet it is a “place” we go to fulfill our dreams. And, yes, some are successful, some less, and the very definition of success can differ, because every couple is different. And yet, once again, examine Ashley and Chris’ relationship, and you know they have it made.

So what is it? What do they have that makes them successful? Well, in marriage as in Hollywood, partially, it is just luck. Any honest Hollywood star will tell you that. Ashley switched schools in 6th grade, and ended up in the same school as this lucky guy. Chris and Ashley went on to attend high school and college at UT, and eventually moved in together. Here is how she describes that experience, which for many women can be very stressful, because – how do I say this kindly – most men are animals: “Chris was the perfect roommate. He’s so clean, picks up after himself, and even does the dishes!” Lucky girl! Also, not to be too superficial, but I can’t be the only one who meets these two, and says, wow what a stunningly good looking couples! Talk about winning the lottery!

However, luck only plays a small part, in marriage as in Hollywood. You need to work hard to take advantage of your lucky break when it actually comes. You need to be persistent. And this is a quality that both Ashley and Chris have in spades. After all, they each waited for each other. They met in 7th grade, and Chris fell in love, and knew at that moment he would marry this girl. It would just take him a while… a very long while. Chris was persistent, and in 12th grade Ashley succumbed to his charms. Years later, the shoe was somewhat on the other foot. Ashley was ready to get married, and Chris, like most guys, needed a little time to catch up. Ashley was persistent, and Chris succumbed to her charms.

Now, luck and persistence are important, but if you know Ashley and Chris, you know that that what really makes them “tick” as a couple is the essence of their relationship. The essence of their relationship is the very craft of love and caring for each other, which they have worked hard to nurture and grow for ten years, and which they continue to tend to every day. This essence, which they are passionate about, coupled with their persistence, and a tiny bit of luck, is what brought them here today to this very special moment. That is how, Chris in Ashley’s words, “knows how to make (her) laugh, feel better when (she) is upset, and the little things that will make (her) happy.” This is why, in Chris’ words, Ashley’s “smiling face” is the “best part of (his) day”, and why he “couldn’t imagine life without her.” 

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