Monday, June 20, 2016

I Am That Someone

Sunday midday, Reverend Ken Savage and I co-officiated Tori and Alex's wedding ceremony at The Chapel at Ana Villa, in The Colony, Texas. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

I love stories, particularly origin stories. There seems to be a very human need to tell origin stories, so much so, that many times, like Washington and the cherry tree, or any number of other presidents being born in a log cabin, if they didn't really happen, we just make believe they did... Speaking of made up, don't even get me started on religious origin stories, where I could really get in trouble...
So, when an origin story is not only memorable, but also true, that makes it extra special. Like this couple's origin story. Listen first to Alex: "I met Victoria when I was a freshman in college. We both stayed in the same residence hall, Bruce Hall, and the residence hall staff always put together a program that allowed students to meet each other. The program was called 'Pajamarama,' and it usually had a very high attendance rate, so meeting new people was definitely probable. The program was a combination of musical chairs and "Never Have I Ever" where players would talk about common interests and swap seats with other players. As the game progressed, the comments became more in-depth and personal. During those moments, a beautiful woman in a lion onesie walked into the middle of the circle and said quietly, "My name is Tori, and I want someone to love me for me." In that moment, I ran up and gave her a hug. It was short hug, but it made such an impact on me. So much that I knew that I wanted to get to know her, be with her, and ultimately spend the rest of my life with her."


Now listen to Tori for further clarification on why she said what she said. She begins with a sentiment many of us have felt at a new school, certainly at the very beginning of college: "I was not in the best state of mind.... At one point, I got up to the center, and before this, I was feeling distraught. I stood there and said, 'My name is Tori and I wish I could find someone who loved me for me.' The first person to get up and hug me was Alex who told me that, 'Someday I would find someone.' Ironically enough it is him."

OK, I am not sure that is the proper use of irony, as a literary term, but who cares. That is one cool story!

The thing is, it is not just a cool and memorable true story; it is rich with meaning. If you think about it, what Tori says is really a universal truth, that lies at the core of every soul. We are all different, but at a very deep level, we all desire two things: the ability to live authentically, and to be loved.

Now, the fact is that sometimes, and maybe often, these two things are in conflict. If you are 100% authentic 100% of the time, your, shall we say, fan base, is limited. Just ask your average film or food critic. And, if your goal is to be loved by 100% of the people 100% of the time, your life is probably pretty bland. Just ask Queen Elizabeth. Or, actually, don't. She is not allowed to tell you what she really thinks. So, in fact we settle. We make accommodations, living our lives, as authentically as possible, while still getting along with as many people as possible.

However, once again, in the back of our minds, and at the core of our spirits, we need there be a person, who we can be authentic with, and still find perfect love with. We each need to be able to say, "My name is Tori and I wish I could find someone who loved me for me," and know that there is that someone who will, without irony or hesitation, just give us a strong hug, and say, "I am that someone," which is what Tori and Alex say to each other today.

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