Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Genuine Relationship

Friday evening, I officiated Chantal and Alex’s wedding at Bay 7 on the American Tobacco Campus, in Durham, North Carolina. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

So, this is a serious couple, who are also seriously smart. I mean, as my dad would say, between them they have more degrees than a thermometer (hashtag, dad joke). And their serious and extraordinary endeavors have always figured into their relationship. To wit, I always ask couples how they met. I think, though, that this is the first time I got this answer, "Alex and I met in Boston while he was starting his post-doc at Harvard and I was part-time working for a rowing team." I am not even sure which one is more impressive, a post doc at Harvard, or a Jew coaching a rowing team!
Now, serious and smart does not mean unromantic. Listen to Alex, "When we first met Chantal was working as a rowing coach at a local college which meant four a.m. wake up calls almost every day. Being the diligent suitor and devout coffee enthusiast I would get up with her, wake the neighbors by grinding coffee at the crack of dawn, and make delicious coffee." A Little nerdy, sure, but not unromantic! And what he leaves out, Chantal fills in, "In the beginning of our relationships, I got really sick and he made sure to bring me soup and flowers everyday." Flowers - Very romantic; Soup - In the running for Jewish Mother MVP - most valuable partner. Hey, I said he was really smart!

And Chantal is no slacker in going the extra mile for Alex either. Alex describes their first visit to Israel together, "On our first trip to Israel we did the obligatory familial tour, traveling to the north to meet Chantal's family on their kibbutz and then down to Jerusalem to spend time with my grandparents. Chantal spent almost an hour watching opera with my grandfather as I slept in a comfortable chair. She does not like opera." Now that, my friends is a test of endurance, and you thought her rowing was impressive. No wonder Alex decided this one was marriage material.

But what really makes them a great match is that they feel so comfortable with each other, that they can shed all pretenses. As Chantal says, "I love that I can be my goofy, genuine self with him. Though at times he can come off as very serious and professional, I know and love that he can be goofy with me too." That, my friends is the true test of a genuine relationship built to last.

With all of this, it is no surprise that Alex says, "I could not have found anyone more loving and more supportive than her." Nor is it a surprise that Chantal says, "He empowers and motivates me to be my very best, and knows how to comfort me," or that she says, "I desire to marry Alex because he is the love of my life."