There are some traditions for this speech that I’m pretty much going to ignore.
I’m not going to share a bunch of anecdotes about S and I growing up. Frankly, most of them don’t cast me in a particularly positive light, and the rest aren’t really fit for polite company.
I’m also not going to talk about how amazing K and S are together. Look, there’s simply no words I can find to match her smile, when she looks at him. There is nothing I can possibly say that can add to the look in his eyes, when they spoke their vows to one another. So I’m not going to try.
Instead, I’m going to ask you to look back with me on a moment we all shared, just a few hours ago. K and S, standing in front of us, swearing to one another “I do.”
That’s a simple sentence. I do. Two words, three letters; it’s grammatically correct. It’s about as simple as it gets, at least as sentences go.
There’s another simple sentence that I’m thinking of: I am. Three letters, again. Two words. But I a lot of ways, I am is much simpler than I do. I am is easy.
Look: I am five foot ten. I am… a little hungry. I am… Freaking hot, it’s hot out there! This whole I am thing is pretty easy. I mean, I’m not really having to do anything for this I am stuff.
But what about I do? What do I do? Well, I do all sorts of things and most if it you don’t care about so I’ll spare you the details. But doing isn’t easy, or at least it’s not as easy as I am.
I am ______. I am ______. I am in love.
Being in love is easy.
I don’t mean to take away from how wonderful being in love is. I don’t mean to diminish the magic that happens when two people find one another, as if they’re puzzle piece just made to go together. But come on. Being in love is pretty easy.
K and S didn’t promise each other I am though. They promised each other I do. They promised to love, not just to be in love.
I know that this speech hasn’t been fun or breezy or any of the things a best man speech is supposed to be. I’m throwing all sorts of platitudes at you, and I could keep doing that all day but instead let me just ask you to do one thing for me. Many of you came here with someone you love. It could be a spouse, could be a child. It could be a parent, or a sibling. It could be a lover. I want you to take their hand. Go ahead, do it.
Now: I want you to squeeze the hand you’re holding. [pause] Now! Right there! That’s what I’m trying to get at. That’s the difference between I am and I do. Between I’m in love, and I love. K, S: I want you to remember: that’s what you’ve promised each other. Not just to be in love, but to love each other. Hold hands. Do that every day, for the rest of your lives together.