The last couple weeks have been fairly busy for me and I have not had the time or presence of mind to come up with a good post idea. But then I thought, why not post my wedding speech? I spent a lot of time writing it and I think it turned out alright. So that is my post for this week. I don’t know how it will read compared to how it sounded, but just imagine that I am speaking it very charismatically and that everyone is laughing really hard at all the jokes (especially the one about having to wait outside a library for it to open, the wedding crowd really loved that one).
Okay, here it goes:
So I am here because I am Glynis’ BFF, perhaps you can tell by my outfit. But I am actually friends with Josh as well. In fact I think I have actually known Josh a little bit longer.
Josh and I met at camp. In 2009, we did the COLTS program together. Whenever anyone asks me for a story about Josh from COLTS, my go to is always the sombrero story. In our COLTS group, there were four guys and two girls. Nadine and I figured out early on that, being the only girls, we had a bit of power over the boys. Specifically a couple of the younger and more competitive boys. If we wanted them to do something, there were two sure fire ways. Either we needed to do it ourselves and they would follow to prove they could do it too, or we just needed to tell them they couldn’t do it. Josh was immune to this kind of manipulation (or so I thought). So much so in fact that I am pretty sure I had actually had a conversation with him where I told him about our methods and successes. But one day while we were rock climbing inside I guess I just decided to give it a go on Josh. He was about to climb a challenging route and just before he started I said, “Hey Josh, I bet you can’t climb that route with the sombrero on.” (I should add that we had this random super cheap sombrero that someone had left down in the climbing wall). He initially gave me that look Josh gives you when he thinks you’re being excessively silly. You know, head a bit tilted, eyebrows furrowed. He said, “that’s not going to work Raiah” and I said “Okay, I guess you just can’t do it then.” Then he let out a big sigh, stomped across the basement, put the sombrero on, stomped back and climbed the route.
It was one of my proudest accomplishments in COLTS.
So that is my go to story. It is a good story because it is so out of character and unexpected for Josh to act that way. There are a couple other stories from COLTS that are much less funny but that more accurately capture Josh’s character. There was the time just a couple days into COLTS when we were paired together to lead on an outtrip and Josh made me lead the part of the hike I was least comfortable in because he knew I would learn more by doing that than by watching him lead. When I tried to make him do it instead he confidently told me that I would be fine and didn’t even entertain the idea of taking over, even though he would have done a much better job. There is also the time I was leading the first hike of our major outtrip and I was confidently preparing to set off in the complete wrong direction. Josh noticed, came up to me quietly, and pointed me to the correct trailhead.
One of Josh’s strongest love languages is quality time, and it is so evident in the way that he gives of his time and makes people feel valued and important.
When Glynis told me that she had the hots for Josh, I was not surprised at all. When I found out that Josh also had the hots for Glynis, I was delighted. It is kind of a cliché and I hate clichés, but I really and truly can’t think of someone I would have rather Glynis end up with.
My new favourite story to tell about Josh happened last summer at Anna and Jeff’s wedding. I was sitting at a table with Josh and Glynis. Glynis was helping run the photo booth. At one point in the night, she had gotten up to go and take some photos and she left her phone on the table. So like a true friend, I grabbed her phone and started to take as many selfies as I possibly could. Everyone else at the table was getting in on the action, except Josh. He quietly got up, walked over to where Glynis was and said “I don’t know if I should be telling you this, but Raiah has your phone and is taking tons of selfies on it.” That was the point that I realized they were in love. A weird time to realize it, I know. But it was a very tangible sign that his allegiance had changed. That he now cared more about the inconvenience of Glynis having to delete photos from her phone than about the hilariousness of filling up someone’s phone with selfies.
And don’t worry, I got him back for ratting me out. He left his phone unattended a little while later and I gave him quite a few to find later.
But enough about Josh.
You beautiful tropical fish.
You beautiful, naïve, sophisticated newborn baby.
You beautiful, rule-breaking moth.
Glynis and I didn’t meet until we were 16. Well, technically we met as Jr campers at camp, but I don’t count that. We met for real when we did PIT together in 2006.
Our friendship was a slow burning one. When I try to think of the moment we became best friends, nothing comes to mind. What comes to mind instead is years of slowly building our friendship. Years of presence and consistency. As we made our way through our late teens and early twenties we learned that we could rely on each because we were just consistently there.
Glynis and I are surprisingly opposite. We recently discovered that our personalities are almost entirely opposite. At least according to Mr Myers-Briggs. The only trait we share is introversion. On everything else we are complete opposites. When we found this out I remember thinking that it was surprising that we don’t disagree more often. Truth be told, I can only think of one thing we have ever honestly disagreed on. And that is whether or not the movie Drive is garbage or great. We used to fight about this so much that a few years ago we had to agree to just never talk about it again. It is our one banned conversation topic.
But we are different in more than personality. We also had different childhoods. Most notably, Glynis was homeschooled and I was not. My favourite message Glynis has ever sent me came back when we were still in high school. Glynis had been at some sort of event that took place in a high school on the weekend and she sent me a very excited message that said something to the tune of “Raiah! Have you ever been in a school after hours! It is so cool. There are like, empty rooms full of desks… and we found the art room, it is so cooool!” As I read that message I was almost for sure sitting in an empty school waiting for my basketball practice to start. I think my response was, “umm, yeah.”
But whenever I tell that story, Glynis will cut right in at the end to tell the story of when she took me to Seattle Public Library and I asked if the counterweights for the elevator were books.
The point is, we have a lot of experiences that are different. But somehow that was able to come together to create one of the best friendships I have in my life. Glynis is one of the only people in the whole world that I am my complete and honest self around all the time. This is because over the last ten years she has shown me again and again that she will always support me and that she will always be honest with me. A true friend is someone who will tell you the truth, even if it isn’t what you want to hear. And Glynis and I have worked to make our friendship just that.
We have done so many things together. We have roadtripped. We have seen so many concerts. Once we drove all the way to Seattle and back in a weekend to see a Noah Gundersen show. We led the PIT crew program together. We got tattoos together. We have gone to music festivals and museums and plays. Once Glynis made me line up with her to wait for a library to open. We have also spent whole weekends lying next to each other on the floor saying almost nothing and watching reruns of Parks and Recreation. It is fantastic.
Glynis is a very strong person. When I met Glynis I was struck by her strength of personality. She has always seemed to know who she was and what she believed in and was willing to stand up for it. As a teenager and young adult I cared tremendously what other people thought about me. I’m sure that Glynis did too, but she always radiated this strength of character and she honestly seemed not to care what people thought of her. I was afraid to share my opinion because if someone disagreed with me I would feel personally attacked and inadequate. Even if I was right. Glynis on the other hand was willing to stand up and make her voice heard. I remember watching her in literal awe as she confronted someone twice her age and in a position of leadership above her because he was wrong and needed to be challenged. This is something I have learned from Glynis. Over the years I think, in some small way, some of her strength of character has rubbed off on me. Somehow I have become someone who is willing to speak my mind, stand up for myself, and is no longer worried about what people think of me. In some ways we have grown and learned together. But in this I have learned from her. I honestly do not think I would have the strength of character and confidence in myself if I had not had her as my best friend.
Glynis is also my sounding board. If I am unsure about anything, from hair cut ideas, to travel plans, to moral issues. She is intelligent, well read, and will always answer me honestly. I trust her judgment on all matters. Well, except for movies. That is the once exception, you know, the whole Drive thing. But on all the important things she is completely reliable and never seems to tire of my endless need of affirmation and advice.
Last year Glynis had one of the best years of her life in a lot of ways. She and Josh started dating, she moved to Edmonton, she started grad school. At the same time I was having one of the worst years of my life. But Glynis was still always there when I needed her. I cried on her bedroom floor. I called her and burst into tears before she could say hello. I talked about the same things over and over. Glynis was always there, aways ready to listen, and always on my side.
She is also my proofreader, grammar fixer, and general writing affirmer. So writing this speech was kind of annoying. Usually if I have to write something like this and I am feeling unsure about it, I just send it to Glynis and she fixes all my grammar errors, tense problems, and assures me that it is good.
I know what you are thinking here. Glynis sounds like the best best friend ever. And that is true, you should be thinking that. But I just have one thing to say to you. And that is back off. She is mine. Well, technically now she is Josh’s, but after that, still mine and I will you fight you.
While Glynis and I are different in a lot of ways, we are also the same. We share very similar core beliefs about the world and about people and relationships. We always shared a sort of cynicism and dislike of all things cliché. This is how I knew Glynis was really in love. Josh somehow managed to turn Glynis into a giggling, swooning cliché. I did not think it could be done. Shortly after they got engaged I sent Glynis a text asking her how she was feeling about everything and her answer was (and I’m quoting) “Like the world is full of love and I love it.” Josh sends her into fits of uncontrollable giggles and gushes of mushy clichés. A part of me is just a little bit annoyed because sometimes it gets super mushy. But mostly I am just so happy that she is so happy she literally cannot contain herself and is unable to maintain her more usual stoic exterior.
You poetic, noble land-mermaid.
You perfect sunflower.
You beautiful, sassy mannequin come to life.
You unstoppable, glamourous freight train.
You beautiful, talented, brilliant, powerful musk ox.
You’re thoughtful and you’re brilliant. Your brain is almost as perfect as your face.
You mean everything to me and I am so happy for you. You’ve found what we’re all looking for. Someone who will tell us when someone is taking a bunch of selfies on our phone.
To Glynis and Josh.