Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Marriage Advice: Don't Forget to Stop for Gas!

This is the speech I gave at my best friend's wedding, January 27th, 2007:

Katie was born exactly one week before me and for some reason she has done most big things in life before me - except for get married. I did that first, so I wanted to give her some advice.

I once heard a minister say that being married is like driving a car. If you want it to run smoothly, you have to stop every once and a while and put gas in it so it keeps going. You have to do regular maintenance. Well, I wanted to take that a step further - being married is like driving across Canada.

So you start out in the Atlantic provinces. The economy isn't great, the people might not have tons, but they're really friendly. So it's like when you first move in - you might not have everything you need, but you're happy and you make do.

Then you get into QC - there are some big exciting cities, it's fun, but people argue over silly little things like language - so it's like being newly married. You learn about each other's quirks, but you're still having a good time.

Then you get to Ontario. Ontario is huge! It takes two days to drive across it and everything starts to look the same...and the boredom starts to set in. It's all routine by now....

But the Prairies, oh no! So boring. You begin to wonder if you took a wrong turn. Maybe one of you wants to dip into the States to see if there's something more interesting down there. You wonder why you're still driving this way...maybe you should turn back, or maybe even just stop and give up.

But if you stay the course and keep driving, you end up in Alberta. Lots of oil, money...not really excitement, but there's a sense of stability there and you think, whew! we made it....until you get to the border with BC.

Suddenly you're in the Rockies, twisting and turning up and down hills. You can't see the edge of the cliff and you can't see what's coming up next and it's really scary. But in the end, if you take it slowly and have patience you'll get there.

Over the course of your marriage, you will symbolically drive across Canada over and over again. You'll have periods of big city excitement and really boring Prairies, but what will keep you going is always remembering to put gas in the car and having faith in each other; that you're navigating this together and you won't get lost.

You might not always end up on the path you expected, but as long as you love each other, it will be the right one.

Enjoy the ride because it's like no other. And don't forget to stop for gas.


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