Saturday, June 02, 2018

The Wedding Speech

Dalai's Note: My daughter "Dolly" got married last week to an incredible guy whom we'll call "Lama". Forgive the awkwardness of these false names in the following piece, but I did want to share my "Father of the Bride" speech with everyone. If you were wondering, this might have something to do with my lack of posting lately...

If I could have your attention for just a few moments…

I want to welcome all of you, our good friends, old and new, and family, old and new, to this celebration for Dolly and Lama! We are thrilled to have you here on this wonderful occasion! I can’t begin to tell you what it means to all of us that you have joined us here in the Rainy North! It’s nice to see that we have about as many doctors as lawyers! I promise to try hard not to make this sound like a closing argument, but maybe more short and sweet, like my Radiology reports: Normal, but clinical correlation required!

I really want to thank everyone who worked so hard to make this amazing evening possible. First of all, thank you Lama for asking Dolly to marry you, and thank you, Dolly, for agreeing! Obviously, there are quite a few moving pieces to an occasion like this, and Mrs. Dalai and Dolly, with help from our wedding planner, have done a great job of pulling it all together. We might not live up to the standards of that British wedding last week, you know, the one with Harry and Meghan, but I promise we’re going to have an equally good time.

A marriage unites two people, but it also unites two families. I think Mrs. Dalai and Dalai, Jr., and I are almost as happy as Dolly is about her new husband (I’ve got to get used to saying that!) and her new extended family. We, of course, were not part of the selection process, but I hope we would have done as well! Back in the old days, such decisions were made on the basis of who had the largest tracts of land...we’ve come a long way since then!

We knew Lama was a special guy from the moment we met him. In fact, on that first meeting, Dolly had been burning the candle at both ends and in the middle, for something new and different, (I think she had been on call the night before) and she managed to fall asleep in her chair over drinks. Of course, it doesn’t take too many drinks to knock her out anyway, but I’m sure Lama knows that by now. So, the three of us ignored her, and talked for several more hours, and we had a great time! That Dolly was relaxed enough around Lama to doze off and leave us to interrogate--I mean talk with him, well, that spoke volumes. By the way, Lama, you passed the interrogation with flying colors.

A couple should complement each other, and Dolly and Lama certainly do. Both of them are multi-faceted, and they each bring a huge list of talents and interests to the relationship. Dolly and Lama bike, sail and ski together and have introduced to each other to many more activities. Here’s one you might not know about her, Lama: Dolly as a child liked to roller-blade, but she had trouble with stopping when skating down the hill of our driveway, so she usually ended up diving into the bushes at the end of the run. Hopefully she doesn’t do that on the ski slopes!

While Dolly and Lama do have many common interests, they differ in many ways, like their chosen professions. The combination of a physician and an engineer is a bit unusual. I wear both hats, so I understand to some degree the traits and characteristics that have to coexist. Lama, as an engineer, has demonstrated an analytic approach to things, as well as common sense, at every turn, at least since we’ve had the pleasure of knowing him. Dolly, on the other hand, is an example of why we should be careful about what we wish for. Before Dolly was born, Mrs. Dalai prayed for Dolly to have her nose and my brains. Unfortunately, Mrs. Dalai forgot about my lack of common sense when she made that wish! I’m proud to say that Dolly is a fabulous physician, and has strong and caring instincts when it comes to her patients, but as for common sense, well.... Lama, it will be nice to finally have someone in the family who really does have that very uncommon quality. And good luck, by the way.

This wouldn’t be a proper Father of the Bride speech without me revealing an embarrassing Dolly story, so I’ll use my favorite to illustrate the common sense thing. Dolly, was named after her grandmother and her great-grandfather, but she has been known by a dozen nicknames over the years: Pookie, Big D, Spark Plug, Artzy Dolly, Sissy (courtesy of Dalai, Jr.) and probably some camp names we don’t know about. And when her mom and I needed to talk about her when she was in earshot, we referred to some little girl named Yllod, Dolly spelled backwards. I’m not sure when she caught on to that one, or if she ever did! Yes, Dolly, that was you we were talking about!

At the end of her Senior year of High School, she was out and about with her friends, on her way to help with the Senior Prank. This was to be nothing really bad, just filling the halls of her school with balloons. But the police were quite vigilant that night, and while no one was arrested, Dolly did get to have a nice little chat with one of the officers. Now, here’s the punch line: When they asked her name, Dolly, not using whatever common sense she was graced with, quite helpfully answered, “Do you want my real name or the name I go by?” Hopefully we have that problem solved as of tonight. You may know Dolly wasn’t sure what name to use after getting married. Since she has publications in the medical literature, her first thought was to still be “Dr. Dolly Dalai”. But ultimately, she decided to take Lama's name, and so she is now Dr. Dolly Lama. That has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

Along with the new name will come a new dimension in Dolly and Lama's relationship. Those who know me well are quite aware of my warped sense of humor, so forgive me when I declare that it goes without saying, or at least it should, that the marriage is much more important than the wedding. But the wedding is pretty important, too, and seeing the happiness in Dolly and Lama's eyes tonight is certainly the crowning joy of parenthood.

And so I lift my glass and ask you all to join me in wishing Dolly and Lama a lifetime of happiness and laughter, of joy and harmony. Listen carefully to each other, don’t take yourselves too seriously, but do take each other seriously. May you cherish each other, treasure your time together, and may the excitement of this evening continue throughout your lives together.

And with that I’ll say, Cheers!!! L’Chayim!

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