In the final weeks leading up to our wedding, Sister Lioness was busy putting the finishing touches on a slideshow that she had prepared to show during our rehearsal dinner. Every text, every post, every tweet that I received from her during this time had one phrase repeating throughout: BBC. Or, in the tweets, it was #BBC. Yep, she tried to get it to trend. What does “BBC” stand for? Well, it refers to our wedding guests and what she hoped they would do. She hoped that they would be so overcome with joy and emotion that they would cry. The conversation went something like this:
Lioness: Is the slideshow sappy?
Sister Lioness: Heck yes it is! They’d better cry. [Insert very tactful pet name for our collective rehearsal dinner guests] better cry!
Thus, BBC was born. Alas, I was just as guilty of helping it to stick.
The first BBC moment at our rehearsal dinner occurred during Papa Lioness’ toast. He is a good speaker. He does it for a living. He’s always had a way with words, and on top of that, he’s a total sap. After our guests finished eating, he stepped in front of our projection screen (more on that later…it’s basically just our photobooth backdrop with a sheet over it) and asked for the floor.
What’s that? You’d like to hear the speech? Well, fortunately, Papa Lioness emailed it over to me shortly after the wedding. Enjoy!
It’s customary at these occasions for people to tell tales about one or the other of the happy couple, to ensure that each knows all they need to in order to take that next step in their relationship. I will not be an exception. While I cannot relate anything about David – he has been quite effective in not sharing any of his deep, dark secrets – I can tell volumes about Julia.
As parents, we are fascinated by our children, especially as we watch their personalities develop. When Julia was about 1 ½, I recall watching her, feeling great pride as she did something, which would cause me to say “that’s me,” only to recoil in horror, as I realized, OMG, that’s ME, and, if there was one thing I could change about my personality, that would be it.
Let me give you an example. In Julia’s world – and mine – there is only one way to do something: the right way, which just happens to be her way. Any other way of doing such a task is simply wrong. Further, those who do things wrong are not just mistaken, often, they are of inferior, well, we’ll just leave it at that. Have any of you observed Julia behind the wheel of a car? Did she comment upon the behavior of other drivers, that was, of course, wrong? Errant? Perhaps even stupid? Did she indicate her displeasure with any words or specific gestures? If so, it’s not really her fault; it’s all me.
When she was an infant, we lived in suburban Washington DC. While we had little money, we did have cable. I was determined to make her into a fan of my teams. Whenever the Orioles played, and their hero would come to the plate, I would bounce her on my knee, chanting “Eddie, Eddie.” While she smiled, there was no recognition. During college football, I taught her the words to the fight song of my beloved Oklahoma Sooners, both of them. Nothing. When college basketball rolled around, I explained what a Hoya was, what Hoya Saxa meant, so she could grow up to annoy all her friends, armed with this impressive knowledge. Still nothing.
Imagine my surprise when, years later, she goes off to college to become this rabid Florida Gator fan. It was never just We Are the Boys; nope, it was pure good versus pure evil. Florida State? At least they have a circus. Georgia? Ach, their coeds wear jean shorts with their pearls. But, the greatest of all were her sainted Red Sox and, you guessed it, the devil itself, those New York Yankees.
A few years later, I got the call that every daughter’s father dreads. “Hi Dad; I have a new boyfriend, but you’re not going to like him.” Realizing that I have no more than four seconds to come up with a respectful response, here’s what went through my mind: oh my god, he’s got ink from head to toe. Or, maybe piercings all over, even in places that I don’t want to think about. Or, his pants are so far down his backside that he’s exposing 4 or 6 inches of tightie whities.
Finally, I said: “Gee, Julz, why not?” She said “he’s a Yankees’ fan.” My response was immediate and visceral: “I don’t think I could ever accept that.” You see, I was raised in a household where my father once said that rooting for the Yankees was like hoping oil companies make more profit. Certainly, no good could come of this.
Fast forward a few more years, to their first apartment. In their dining room, they each had a desk, with their shrines over them: hers with Red Sox, his with Yankees memorabilia. I was hopeful; if they could work through this conflict of values, this good versus evil, this Red Sox/Yankees thing, there was a chance for this relationship. Really, their zeal for their respective teams was more about loyalty and how they were raised than anything else.
But then, I thought about what they had in common: this love for the game of baseball. I think if they lived in a minor league city, they would become avid fans of their team. To them, baseball is a game of geometric precision, of tradition, of nuance, of inches. It’s a game played in a park, in an urban setting during the lazy days of summer and has not changed much, except for a few minor tweaks, for over 150 years. It’s a sport in which there is no clock, nor is the position of the ball over a designated spot always the determinant of scoring. The individual’s effort on behalf of the concept of team is essential for success; World Series winners are full of them. When the individual places self over team, you’ve got anti-harmony types like Manny Ramirez. Each season begins with such optimism, as every team (this week) is in first place, with a shot at taking it all.
So, Julia and David, my congratulations. May you continue to celebrate your successes yet not lord over another’s setbacks. May your passion for this grand old game pale in comparison to the passions you share. May you win lots of world series and may every day of your lives together feel like opening day, full of optimism and hope for what the day will bring to you.
I can seriously pick out the sentence that is being spoken during each of those shots! I especially like how Mama Lioness is looking at me and Mr. Lion in that last one…she’s so psyched. BBC indeed!
Do you think you’ll tear up during your wedding weekend? Or are you not the crying type?