Jon Dawson: My adventures as a best man
It’s been written about in this column for years. It’s caused many Las Vegas bookies to seek honest work. Most important of all, it happened this weekend.
That’s right - my buddy and subject of the very first column I wrote roughly a decade ago, Correai Moore has gotten married. As I type this he and his lovely bride Reah are on a cruise ship somewhere in the Bahamas still making fun of how I looked in a tuxedo.
Not only did The Wife and I attend the wedding, but I was also the best man. Being given this title made me feel somewhat powerful, and as either Voltaire or Spiderman’s Uncle said, “with great power comes great responsibility”.
I was in charge of the ring, making sure the groom didn’t lock his knees and pass out, and procuring and placing the broom for the bride and groom to jump over. I was also instructed by the wedding director to keep an extra handkerchief on my person in case the groom had any issues.
If all of the aforementioned duties weren’t enough, I was told fairly late in the game that I’d have to work out a short dance routine for our post-wedding entrance at the reception. Sadly, due to my status as reigning World ProAm Dancesport Series Champion, I’m not allowed to dance at non-World ProAm Dancesport events.
Thankfully, I remembered my mom gifted me a small, battery-powered disco ball a few years ago, so all I held it over the maid of honor’s head while she danced the late afternoon away.
The biggest responsibility, however, was the speech I had to deliver at the reception. While writing it I searched for the perfect balance of heartfelt sentiment and just enough levity to keep everyone from falling asleep headfirst into their cake.
Here’s an obstructed view (apologies Reah) clip from the reception followed by the text of the speech:
My name is Jon and I'm the best man. I'm here today with my wife Laura.
We're all here because we're very fond of Correai and Reah. Well, we're very fond of Reah anyway.
I've known Correai since college. He's always been a true friend and one of the few to stand the test of time.
I've only known Reah for a couple of years, but it didn't take long to realize just how beautiful a person she is. When Correai introduced us to Reah a few years back, their genuine affection for each other was evident.
Marriage has been one of the few good decisions I've ever made - definitely the best. Laura and I met in high school and were married soon after college. Over the years, we hoped desperately that Correai would find that special someone.
For years I'd bug Correai about his social life or lack thereof. He grew so tired of my questions that for a while instead of answering his phone by saying "hello", he'd answer by saying, "no, I don't have a date this weekend."
I write a humor column for a news outlet in Eastern NC, and Correai was actually the subject of the first one I wrote roughly 10 years ago. At one point, I wrote a column asking the single women in the reading audience to visit Correai's Facebook page.
Although this experiment failed to produce any dates for Correai, it shed a light on just how many incarcerated females read my column.
It came to a point where I gave up on Correai ever finding someone. We spoke on the phone fairly often, and we'd hang out whenever I was in Durham or he was in Kinston. In fact, one of my family's favorite traditions is when Correai would crash at our house every year at Christmas. After making the family rounds during the day, it was cool to hang out with a buddy afterward to prolong the festivities.
It was actually a few Christmases ago when I realized change was in the air. Correai had been dating Reah for a while, and as hopeful as we were that they'd end up together, we refused to get our hopes up. We'd met Reah and found her to be a smart, beautiful woman. We didn't think Correai stood a chance.
But that all changed when Correai called to say he wouldn't be staying over on Christmas night.
Laura and our two daughters were disappointed he wouldn't be staying over but were happy when we found out it was because he had Christmas plans with Reah. As soon as I relayed this information to my wife, she raised an eyebrow and curled a cute little smile.
"This sounds serious," she said. And she was right.
For years we accused Correai of dragging his feet, while in fact, he waiting for the right person to come along. As you can all see, he was a wise man to be patient. Like myself, Correai has married up. Way up. Way, way up. He and I are in the lobby, while our wives are up on the observation deck of the Empire State Building.
I think the world of Reah and Correai. I'm very happy for both of you, but you better not stand us up this Christmas.
We made many friends at the wedding. Everyone in the bridal party and the families involved were incredibly nice. Even the driver of the party van that nearly killed us all while in transit to the rehearsal dinner was as nice as he could be.
To the Moore and Nicholson families and the bridal party, thanks very much for a fantastic weekend. See you all at the van driver’s parole hearing.
Contact Jon at firstname.lastname@example.org and www.jondawson.com.