My latest guest blog – Six Signs You Work in PR – is up on Cision.com. Why six? Well, I actually wanted to make it a “Top Ten” list, but I was over my word limit and had to cut it back. Sign #7, in case you don’t know, is that PR professionals respect project guidelines.
With that out of the way, let’s get to the weekend. On Saturday, my best friend of 32 years got married. Everyone says that wedding days are stressful and it must have been doubly so for her because she trusted me to give a toast.
“Do you need me to bring my megaphone?” I asked her several weeks ago when I was writing my speech. “And how long should my dance routine be?”
“No,” she replied. “And about three minutes.”
The fact that she didn’t take either question seriously proves that she knows me well – which is perhaps more than I could say about my brother. I practiced the toast for him and his wife the day before the wedding and they took my jokes quite literally.
“Just pretend this is a tambourine,” I said while jogging through their kitchen and clinking the ice in a glass of whiskey.
They exchanged a look of pure apprehension, then simultaneously offered a shaky “OK.”
“I’m kidding!” I said. “I don’t have room in my clutch for a tambourine anyway.”
“Just give the speech,” my brother said.
For the next three minutes, my main goal was to not be a boring maid of honor. The fact that I told a few good stories about the couple and threw in the phrase “Lock it down,” seemed to help my case. As did a line about how any male “friend” who helps you move is clearly in love with you.
I must have done OK because when I was finished, all my brother said was, “I wouldn’t change anything.”
That didn’t exactly answer my question of “Did you like it?” but it was a decent response all the same.
“I like the part about moving,” he said.
“Me too,” his wife agreed. “You helped me move an air conditioner on our second date!”
There you have it – I speak the truth. And judging from the comments I got at the reception, love is marked not by flowers and chocolates, but by carrying couches and lugging dressers.
I know this from experience too. I once asked an ex-boyfriend to help me move three suitcases out of a sublet one night several years ago when I realized it was the last day of the month and my lease would expire in a matter of hours.
“Honestly, how did you not know what day it is?” he asked, as he heaved the suitcases into the trunk of a cab, sweat pouring down his face.
“I did know!” I insisted. “I just forgot that July only has 30 days.”
“It doesn’t,” he said. “Today’s the 31st.”
I assumed that was going to be the most outrageous thing that happened that night, but he topped us both by having a minor heart attack on his way into my new third-floor walkup. He spent the next week in the hospital trying to work some blood clots out of his lungs.
That’s perhaps an extreme illustration of my point, but it’s worth considering nonetheless. There are few things less fun than moving – never mind moving someone else’s things with little notice in the midst of chest pain.
I’m serious when I say that if that’s not love, I don’t know what is. Serious like a heart attack.