I’ve had this speech written in my head for months, but I didn’t actually write it down until Thanksgiving Day. By then I had just finished volunteering and then going on a long run, which got me thinking. I was thinking about what I was taught in school about Thanksgiving, about the pilgrims and the indians. How they came together and taught each other things and lived happily… temporarily ever after. The part of the story that got me thinking about today is that not only have two cultures and groups come together, but also my speech was centered on the very fact that Mel and Marty have taught me so much.
During the seven-ish years that I’ve known Melissa and Marty, they’ve taught me a lot both as a coup and as individuals.
Mel has taught me a lot about personal finance. She’s really smart with her money, doing her research, saving and spending wisely. She’s taught me about investing and planning for my future. She got me my first Starbucks stock, and has even inspired me to pursue an investment property.
Mel has also taught me about proper makeup application. She took me for my first photo shoot and taught me how to use different makeup to accent my features. That’s why my makeup looks so good today… Ok not really… I paid to look this good.
She’s also taught me about perseverance in her career. Melissa and I are both career women, but she just continues to inspire me with her drive – a characteristic that keeps getting her promoted while her employer goes through rounds of layoffs.
Then there’s Martin… Marty has taught me that no matter how well I think I have the French two-cheek kiss down, I’ll never get it right.
Marty has taught me, or reaffirmed rather, the importance of acceptance. If you know Marty, you know how welcoming he is, how he’ll bet the first to befriend a stranger… and then be taking shots with that stranger by the end of the night. He easily make friends with anyone, and everyone loves Marty.
Another important thing Marty has taught me is his signature hoolah hoop dance move. Ask him to show it to you later. It has done wonders for clearing room on a crowded dance floor.
But together… Together this power couple has taught me even more. It’d take too long to list everything, so I want to highlight what I see as the two most important:
- What happens in Vegas does NOT stay in Vegas. And thank goodness it didn’t for these two, because we wouldn’t all be here celebrating today.
- Unconditional love does exist and that it knows no boundaries. No matter the 2,800 miles between them. No matter the three-hour time difference. No matter that they only get to see each other once a month. And no matter the age difference – for Marty’s sake I won’t cite any numbers for that one. They simply love each other. In fact, they love each other so much that they’ve kept their long-distance relationship going strong for nearly a decade – I’m sure Pat and Lucy could tell you the exact number of days, they’ve been waiting for this for so long.
This unconditional love of theirs is strong and beautiful. It will continue to guide them in their lives together as a married couple. Whatever life throws at them, whatever excitement or hardships they encounter, their unconditional love will get them through it. And from them we can learn.
I read a quote that said: “Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion, as a stage of being. It’s not ‘I love you for this or that reason,’ or ‘I love you if you love me.’ It’s love for no reason, love without an object, love not bound by conditions.”
I think that’s a lesson we could all take something from. Martin and Melissa, thank you for that. Thank you for teaching me about unconditional love and for being such an inspiring couple and amazing friends.