Monday, December 30, 2013

To Gina, my Best Friend

(To crowd) I’d like to thank everyone in attendance tonight. I am the matron of honor and my name is Jennifer. I’ve known Gina since she was 16. We both worked at Serafini’s restaurant and started our first week together. Even though we had different jobs, we clicked as friends right away.  Gina is crazy awesome and we have always shared spontaneous fun together. 

(To Gina) In fact, you are the only person I can carry on multiple simultaneous conversations with.

(To crowd) I cannot say there is one particular funny story or heartfelt moment - I could share with you that would accurately depict how much I love Gina as my best friend. She is more than my best friend.

(To Gina) You are the sister I never had. I remember the vow we made one night while working late at Serafini’s… that if we weren’t married by the time you turned 30, we were just both going to move to Ft Myers Florida, buy a condo and become cougars. I am sort of glad we didn’t have to do that.

(Face crowd) I tried to think of one event that has defined our friendship and I just couldn’t. It’s far beyond a friend who answers the phone in the middle of the night.  Gina is the only friend I could ever rely on, even if it meant her explaining to her mom why there was an extra car door in their garage, which resembles Jen’s car.  There hasn’t been a moment that Gina hasn’t had my best interests in mind. (Pause, give Gina love sign)

(Face crowd) She voluntarily attended my lengthy graduate thesis presentation to support my attaining a master’s degree.  I feel blessed to call her the Godmother of my two daughters’ including Nina who was the flower girl this special evening. 

(To the Cooks) I feel blessed to know her parents, Leslie and George.  Gina is the only friend I shared a vacation with during my youth. Her parents graciously invited me to join them on their vacation in Fort Meyers one year.  I fondly remember us renting small scooters and getting stuck because we tried to drive through sand. 

(To Gina) I also fondly remember when we rented the 4-wheel pedal driven cart because I wanted to take Lara, my ten pound Shih-Tzu puppy, for a ride around the peninsula.

(To crowd) Gina is the only genuine friend I have had through what I would call the most challenging years of my life including losing my mom to cancer.  Gina accompanied me to my daughter Nina’s first Christmas Eve mass in 2007.

(To Gina) Gina, We have both laughed together, cried together and spent countless sleepless nights doing so.  I am beyond grateful to be part of your life and your wedding party tonight. I would travel to another country just to share this beautiful moment with you.

(To Steve) Steve, I’ve known you since you both met and you are both just the perfect match for each other with all of the crazy awesome spontaneous fun.  There is really no one more perfect for Gina.

(To crowd) I want to wish the bride and groom a long happy marriage, let us all raise our glasses to them both because tonight has truly been a wonderful New Year’s eve that I know most of us won’t forget anytime soon. Best wishes to you both.