>> Thursday, October 30, 2008
Last week, as I got ready to leave for Boston, I kept mentally reminding myself to "write the toast." What I really meant was "don't forget to lasso [my friends] Sivan and Igor into this burst of creativity." At one point, I even sent an email to my co-conspirators about it. Inevitably, however, Friday came around and a toast had failed to materialize. And so it was that on Friday afternoon, as we walked to meet Claire for lunch, we brainstormed and later, as we were on our way to services and dinner, we scribbled it down. All in all, we collaborate well: Sivan is the expert storyteller, Igor is the funny one, and I'm the wordsmith.
I'm happy to say the toast was a success by the following metrics: 1) the audience laughed at appropriate moments, 2) Michael said he especially appreciated Igor's line about why Michael journeyed to California, and 3) at the wedding Claire told me she was still smiling about it.
So what did we say?
Sivan: The Third Date
Ronit: When you think of a typical third date, you think of driving to a restaurant for dinner for two. Claire and Michael's third date was nothing like this.
Igor: We know.
S: We were there.
R: The beginning of their relationship was intense, so intense that they needed us to chaperone their third date.
I: Michael flew all the way across the country not to visit us, his friends of over 6 years, but to spend the weekend with Claire, who he'd known in person for all of 36 hours.
S: As long-time friends of both Claire and Michael, we were there to break the ice.
R: And as a long-time friend of Claire, I was there to interrogate Michael and ensure his suitability for Claire.
I: Claire cooked a lovely shabbat dinner -- incidentally including asparagus, like tonight -- and we couldn't tell who was more impressed: her friends who had just met Michael or Michael, who just had his first taste of Claire's culinary genius.
S: We can't tell you about their fourth date, which commenced around 11.30 pm when we left, but we assume it went well as 12 hours later we tagged along on their fifth date.
R: It was a delicious Shabbat lunch, and as Claire and Michael walked away, Michael in his khakis and pressed white shirt, Claire decked out in a white flowy skirt and top, I was struck by how easily they strolled side-by-side, hand-in-hand, with a spring in their step.
I: It was a clear foreshadowing of the events that gather us here in Boston this weekend for their really big date. And apparently they like us as chaperones since they asked us to guard their Yichud* room on Sunday.
S: We raise our glasses to toast Claire and Michael and wish for them a life together like their third date: a life filled with warmth and tenderness, good food, the company of friends, the joy of a Jewish home, the excitement of a risk well taken and, above all, each other. L'Chaim.**
*Yichud: In Jewish tradition and by Jewish law, the bride and groom spend time alone together immediately after the ceremony.
**L'Chaim: To life