July 27, 2003
I'm back in the heart of Donk HQ after a long, lovely weekend down the shore in Seaside Heights, officiating the wedding of Patrick Murphy and Juli Dobosh, two dear friends of mine. For various reasons, they did not wish to have a traditional, religious ceremony, and asked me, their former Seattle roommate, to perform the ceremony. Folks, if you can imagine a greater, more humbling honor...well, please feel free to let me know.
Well, an online certification, quick organizational trip to Seattle, and a consultation with the smokin' Maid of Honor later everything was arranged for the social event of the season. But first, the heavy drinking and Skee-Ball!
It was one of the many brilliant ideas of the happy couple to have the wedding guests stay in a Seaside Heights motel, giving Jahna and me the chance to show them out-of-town Bennies what the Jersey Shore is all about! Much fun time was spent on the boardwalk with Jahna's beau Joshua (who kept asking where the Guidos were), Juli's brother and sister Ryan and Claire, Jeremiah "The Claw" Bennett and his ladyfriend Marni, brothers Joe and James Murphy and James' cute-as-a-button son Ryan, and various other assorted Murphys and Doboshes and such.
My luck at the games was pretty bad all weekend, though I did win the big NJOpen Skee-Ball challenge, beating the tough LA and Indiana opponents with a clutch 360 (nine 40's in a row), though I do regret my subsequent taunting. I was able to introduce Joshua to zeppoles, and he kindly reciprocated by enlightening us with the hottest pickup line sweeping the Midwest:
Pickupper to Pickuppee: Hey, I was wondering...do you have your tickets to the show?I guarantee that this will not fail, though I unfortunately have yet to roadtest it. The night was filled with laughs and jokes and snacks and games and strong drinks with odd names...ah, you shoulda been there.
Pickuppee: Um...what show?
Pickupper [Spoken while flexing arms energetically]: THE GUN SHOW, BABY!
Fast-forward to yesterday morning, at the Huisman Gazebo in Belmar. The months of preparation, the writing of the ceremony, the motel reservations...somehow it had all passed, and there I was, standing there in my best suit, papers in hand, waiting for two of my best friends to walk up the aisle so I can unite them forever...it was all pretty wonderful. The weather was perfect, everybody was smiling or crying or manning film equipment...and then it was up to me. Hopefully it'll be okay with the newlyweds if I include a little of the ceremony here, to tell you a little about them:
[I was asked to officiate this ceremony because] I was Patrick’s roommate during the four years I lived in Seattle, during the time when Patrick and Juli first met, and was a witness to their relationship from its earliest days. Even during those first few months I understood that there was something very strong building between Patrick and Juli, a sense that each one had found something very good in the other, qualities that they very much liked, and wanted, and needed.Yep, that's Murph & Dobosh (one of the hardest parts of the weekend was calling them by their first names, surrounded as we were by many other Murphys and Doboshes around), folks I'm happy to call my friends, and delighted to call husband and wife.
During my friendship with Patrick I have known him to be an incredibly strong person, with a finely developed sense of what is right and what is wrong. From baseball and Springsteen to ethics and philosophy, he has taught me a great deal about life, and I know that there is nothing he would not hesitate to do for somebody he cares about.
As for Juli, from the moment I first met her I have always been amazed by her boundless energy and her limitless capacity for caring and love, for her friends and family, for the children she has taken care of at her various jobs, for her favorite dog Cal or any other pet she passes on the street, for the countless plants that fill her home, and of course for Patrick.
These are two special people who have grown together almost seamlessly, to the point where I now cannot imagine one without the other. It would, in fact, be almost pointless to try to imagine one them apart, since they have not spent 24 hours apart in over five years. We have seen them grow close, creating a union built on love, on caring, on humor, on complimentary strengths, and have seen them follow this path that has brought us all here, on this most special of days.
The reception was a small, sweet affair in the Murphys' backyard, so lovely and fun that it made me think that should I ever get married I'd want an intimate reception rather than one of those wallet/soul-crushing behemoths that cause so much grief. (And while I'm wishing for things that look fairly unlikely, I suppose I should say that should I ever gain the ability to fly I'd like white wings rather than bright or multi-colored, since the white goes with more outfits.) Lots of laughs, lots and food and drink, lots of kids running around...just a delight. It was just a wonderful day, and I'm glad and honored that I could be a part of it.
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