Thursday, 1 September 2011

The Speech I Never Gave

Having spent most of my summer at weddings, I've listened to a lot of speeches, and have spent a bit of time reminiscing about our own wedding and what I would have changed, if at all. I'm starting to think that maybe I should have given a speech, you know, to pay homage to and thank the people that made me me. I did the right thing at the time, and chose not to give a speech ("thank god" I hear the congregation cry) as I went on extreme Mush Alert and wasn't sure I could control myself and I was NOT going to go all mushy on my wedding day. The blotches, the mascara, the puffy eyes… Nope, not for me. As it happened I still looked gross in the pictures from all the sweaty dancing, crawling through rose bushes, dropping lippy on my dress and in the end, drunkenness! But nearly two years on, and having shed some serious tears these past few weeks (I quite openly blame you, Liz!), here is an ode to the people that made me who I am today, and, if I'm honest, I quite like that person.
The Speech I Never Gave*
My mum and dad made me in more ways than one – they created my life and gave me my genes but they also nurtured my personality, taught me my values, forced me in to a reasonable education, and thus my career (I wanted to be a fighter pilot or a bunny girl), and helped me learn who I was and who I can be. Thank you!
Thank you Daddy for being my Ultimate Hero. For teaching me about chivalry, that "those guys in films" do exist, about tenacity, selflessness and love, and also about DIY (particularly Fatty Edges). Thanks for teaching me the disappointment that no guy will ever live up to the precedent that you set.  Yeah, cheers for that!
Thank you Nicholas for being the one that tried, though, and who keeps on trying. And then, on realising my expectations are unreasonable, set your own precedents for our future daughters' husbands to fail to reach. You will one day be our children's hero and because of that you are also mine!
Thank you Mother Bear for teaching me about girl power. About having your own career, direction and life plans. About relying on no one but you (except when you need a hero, obvs!), never getting your boobs and legs out at the same time (quite often ignored in my teenage years), how to blow dry my hair, how to bunk off PE, how to make the perfect GnT, about holidays and family celebrations and where "home" is. How to wrap Daddy around my little finger and, most importantly, about having your own bank account, but knowing how to borrow from my husband's until pay day**!
Thank you Grandpa for teaching me about simultaneous equations, DIY and about self defence.... Haaai-cha!!!!
Thank you Nonna for watching over me.
Thank you Nanny and Grandad for teaching me present wrapping skills (and how to charge for them), about colouring within the lines (and how the Fairies can assist) that not all toys can be bought from the Argos catalogue (but quite a few can!), saving not spending (this one is a hindsight one) and most of all, about imagination and how to use it!
Thank you Nanny Upstairs for teaching me about Guinness, toffee hammers and swearing!
Thank you to my Baby Bro for letting me get on with it, and for letting me be in control. For always being there to answer the questions my puny brain sends your way and for bringing my space cadet ideas back to earth.
Thank you to my mother's friends for listening to her while she ranted and vented and being her therapists as she dealt with me. We owe you some GnTs. Doubles.
Thank you to Miss Swan for teaching me about positive body image, accepting the truth of reality and working with what you have to be the best you can be. Please don't retire until I've sent my future children to you for ballet lessons.
Thank you to the many managers I've had since my very first paid job. You've guided me and opened doors for me. You've taught me everything I want to be professionally, and everything I don't.
Thank you to Wendy for being the most selfless person on the planet. Without you I wouldn't be sane, and nor would my mother!
Thank you to Marcella and Sue for being more than what you were employed to be. You are family to me... Though you might despise me with a passion - and anyone that knew me when you cared for me would say that that was a fair reaction – but I love you both dearly!
Thank you to my friends, just for being amazing. You water me when I need to grow, you applaud me when I succeed, you hold me when I need to cry and you bandage me when I need to heal. Hallmark isn't wrong when it says that Friends are the family you choose for yourself.
Thank you to my friends' children for the baby-squidges that soothe everything and put life back in to perspective.
And thanks to all the bullies, bad boys and haters in my life. Without wanting to go all female rapper or diva album cover at the end, without you I wouldn't have my strength, my character, my confidence, my self- belief, my wisdom, my persistence and my happiness. by trying to take those things from me you showed me I had them!
Let's raise a toast to friends and family…

* EXTREME mush alert!
** his is only one day before mine. Hmmmm

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