Poem: A Wedding Toast

The Backstory

Sydnie Hess is one of our nurse’s aides.

She is playful. Silly. Child-like (I almost said childish). An often-loud, bursting-with-enthusiasm bubbly free spirit. She is also very responsible. Dependable. Committed to her work. She takes care of business.

She kind of reminds me of … well … of me.

Scott Hergerton is a mechanic, Sydnie’s boyfriend. He is quiet. Reserved. A little shy if you don’t know him. Great fun when you do. The type of long-suffering guy who patiently bides his time while his girlfriend teases him mercilessly, and then when she’s least expecting it – wham! – gets even in a big big way.

Yep, Scott definitely reminds me of Martin.

Let’s just say they’re a really good couple. Lots of laughter, lots of good-natured bantering. She quips about her Wednesday-night boyfriends. He plays wily practical jokes.

They like to take their jeep out on the Rubicon, a four-wheel drive “trail” (I would call it an impossible-to-navigate, rock-strewn, terrifyingly-rutted, barely-visible track) in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Many brave folks think it’s fun, easing their jeeps over enormous boulders, creeping up seemingly-vertical slopes, jouncing across rocky streambeds.

I said “brave” folks, didn’t I? I wonder if “brave” is quite the right word. Other words effortlessly pop into mind. Words like, you know, crazy.

Well, those folks say it’s fun.

Until you break down. Until the mechanic’s jeep breaks down. On the Rubicon. In the middle of nowhere.

Oh, sorry, my mistake: in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night.

Yeah, maybe not so much fun right then.

Parents were called, winch cables were employed – let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. Especially at 2 AM. In the middle of the night. On the Rubicon.

When they announced their engagement, I knew I had to write a poem.  And deliver it right there during the reception.

Martin was their wedding photographer. I was his assistant. We were the hired help, so guests naturally expected us to hover professionally in the background, keep quiet, and do our jobs.

Sydnie knew better.

As guests toasted the bride and groom,  the new Mr. and Mrs. Hergerton, I stepped forward.

I think Sydnie eyed me a little nervously as I approached, fearing – I mean, suspecting – a poem.

She was right.

Sydnie and Scott

Sydnie and Scott, congrats on this day!
You did it! You’re here! Neither one ran away!
And Sydnie is smiling –  and Scott’s not berserk –
Those are really good signs that this marriage will work.

Now this “Hergerton” name – it’s more awkward than “Hess.”
If you’d both taken Hess, it’d be less of a mess.
But I guess I won’t press that you both stick with Hess,
‘Cause I bet you’d confess that you’ve had enough stress!

Here’s some friendly advice to have many good years:
Repeat after me, Scott: “Yes, Sydnie. Yes, dear.”
A few simple words, and life’s easy with Syd.
Don’t say them and Syd will make you wish that you did!

May 3rd is her birthday. Don’t ever forget it.
If you do, you might live, but you’ll live to regret it.
Take out the trash. Pick up your socks.
Tell her you love her. Remember who’s Boss.
.   .   .   (She is!)

When you pick up his socks, you could nag, Syd, but don’t.
We all know he should do it. We all know that he won’t.
There are other fine methods to get him to please –
Like telling him sweetly you’ll shoot out his knees.

And broken down on the Rubicon, late in the night,
Sydnie, don’t say it (though you’d likely be right)
That you knew that last bolt didn’t fit on the truck.
“If you’d listened to me, then we wouldn’t be stuck!”
.   .   .   (Don’t say that.)

Give your love freely – to each other, you know.
(Syd, those Wednesday-night boyfriends have just gotta go!)
Be kind to each other. Don’t be mean when you’re mad.
May the good times surround you! May you rarely have bad.
Hold onto the magic with all that you’ve got.
Let us all raise our glasses:

To Sydnie and Scott.

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