In honor of my friend Jared getting married today, I wanted to say a few words on his behalf. The below is a transcript of what I will say at his reception:
Thank you all for coming today. My name is Stuart, the Best Man, and I wanted to take some time to talk about Jared for a moment.
Some of you might know Jared through Julie, or know him as a friend, co-worker, son, or colleague. I know Jared as a friend. We lived together in college for about a year and I had no idea that I would still know him almost ten years later. I have many stories about Jared, but one of them stands out. I had just moved in with him and was still feeling out my roommates for their quirks and oddities. Jared was the guy that came home late with other women, not to sleep with them mind you, but to do far less raucous things like cuddle and play boardgames. But I sat Jared down and talked to him explaining that what we did at the apartment, which was a complex in Isla Vista leased to exclusively members of Campus Crusade, was sacred. We were out on display for the world to see and I wanted to hold him accountable. To my incredible surprise, Jared listened. He heard me out. And we built on that moment a mutual, sacred trust that has sharped us together, perhaps like iron on iron, or something like that…
We are all told that we are special. That we can do anything. I don’t really believe that now that I’m older, but Jared is one of those people to watch because he is destined for great things. His career as a writer and teacher are already in their infancy and he has distinguished himself as top of his class, par excellence, with his colleagues and fellow members of the Academy. Why? Because Jared is a magnate for discussion, someone that people naturally gather to because they see in him something wonderful and special. He challenges us by his example to question our beliefs and follow in the footsteps of Socratic liberal education, that we may think critically about the information that vies for our affections in a world of increasing ambiguity and obfuscation. And incredibly, as much as Jared challenges us and helps to mold us, the teacher that he is, there is Julie that has drawn Jared to herself. You see, if you knew Jared, you would know his aloof spirit as well as me. “Bear-bear” is always on the run, unmoored by his years of growing up across the oceans in the jungles of Indonesia and urban China. But he has finally, at long last, found someone to tie him down in the boudoir and write a new story about a man and a woman finding each other, seemingly from opposite ends of the world, and starting another generation of rootin-tooting, suspiciously hairy, crawdad catching, Whites.