Happy Anniversary Norm

To celebrate our anniversary I have dug deep into the archives of my computer and found the speech that I did for our wedding.

That’s right folks. I made a speech. I can’t understand why in today’s modern society women remain mute at the wedding that they (and their groom) have probably organised and paid for. So I insisted on giving a speech and here it is.

Today is our wedding anniversary and like every other year we forgot to buy each other a card. Despite talking about how we “really should do something special this year” we have once again been thwarted by Christmas and generally being too busy to take some time out to appreciate each other.

So Norm this post is to tell you that I do appreciate you. I appreciate your sense of humour, your kind heart, your immense work ethic, your encyclopedic knowledge of animals and the fact that you are an amazing Dad. To celebrate our anniversary I have dug deep into the archives of my computer and found the speech that I did for our wedding.

That’s right folks. I made a speech. It may not be traditional but society has moved on and I’m suprised that more women don’t do this. Anyway here it is:

Hello everyone. Welcome to our wedding! I’d like to tell you all how delighted I am to be speaking to you as Norm’s wife. The vows that we made to each other were serious even if we were a bit silly and I just hope that Norm doesn’t file for divorce in 6 months because of my failure to close the kitchen cupboards behind me. I honestly believe that is going to be the most difficult one for me to keep! I think Norm is going to be able to stop dumping his clothes on the bedroom floor easily and I am equally sure that he is going to dump them in the bathroom instead.

Now I have to confess that my first impression of Norm wasn’t great. He shouted “boobies” to his friend Richard (best man) at the top of his voice and I thought “what an idiot”

But then Kate Pellow made him ask me out and I must have liked him enough to say yes. So without Kate’s interference we would not be here today and that is my first thankyou. Thankyou Kate for playing cupid and making Norm ask me out on a date!

On my way to see him I was petrified. What if I didn’t like him? Would Kate be annoyed with me? Luckily I never had to answer that question. Norm was nothing but lovely. He cooked me dinner and behaved like a gentleman. We had a little kiss on the doorstep and I felt my knees go weak. As I left I rang my sister and told her that it had been the best first date I’d ever had.

We hadn’t been together very long when I realised that he had long term intensions towards me. He had a habit of humming “here comes the bride” when he kissed me. But there were several false starts before he actually proposed. He once pretended to propose at the top of the Eiffel Tower. He got down on one knee and people started to watch, and then he laughed and tied his shoe. Another time in New York he took me into Tiffany’s and said I could show him the type of ring I liked, I was 6 months pregnant at the time, I was sure that I would be flying home with a diamond ring on, but he really did just want to know what sort of ring I liked. And finally after Archie was born we were visiting Norm’s parents in Inverness and borrowed his Dad’s car for the night to have a romantic evening on our own – the first since Archie was born. We visited Skye and stayed at Loch Carron.  Norm loves Scotland so much and as we were on the banks of the Loch skimming stones I imagined that he would pass me a rock of a different kind, but he didn’t and I was so disappointed.

When he did finally ask me we were at home. With Norm spending so much of his time away from home he knew how much it meant to me for the three of us to be together. His proposal was honest, unexpected, perfect. A bit like Norm.

My husband Norm is also very funny, he brightens up the most miserable day with his rubbish jokes and sense of fun. Despite being a Scotsman he is the most generous man I know,  and he seems to have magical powers when it comes to anything practical. He can build or repair anything, which is a really important skill to have when you live with me.

From the very beginning I knew that Norm would love me unconditionally, because that is how he loves all of his friends and family. And I am really grateful that loving Norm has made my family and circle of friends a lot bigger. But the best addition to the family has got to be Archie. Every time I look at our son I love Norm a bit more, even when I am looking at him having a tantrum in Tesco (Norm I mean). 

So before I go on to thank other people to whom I love I’d like to make a toast to my new husband “to Norm”.

Six years later this is all still true. I’d forgotten about him humming “here comes the bride!” and so tonight I’ll be making another toast. “To appreciating what we have.” ……Cheers.

Author: Bernadette Ballantyne

Freelance journalist and former engineer writing for business magazines and blogging about working parent issues

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