Letters From the Editor

Andrew’s Wedding Toast

I didn’t use my camera at Andrew’s wedding this past weekend, but in the tradition of Rosecranses in my family, I did give a poem-toast, right before they cut the cake and after Ashley told hilarious stories about their romantic pasts, and Andrew’s brother Ken went back through his and Andrew’s torrid past of bopping each other on the head.

It was a great wedding.

For the Wedding of Andrew Bradley Womack and Melissa Suzanne Cotton

Oct. 5, 2002

Andrew Bradley Womack and Melissa Suzanne Cotton,
tonight we’re here to celebrate, which is why we’ve all been broughten
to Texas for your wedding, in case you’re already forgotten,
because I know the bar is open and your cocktails, I’m sure, are gotten.

It’s your marriage ceremony that has brought us all together.
Despite hurricane Lili, we all survived the weather
to sit with you tonight, and watch you tie the tether;
i.e., a perfect bondage that does not require leather.

Our primary duty here as friends, as family, and as guests,
is not only to celebrate, and admire Melissa’s dress,
but to seek you out, and give advice, for me by this address,
on how to avoid your marriage license being repossessed.

Some uncles will surely tell you that marriage is hard work.
And a second-cousin twice-removed will tell Melissa with a smirk,
‘Well, when I done married Bobby Joe, he was quite the town’s young turk,
but what seemed like my salary on our wedding night turned out to be just a perk!’

But since I know you both so well, I see what this marriage portends:
you’re on a happy path towards blissful years of weeknight reruns of Friends,
a nice big house and whichever dog that month’s InStyle recommends;
Melissa in Gucci tennis whites, driven by Andy in the Benz.

No, your life will be something else, and take a different route.
Neither of you are status quo, and the norm is rendered moot.
In thirty years I’m sure you’ll surprise us, something odd, but past dispute;
What else from a couple where the bride’s wedding dress cost less than the groom’s Dior suit?

I cannot give advice, except this: stick by what you know.
Andrew, you are the luckiest man here; Melissa, there’s always that tennis pro.
And when you reach hard times, as you surely will, do as hippies and enjoy the flow,
but look your best, stay smart, eat well, and work with what life bestows.

Everyone in this room tonight wishes you both the best good will,
and we all, when called on, will surely help when the going goes uphill.
But I can only envision the best for you two; your love is true, no frills.
So here’s to Andy and Melissa; the happiest marriage; as perfect as a George Foreman grill.

biopic

Rosecrans Baldwin co-founded TMN with publisher Andrew Womack in 1999. He is the author of three books, including his latest novel The Last Kid Left (NPR’s Best Books of the Year). His nonfiction appears in a variety of magazines, mostly GQ. More information can be found at rosecransbaldwin.com. More by Rosecrans Baldwin