Good evening everyone. Before I get started, DISCLAIMER: I asked Francis before I started writing this if there was anything I couldn’t say. He said no. So Erica, if something goes wrong, it actually is his fault.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Dave. I’ve known Francis longer than… Well, I can’t really say longer than anybody since most of his family is here, but I have known Francis for quite some time- since our freshman year in college. I am extremely honored and privileged to stand up here tonight to sing his praises and let you all know the REAL Francis. Don’t look at me like that Francis, you said there wasn’t anything I couldn’t say.
I met him the first day of orientation week our freshman year in college. He hasn’t changed one bit- he still enjoys running around shirtless, he has the same haircut, and that same smile that suggests that he’s extremely proud of himself, even though you can’t believe he’s had many accomplishments. Today certainly qualifies as an accomplishment for him, because he’s landed a woman like Erica.
I knew as soon as I met him that I had to befriend him (mostly because we were roommates), and that everything would be OK after. Sure enough, thanks to Francis, I was only the SECOND biggest dork on our floor. I spent so many late nights playing Halo and Call Of Duty with him. Something about bashing a bunch of buttons while staring at a TV screen brings out the fierce competitor in him. Those lessons learned from those games have stuck with me more than any lesson I learned in class- the most important one of those lessons being make sure you’re on his team because Francis is a terrific ally to have, both in Call Of Duty and in real life.
Having been roommates with him all four years of college, I’ve been fortunate enough to watch Francis and Erica’s relationship evolve from day one. I’ll never forget the day they met. Francis and I were eating lunch together in between classes. It was extremely crowded that day- wasn’t an empty table in the entire dining room. I saw my friend Erica from my Intro to Acting class looking for a table, so I invited her to sit with us. I remember asking her about an assignment for class, and from out of the blue, he asked me, “So Dave, want to check out the new Call Of Duty game?” Erica’s eyes widened, and the rest, they say, is history.
I’ve been a huge supporter of their relationship, except for those times when I convinced Francis that hall-wide Halo tournaments took precedence over Erica. Erica was persistent though- we even taught her how to play! All the Sheetz runs that I coordinated, all those times I denied the non-visiting hours visits, the pep talks I had to give him, all the times I had to find stuff to do while they had dinner together… when am I getting paid for everything I’ve done for you two? In all seriousness, seeing these two happy together is its own reward. I can’t even express how awesome it feels knowing that two of my best friends are getting married, and they couldn’t be more perfect for each other.
I’d like to take a moment to thank Ms. Donna ****** and Mr. Donald ****** for making this wedding and my roast of Francis possible. I’d also like to thank you Donna for all the cookies that you baked for your son and me throughout college. My mom’s not here to hear this, and very few of you actually know her, so I’ll say it: Your cookies are the best! Nobody tell my mom I said that.
Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you the perfect couple. Francis, you need that strong-willed woman to make sure you do more in life than play video games- Oh wait, it‘s too late for that, you design them for a living, you lucky son of a gun. Erica, you need that hapless dorky nerd to keep you updated on all these new-fangled technologies like “XBox 360“, “Twitter“, and “the internet“.
Speaking of Erica, Erica, you look stunning tonight. In fact the whole bridal party looks gorgeous. And the groomsmen… looking good fellas! Francis… well you certainly tried hard, and that’s all that matters.
I think I’ve probably said enough by now, and Francis is probably regretting telling me that there wasn’t anything I couldn’t say, so I’ll be merciful. I want to thank each and every one of you here tonight for helping two of my best friends celebrate their wedding. I’d like to propose a toast to Francis and Erica. To quote Oscar Wilde, “Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence”. May the rest of your days be filled with love, joy, happiness, and tons of late night Halo parties!