Ladies and gentlemen, family and many friends, thank you all so much for coming.
As the only son and man of the house… (civilized chuckle) I would like to offer a few words because, as everyone well knows, my father’s wedding leaves no heart untouched. As you can see, it is an opportunity to gather and unite, to celebrate the bond that from this day, ties the Hoet family, and the De Pue’s together, possibly for many generations to come. I am very thrilled to see the family of my late mother here, as you all know we still feel as connected to you as we once were. Our blood is the same, and we are linked by many more things than the central love that perished now 13 years ago.
I still remember it like it was yesterday, how she was taken from us so abruptly, and left us shattered. The home she left soon portrayed our grief, as my father needs a woman to take care of him as much as his children do. Our home had a vacuum, an emptiness.
Fate must have had a hand in it, because not very long after, a caring woman found herself without home. She was invited to move in with us, and things grew from there. Today, many years later, it has come to this day, where the same fate brought all of us together.
I would like to take the moment to reflect on things passed, and bow our heads, if only for a brief moment, to pay respects to my late mother, she who is the cornerstone in this very wedding. Because, as much as she might want to deny the very fact, Katherine here, now smiling so sweetly, in my father’s arms, is marrying my sister and myself, as much as our father. Because if there were a reason, ladies and gentlemen, that she would have refused, it would have been my little sister and me. She dislikes us, in fact she hopes we leave the house very soon so she and our father can spend their time in peace. By this, "mother", you forget one critical factor, and that is the fact that We Got Here First. We Are the Family you just married into. Welcome to your destiny.
Of course, we gladly welcome you in our midst. My sister and I have had long conversations about why that is, exactly. We dislike you as much as you us, and all we wanted was for our dad to notice this. I am sure this won’t be a problem from here on.
Just a few days ago, my sister and myself signed a paper that stated, that we will be put out on the street when my father should perish. We have given away our birthright, the home we grew up in, the place we shared our mother’s love. Now, we have done that a long time ago, as that very home gradually changed so fundamentally that the only reminder of my mom that is still around, I carry in my wallet.
Make no mistake ladies and gentlemen, this is what this marriage is about. No, that is not true, there is also, and I quote my father, "The emotional aspect." You see, Katherine entered our family with great debts. Thanks to my father’s efforts, those have mostly been paid, but it has still lead to Katherine owning next to nothing. If my father would one day leave us, she would end up on the streets. For that reason, ladies and gentlemen, my father gave his all to her. He made his children sign a paper that transfers everything their beloved mother has worked for, on to her. He Sold His Children for this woman, out of love and noble effort that she will be okay when he is no longer here.
Please, I beg you, don’t let this news disturb you. Enjoy your wine very much, because it has my father’s last penny in it. He insisted on this party to show you, he has nothing to hide. This is a happy wedding, only without wedding ring -that’s right, ma’am, none- or white dress. A signature, and the message to his children that they better start looking for a new home, because the day he is gone they will find themselves without. True love, ladies and gentlemen, binds you and I together on this cheerful day. Ahh, the foie gras arrives I see. Have some, it’s delicious. I paid for it. But wait until I finish, or one might choke in it. (civilized chuckle)
Undoubtedly, you have all received this invitation. (show invitation)
J O H A N
K A T H E R I N E
As you can see, being a purchases manager for SIDMAR, my father enjoys putting together slogans to promote things. It is a beautiful layout, and look, it reads "Johan, Katherine, yes!" That’s also amusing, because they give each other their ‘yes’ today. Or was it the day before yesterday in the major’s office, I’m unsure. However, what few of you might realize, I noticed another funny thing:
This colorful sheet of paper combines the two lovers’ names with the word ‘yes’, while this very wedding was met with a profound and heartfelt ‘no!’ by many of you present this day. Please, no need to speak up, you know who you are, and now you know you are not alone.
In fact, ladies and gentlemen, you are in the majority today.
However, that may not be entirely true. The Hoet family seems very excited about this event, and they represent the "beau monde" half of this company. Could that be because my father is a wine lover? Or perhaps, that they cling on to anything with a sense of style to raise their own standard? Or possibly, that they are pleased to see someone with no money but a steady income would expropriate his two children to take her in, so that they don’t need to spend the slightest part of there obscene millions? I wonder.
This cheerful day, ladies and gentlemen, on which we are bonded together with this people like a zipper, down and down through many generations to come, is listed as a black day in the history of our family tree. In fact, it is the end of it.
Please, enjoy yourselves. Although very willing, I doubt I will be allowed to continue serving drinks to you, so you might need to undertake a short journey to the bar, yourselves. Telling the truth isn’t appreciated anywhere, but at least I made sure none of it could be killed the way my mother’s memory was.
Thank you. You may commence choking now, especially you, you and you. Goodbye.