06 June, 2010

As Soon As Possible: An Essay in praise of Carpe-ing that Diem

for Adam & Tasha, on and for, their wedding day


“when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone,
you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
 - Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally


Have you ever seen the zany hospital dramedy called Scrubs? Hands? Anyone? Well, if you haven’t what you need to know is that a sassy Dominican nurse named Carla is engaged to the charismatic and slightly cocky surgeon Christopher Turklington.

They agree to write their own vows and read them aloud at the rehearsal dinner. But, stuck for romantic inspiration, the groom Turk leaves the writing of these vows to Carla’s brother… who has a long history of hating him. “A peace offering from Carla’s kid brother!” says Turk, and he eagerly agrees to this relationship-saving offer. Turk doesn’t bother to read through the vows until the big moment and when it arrives, he looks to Carla’s brother, smiles, and Carla’s brother nods proudly as Turk begins to read:

“I love how you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love how it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love how you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend a day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes and love that you're the last person I want to speak to before I got to bed at night. I realized that when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

And Carla looks at him… menace in her eyes.

“You realize,” she says, terse, through gritted teeth, “that that speech is from When Harry Met Sally…?”

…Turk looks in panic and detestation at Carla’s brother who grins at him nodding a distinct bwahaha on his face.


Now, you're probably thinking why is this tall American girl talking about a TV show? Well I mention this because despite Turk’s foolhardy attempts at sincerity the sentiment of his stolen speech is true: we all want both certainty, and for 'the rest of our lives to start as soon as possible.' What is it, exactly, that we are waiting for?


I have the distinct pleasure of having known both partners in this couple both individually and as a couple for the last 5 years.

I remember every one of Adam’s early dating escapades.

I remember his bachelor loft in Zoe Rainey’s flat complete with pellet gun and hidden diving knife craftily housed beneath the bed, and thinking: how is he ever going to end up here…?

I remember meeting Adam with Tasha outside the St Martin’s Lane Starbucks and thinking what a sincerely gorgeous couple they made.

I remember walking through downtown Plymouth with Tasha to our theatre before a two-show day of Carousel and hearing the entire story of their courtship told with utter adoration and affection… no. detail. spared.

And I remember clearly the day after Adam proposed to Tasha. She reported to work, called me up to her Savoy Theatre dressing room and showed me the ring in a fit of squeals.

But most memorable, and a moment I feel so honored to have been in the presence of, was that same evening, Tasha was on for the role of Carrie, the character that sings about her engagement and upcoming marriage to “Mister Snow.” I watched as Tasha sang a song filled with being the joys of marrying the man you love, and witnessed the reality of her marriage to Adam dawn on her as she sang. It was an unbelievable moment filled with what can only be described as the unutterable. When it was over we embraced in character as Julie Jordan and Carrie Pipperidge, but Al and Tasha were weeping.


We’re bombasted with messages throughout our lives to Seize the Day, to live in the moment, No Day But Today, to Carpe Diem. But so often we are filled with doubts, with fears and crippling insecurities about our life choices.

All our lives we wait.
We wait and hope to find a partner who is a reflection of all that we cherish-- Love reflected in a their tiniest gestures; in their distinct, irreplaceable Selves.

Poet Carl Sandburg claims that
"Love is a little white bird
and the flight of it so fast
you can't see it
and you know it's there
only by the faint whirr of its wings

and you'd like to write it
but it can't be written
and you'd like to sing it
but you don't dare try
because the little white bird sings it better than you can..."

To adore a person with both our reason and our spirit.
That is, we surmise, the greatest reward in life.
Adam and Tasha have found such a love. And how wonderful to be in love’s presence, and on so momentous a day.

Love, I believe, exists at the core of everything Holy, and in moments such as these we are closer to understanding a connection to that Greatness. Love is not, in any way, a sacrifice; it is the transmission of life.
That requires no hesitation.
That is certainty.
Love such as this begs only the question “what are we waiting for?”

Seize that day.
Carpe that Diem.

For it is true: when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.



  1. You clever lookey likey. What a beautiful and brilliant tribute to what looked a truly wonderful day!!! Perfect!!xx

  2. Well, you have me in tears and I don't even know them. What inspired thoughts! Thanks for sharing them. xx

  3. Al - that is just gorgeous & so true.
    I have no idea how anyone at their wonderful day could have listened to that & not had a little tear or 2 well up.
    Love it!

  4. You have a blog award over on my blog! - www.whatadilemma.blogspot.com

  5. This was absolutely beautiful! I, too, got tears in my eyes!

  6. beautiful xx

  7. Oh Al.... I'm in tears again reading this speech. I can't thank you enough for writing it, we were honoured to have you there and to read it. Love you so much xxxx



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