On August 15, a member of our Pipe & Cigar Fellowship, the lovely Arvinna Lee, was married to Ken Hayashida. Lohcifer, who is fondly regarded by Arvinna as her mentor was invited to deliver a speech. Here is the speech delivered by Lohcifer at the wedding reception at the Grand Hyatt; Lohcifer thanks his friend Adrian Tan for inspiring him to make speeches like that. As with previous speeches, it was delivered without reference to any notes; Lohcifer spoke off the cuff.
The Secrets of a Happy Marriage
Good evening, Mr & Mrs Jon Lee Kok Kian, Mr & Mrs Akira Hayashida, relatives and friends of Arvinna and Ken, it gives me great pleasure to stand before you to say a few words on this momentous occasion.
I’ve known Arvinna for a long time. We used to frolic around in the nude. She was about eight then and I was about 30.
Ok, ok, now that I’ve got your attention, let me begin my speech proper. And please, that was only a joke so please don’t call the cops.
I met Arvinna more than ten years ago when she worked in retail – I bought Cuban cigars and French wines from her. Since then we’ve become good friends.
When she invited me to deliver a speech at her wedding, I immediately agreed; then I asked her, “What do you want me to speak about?” and she replied “You have the gift of the gab, so anything lah, anything lah.”
So ladies and gentlemen, tonight I will talk about the COE.
Nah, I’m kidding again.
But seriously it is indeed an honor to be able to stand up here and speak freely tonight without fear of criticism, contradiction, defamation reprisal or retardation.
I speak as a Singaporean – as you know, Singaporeans can easily get into trouble for saying the wrong thing but I also speak as a husband.
Now just in case I’ve given you the impression that I’ve married a monster, let me put it right for you – I married a wonderful wife, we’ve been married for 28 years, she’s a wonderful woman. She’s not here tonight, that’s why she’s so wonderful.
My wife corrects people for a living – she’s a dental surgeon and she’s got lots of experience, having qualified as a dental surgeon back in 1981. She makes a living out of correcting people, out of correcting misaligned teeth, teeth with cavities etc. I on the other hand am a psychologist and a consultant and I make a living telling people they are wrong. My profession is to be disagreeable. That’s my full time job.
So you can imagine our conversations at home and the arguments we have.
However most times when we argue, my wife wins.
There are a number of reasons why my wife always wins.
First, she’s a smart woman.
In fact, she’s the smartest woman in the world.
She married me, right?
Secondly, she always wins the arguments because she wins through the strength of her logic and reasoning. In other words, she is often right, she is often correct.
There’s another reason why she win’s all our arguments – listen – the reason is that I let her win. So those of you who are husbands out here tonight, listen, if you have already won your wife’s hand in marriage, there is really no need to win every argument. Let us be magnanimous and generous. It’ll pay off. Husbands, trust me.
Another thing I’d like to say is this, ladies and gentleman, Arvinna and Ken in particular, DO NOT stop your courtship.
Many people say when marriage begins, courtship ends; that marriage is a milestone.
Well, if you think that way, then your marriage will be a tombstone.
Courtship has just begun!!!
My wife and I, as I’ve said, have been married for 28 years but even till today, when we go out, we hold hands.
If I let go, she goes shopping.
Just kidding, just kidding.
You’ve all heard of the saying “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” so yes, sometimes, when you’ve had a long, difficult day with problematic bosses and clients and colleagues who are a pain in the butt, you are understandably not in the mood for love, but I suggest you overcome the weakness of the flesh and reach out.
Those of you here tonight who are married to each other, those of you who are here tonight with your boyfriends or girlfriends, I want you all to do me a favor right now. Hold hands now. Yes, now. Feel the energy flow. As a psychologist I think I am qualified to tell you that touching heals, holding hands is curative and restorative. Isn’t it? Hey you there, don’t hold other people’s wife’s hands lah.
And hey you two guys holding hands there, you gay or what? Same sex marriage allowed here meh?
I was in China once with a colleague from work and we went for a foot massage; the masseur told us that we surely are not husband and wife, that we are either friends or colleagues. I asked her how is it she knew. Well, the masseur is a psychologist too! She said, “Married couples don’t talk.”
You can almost tell who are those who are about to get married – see all those young lovers in MRT trains hugging each other behaving like there is no one else, they are in a world of their own – and you can tell who are those who have been married for a long time: the husband walks miles ahead of the wife and while they were courting the husband when waiting for his wife-to-be, would say “honey, take your time” but after the wedding it’s more like “quick lah, taking so long, Christmas coming already lah” and of course you can also tell those who have been married many times. They are the ones who go around nonchalantly saying “Marriage no big deal lah, sex is over-rated lah, blah, blah, blah…”
So Arvinna and Ken, may I exhort you to please continue to court each other throughout your married life.
Another piece of advice is this; and I think I am somewhat qualified to offer a few words of advice since I’ve been married for so long that I’ve just become a grandpa three months ago, and that is, learn to forgive, do not get angry with each other.
Two unique persons from different backgrounds are like two sharp knives, bound to clash but let this be a case of iron sharpening iron, making each other sharper, bringing out the best of each other.
The second day of my marriage, when I woke up after my wedding night, I discovered to my horrors that my wife has a habit that I could not accept.
The way she squeezed the toothpaste was to grab the tube of toothpaste in her hand, and just squeeze like that. I on the other hand am the anal, meticulous one who must squeeze my tube of toothpaste carefully from the bottom of the tube.
Each time my wife has finished using the toothpaste I would spend time re-organizing it, massaging the tube of toothpaste back to shape. Wah very stressful man, until I had to confide in a friend.
“Well, you’re the shrink, you figure it out,” he said.
I thought about it and I came up with a simple solution. We now have our own tubes of toothpaste. My wife can squeeze hers anyway she wants and I can squeeze mine from the bottom. No more time spent fighting, we now have extra time, which we use to squeeze each other!
William Blake’s poem A Poisoned Tree, starts this way “I was angry with my friend, I told my wrath, my wrath did end. I was angry with my foe, I told it not, my wrath did grow.”
Remember, Arvinna and Ken, your spouse is not your foe, your spouse is the person you’ve publicly vowed to spend the rest of your life with. Harboring anger is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die. Harboring of hatred, resentment and anger only kills you, while the other person, completely oblivious of the fact that you are upset with him or her goes on living life merrily as if nothing has happened. So please do not let anger brew. More importantly, do not go to bed angry; do not let the sun go down with your anger. If you practice that, I guarantee you not only will your marriage rock, your bed will rock too. I hope you know what I mean.
One more thing, there was a survey done once asking men if they were on a cruise ship with their mother and their wife and the ship begins to sink who will they save?
Ken, who will you save?
First of all, there’s no business why you should go on a cruise with your wife AND your mother at the same time but more of that later.
For now, my advice to Ken is this: save your wife, save Arvinna.
Ken, now you are married, you must cut off your mother’s apron strings.
And Arvinna, now you are married, your one and only loyalty is to your husband Ken.
I am not talking about being obedient, I mean, if Ken wants you to be obedient, he can always buy a puppy. I am talking about being a submissive wife.
You have no business saying “Oh Ken I want to go on a holiday with my mother, etc” unless perhaps it is your mother’s dying wish or something like that. You are Ken’s wife, you “report” to him and him alone. Your loyalty is first and foremost to Ken, you must LEAVE and CLEAVE.
Finally, please make babies. Make lots of babies. I look forward to being Godfather to your children. Singapore’s populating is now 5.2 million and I heard that about a million are people from mainland China. We are fast becoming strangers in our own country. LET’S RECLAIM SINGAPORE BACK FOR OURSELVES!!! Make babies, Arvinna and Ken; do your duty for our country!
I am sure there are many of you out there happily married for many years who have lots of precious lessons to share with our beloved Arvinna and Ken but this will be my sharing for tonight.
Allow me now therefore to wish Arvinna and Ken a joyous, happy, ever-lasting marriage. May the winds push you on your backs towards a lifetime of bliss, my the stars above scatter their gold dust to give you a marriage of eternal romance, may the sun shine on your faces to grant you continuous delight, may the rains fall on your fields to give you abundance and may God hold you in the palm of His hand to always bless you with security and stability.
Thank you and God bless you all.
In Nov 2009 I was invited to the wedding of the daughter of Dr Mike aka Lohcifer. This was the speech he delivered off the cuff without reference to any notes: one of the best speeches I ever heard.
My Little Girl will always be My Little Girl
I’ll first speak in Malay, then Chinese and finally in English.
Er, correction: I will only speak in English.
I just realized that I’m not the Prime Minister, not yet, anyway.
So here it goes:
Thank you very much friends and relatives for celebrating this joyous occasion with us.
A very good afternoon to my newly-acquired son-in-law Tan HH and a very good afternoon of course to my beloved daughter, the newly-minted Mrs J Tan.
A couple of months back when J asked me if I would say a few words at her wedding, I immediately said “Yes.”
I notice that the older kids get the less they want to hear you say anything.
And while many people think that technology is a great enabler of communications, I believe it does not necessarily bring people closer together.
I mean, my kids communicate through MSN, Twitter, GoogleTalk, etc – but they are all in their own rooms in the same house “chatting” with each other.
And I suspect they’ve blocked me!
No kid today wants their daddy to be their Facebook “friend.”
So when J asked “Daddy would you say a few words at my wedding?” I grabbed it.
I’ve waited more than 20 years for this. (Those of you with kids – if they ask you to say a few words say “Yes” first, worry about the contents later.)
Yes, 20 years is a long time.
By the way, many of you do not know this, but my wife GI and I had just celebrated our silver anniversary or 25th wedding anniversary a few days ago, (this week), on Tuesday.
For some people, 20 odd years may pass in a flash but I tell you, it can feel like a life sentence!
And you would have thought that 20 odd years is long enough a period to really know someone.
I beg to differ.
You see, I just came across a “family secret” recently.
I discovered that when J was a little girl, as she sat at the dinner table, waiting for the other dishes to be cooked and served; she would help herself to whatever was already placed on the table.
She would help herself to the broccoli and she would suck on the broccoli and put the pieces back into the plate.
After that, not knowing what she has done to those broccoli pieces, GI and I would eat them.
I’ve always wondered why broccoli tasted funny in our household.
When J found out that I knew about this, she asked “Daddy, are you mad at me?”
Of course not!
Oh how could I be mad at her?
She has me wrapped around her little finger ever since she was born!
It was only like yesterday when I held this little bundle of joy in my arms.
It was only like yesterday when she it was her first day at the childcare center. At the end of that first day when we went to pick her up, I remember her bawling her eyes out because she missed us.
It was only like yesterday when she started her first day at primary school.
And now she’s getting married.
The first thought that came to mind when HH asked for J’s hand in marriage was “Hey I haven’t spent enough time with my daughter yet, and now you want to take her away.”
Yes, I’m very possessive and protective over my little girl!
As a matter of fact, every night when I’m at home, I would not sleep till I know she’s safely tucked away in bed.
On the rare occasions when she comes home late, at 1 or 2 am – after watching midnight movies with friends, for instance – I would wait up for her.
I would be in bed, with the lights off and all. My eyes would be closed but my ears would be open.
I would not rest until I hear her walking to the house.
I would not rest until I hear her opening the metal gate, padlocking it, opening the wooden door, locking it and latching it from within.
I would not rest until I hear her going to her room, closing the door, and in the silence of the night, hearing that “beep” as she switches on the air-conditioner in her room, until then I would not rest.
Ah, from tonight onwards, I can enjoy a good sleep every night!
Yes I’m so protective over my J that when HH asked for her hand in marriage, I told him “I only have one daughter, please take good care of her.”
So we put him through a battery of tests – IQ, EQ, mental, physical, stamina …
And I’m glad to announce that he has passed with flying colors!
And I’m so happy for J.
I would not have agreed to this union if I have not been convinced that HH would be the half that would make my J her whole.
So I wish J the best.
And my wish for her is this:
May the road rise to greet you, to ensure you of a bright future.
May the wind always be on your back to give you the momentum you need.
May the sun always shine on your face to give you warmth.
May the rains fall on your fields to give you abundance.
May the stars above twinkle in your favor to give you everlasting romance.
And may God hold you in the hollow of His palm to give you everlasting joy.
And may you always come back to suck our broccoli.
God bless you all!
PS: J gave birth to a beautiful boy on 4/5/12