23 March 2013, Melbourne, Australia
Thank you all for coming. And for getting into the theme -- 'It used to be cool'.. There are only 12 Tom Cruises here, and no other Maverick in the suit, so thank you to whoever coordinated that.
We were unsure for a long time if we wanted to have a 40th – until 7:25pm tonight, to be precise. But looking around the room now, it seems so obvious to me why we decided to do this. And it is you. We are so busy, all of us, and there is never enough time to spend with each other. But you mean the world to us, and this is a special time for us. Thank you for coming.
So I can say with absolute certainty now that we are over the moon to be having a party for our 40th - and not, say, what many of you have done and gone overseas, business class, without the kids, staying in a beautiful hotel. You bastards.
There are some people who deserve special mention. …
To our parents, thank you for having us and for everything you have done since. My family is the small, quiet and stoic type. Caroline’s family is the large, loud and complaining type. But somehow we all get along, and there is never a shortage of laughter. We could not wish for better parents and families.
Laini and Paul have come down from Sydney. A group of us went up to Sydney for Laini’s 40th last December and ever since they have had to come down to Melbourne on consecutive weekends. Thank you. It is always better when you are here.
Cam and Louise had to cancel their 40th at the last minute last weekend. We are sharing this one with you guys, and we hope this night feels a bit like it’s your celebration too. And, if it does Cam, maybe we could have a chat about defraying some of the costs?
There’s the Run For The Kids in the morning, and many of you here will be doing the run and raising money for the Royal Childrens’ Hospital. Thank you for being here. I did it last year and I know what it means to be out the night before the race. If it’s any assistance, I can say from my own experience that running with a gutful of beer and Mexican food can dramatically improve your running performance. But only for the first 70 metres. So, to help you get through the rest of the race, what I have decided to do is donate $1 to RCH for every alcoholic drink you consume after 10pm. Which means that if you don’t drink, you will be denying sick children important medical equipment.
To my barrister friends from Joan Rosanove Chambers. In case you don’t recognise them, they are the older people handing out business cards … and their younger, good looking partners. There are very few people who can say they work every day in a professional environment of the highest calibre. I envy those people. In all seriousness, without the support and friendship of everyone on the 4th floor - and Matt, Rodney and James, in particular - life at the Bar would be a vastly different and inferior experience.
And the kids. Daisy has gone to bed, but Amelie and Carter are here. Mum and I love you very much. We are immensely proud of you. And it is definitely time for bed.
Which brings me, at last, to Caroline. It’s hard to imagine we are 40, my dear, and to work out where the time went. When I saw you tonight in your little outfit and roller skates I could have sworn you were 20 again. 16, if I squint like this.
In Caroline I found that person who is unbelievably beautiful and who laughs at my jokes, no matter how many times she has heard them. I had to marry you. No, really, I had to marry you – you gave me an ultimatum when we were 28 that, by the age of 30, you wanted to be married and pregnant, preferably in that order, and preferably to me. Obeying you was the best decision I never made.
You are smart, fun, forthright, quirky. There is never a moment that is not better for having shared it with you. Though we are built differently, we fit snugly together.
You are a quite simply a wonderful wife and Mum. By some accounts, you are not such an easy daughter or sister, but I won’t buy into that. You have recently resigned as a solicitor and I hope you find the vocation that harnesses your many passions and talents. I know you will. It’s such a shame they have already invented Trip Advisor, because that was your first billion dollars right there.
But I know you so well and I know what you will be thinking right now. And that is that this is all very well, but it’s just words. That this would all be so much better if it was expressed in a song, sung right here, right now, by me to you. And that by “me” you mean Hugh Jackman and by “you” you mean you. But Hugh couldn’t make it tonight – I think he’s at the Shostak bar mitzvah - and so, my dear, this could be my “Susan Boyle” moment, but it will probably be my “Meatloaf” moment. I give to you this song …
[To the tune of “Just The Way You Are”]
Don't go changing, to try and please me
You never let me down before.
But if you did do something different
Don’t yell in the phone no more.
I would not leave you in charge of driving,
Not since you wrote off my mum’s car.
The tuna salads, Smooth FM ballads,
I'll take you just the way you are.
Don't go buying some new fashion
There’s heaps of clothes already there.
You run a household staffed by the dozen
And still you need a French au pair!?
I don't want Surfers in September
Not with all Bialik there.
I just want someone on a cruise ship,
I want you just the way you are.
I need to know that you will never miss
Another thing you meant to do.
What will it take for you to write a list,
The way that normal people do?
I said I love you and that's forever
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are.