22 October, 2011, Palm Springs, USA
IS there a cuter, happier, more perfectly suited couple than Chris and Lauren? The consensus that I've been hearing from San Diego and Melbourne is that there is not.
It's a great love story. A very American love story. Chris "The immigrant" leaves the place of his birth in search of his dream girl, and he finds her in America
Of course, if Chris decides to steal Lauren back to Australia, this story becomes a little bit more Scandinavian Viking love story, but either way, there's something in our family histories being played out in the story of Chris and Lauren.
But I think, at its heart, this is really an American love story. And I say that because the force that brought Chris and Lauren together is so quintessentially American, its the same force that did so much to shape America's greatness.
No, I'm not talking about the right to bear arms, that would be a little weird . . . what I'm talking about is competition. Competition, and the quest to succeed, brought Chris and Lauren together.
My little brother is competitive. He's always been that way. He likes to win things. Our older brother Paul is also competitive, and these two would compete over anything: football, tennis, golf, whatever, until someone, typically Chris, would have an exorcist-type meltdown, and the whole affair would end in tears.
Me, being the well...adjusted middle brother, typically decided that these competitions were stupid, and I would chose not to compete. But their contests weren't always frivolous, for example there was that time they competed over who had more friends; a definite high point in their attempts to out-do each other.
The only way to settle this argument, suggested the Harvard Graduate, was to write down on a piece of paper the names of all their friends and then count them out. Which they did.
Not surprisingly, I thought this competition was stupid, and decided not to compete.
The argument turned from ridiculous to farcical when they stopped even writing down last names, and it became a contest of who could write down the most words that could conceivably be used as a name.
But what's this competitive drive got to do with Chris and Lauren? Why do I tell you these stories? Partly to make both my brothers look daft, but more importantly it's to make you aware of what you're witnessing today, to put it in its appropriate historical context.
You.see, this marriage of Chris to Lauren is the culmination of a 12 year competition between Chris and his older brother Paul to see who could marry the most perfect bride.
Here's a little background: 12 years ago my older brother Paul announces to the family that he was to wed the beautiful and smart Wendy Govic. To most of the family the announcement was a moment of joyous celebration. But to Chris it was an act of provocation and a challenge.
Chris accepted this "challenge" and set out to find his bride.
Me, I decided that this competition was stupid, and have decided not to compete.
Chris searched Melbourne, he searched Brighton, England, he briefly searched New York but quickly realized that he was way out of his league, and then he settled in San Diego.
And it was there that he met Lauren. Lauren and Chris dated, and then Chris triumphantly announced their engagement.
But did he win? How do you even judge such a contest?
I think we need to look at their relationship. How happy are they? How suited are they?
Anyone who spends any time with Chris and Lauren know these questions are nonsensical. If's obvious that Chris and Lauren are perfectly suited and very much in love.
Plato, that old Greek philosopher wrote a whole book on love and relationships, and in it he speaks of a myth where at the beginning of time the gods split our natural selves in half, and that love is our pursuit to find our other half; it's our desire for wholeness.
I'm not totally sold on this idea, after all Plato also thought that the highest form of romantic love was between an old man and a young adolescent boy. . . so basically, Plato was a weirdo, but I do like that idea of finding someone who so perfectly complements us, and it just fits, and I think we see that in Chris and Lauren.
But while Plato might have just missed the mark, I think the tv show Dexter might have captured the essence of Chris and Lauren's connection a little better. For those whodon't know the show, it tells the story of a homicidal serial killing maniac who likes to cut people up with knives.
Wait, stay with me. . .
Season 3, episode 10, two key characters finally profess their love for each other with this simple exchange:
"I love you, you're the best thing that's ever hapenned to me. You're like a shot of adrenaline" to which the other lover responds with "I love you too, you're like a hit of Valium"
I thought of Chris and Lauren when I saw that scene. Chris and Lauren are different people, with different natures, but I can't imagine two people who could be more perfectly suited.
Chris brings to their relationship his extraordinary energy and sense of fun, and Lauren also brings her sense of fun but with it her laid back kind-heartedness. Together they're amazing.
It's that "yin and yang" thing, the masculine nature and the feminine nature, molded together perfectly. On the one side you have the less rational and emotional nature, likes to gossip with the girls, loves to shop, always up with the latest female fashions, likes to sing and dance to Katy Perry.
And then you have Lauren.
Lauren, the calm voice of reason. Lauren the stable rock. Lauren who doesn't take herself too seriously, and who's always quick with an adorable smile when Chris is about lose his marbles.
Its difficult for me to put into words just how wonderful I think Lauren is. The words will come out sounding cliche in a speech like this, but I couldn't mean them more sincerely.
Her sweet warm-hearted nature, combined with her great sense of fun and humor make~ her a truly unique and lovely person. She is the perfect partner to my brother, and I already love her dearly as a sister.
Our family had the pleasure of meeting the West|ands family the other night for dinner. It was lovely for us to see the sense of affection and fun between their family. It's easy to see where Lauren's values and nature comes from, and it makes sense that she bonded so quickly withour family.
I mentioned my brother's competitive spirit, but a better word to describe Chris would simply be spirit. My brother is one spiriteded individual. People love to be around him.
But his sense of fun is matched by his sense of loyalty and protectiveness. Chris will take wonderfully good care of Lauren, but he will also show her a wonderfully good time, and it's hard to imagine a better combination in a husband.
And if's hard to imagine a better brother. Paul, stay quiet, this is between me and Chris.
I've never seen Chris so happy. He hasn't lost any of his energy or spirit, but a certain calmness has come over him, and for that Lauren, our family thanks you!!
Just like Chris' many friends, 1 just love being around the boy. I feel incredibly lucky to have him as a close friend and a brother; knowing that we have a life of family holidays and gatherings to look forward to makes me incredibly happy.
So, wrapping up, I guess my point is this. As usual Chris and Paul's contest was stupid. Wendy was the perfect bride, Lauren is the perfect bride, and now I have two perfect sisters
But as for a winner, if you want to know who wins, if's me, 1 win. Because my family was great, but today it just got a whole lot better!
Welcome to the family Lau Lau.