Best Man’s Speech for Stevie and Sacha

Before I begin, I’d like to address an issue of nomenclature. The groom’s family and colleagues all know him as ‘Stuart’ while just about everybody else here knows him as ‘Stevie’. Since I’ve used the latter pretty much exclusively for over half a decade I’m going to continue to use that throughout. The story goes that back in the late nineties when Stevie was working in What Everyone Wants, at the end of one particularly long day, he was asked by his supervisor to fold some underwear. When he was done and the supervisor came back, he took one look at Stevie’s work and asked, “Who folded those: Stevie Wonder?” This exchange was overheard by our mutual friend Pete who loves a good joke. So much so that he’ll repeat it... and repeat it... and repeat it... Enough repetitions and he eventually wore us down and won the day so completely that people would be introduced to ‘Stevie’ and only learn months later, if at all, that that wasn’t actually his real name!

I first got to know Stevie through Io, Glasgow University’s science fiction and fantasy society, at the start of our second year at University. Although he had been in my computing and physics classes the previous year, we had never really got to know each other and he had been nothing more than a vaguely familiar face. And I must say I was glad to see a familiar face when I turned up for the first time at this society where everyone already seemed to know each other. Even in the first conversation I had with him, I had the impression that this was someone worth knowing, and twelve years of friendship have proven me right, time and again.

Since then, I’ve come to see the full, rounded personality behind that quiet exterior: the passion for music; the enjoyment of comedy; the appreciation of technology tempered by frustration when it’s done badly, knowing he could have done it better. He’s introduced me to bands and comedians that have become firm favourites, and expanded my social, political and technological horizons. I owe him a debt of gratitude.

And what better way to negate that than to relate some of the embarrassing stories that I’ve no doubt heard about or witnessed in the decade and a bit that I’ve known Stevie. Well, I’m afraid that you’re going to be disappointed there, since I have none. I’ve known this man for twelve years, shared a flat with him for half a decade, and I can’t think of a single embarrassing story! I’ve tried asking his parents and some of his other close friends but we’re all stumped. He’s an incredibly level-headed, easy-going and eminently sensible kind of guy. But despite that, you still can’t help liking him. I would also like to bear witness to his tenure as a flatmate. The easy-going nature that will, no doubt, stand him in good stead for married life made him a pleasure to live with – half a decade and barely a raised word in that time. Ahh, I remember whiling away winter evenings, him with his mug of cocoa, me with my dressing gown and slippers, with long, intricate and winding conversations; JSP, IoC, OOP... Wonderful days.

Several years ago, when Stevie was buying his kilt and full outfit, knowing that I’m a bit of a Shakespeare buff, he told me that he was going to wear the Macbeth tartan. This delighted me at the time but I thought no more of it, until he and Sacha announced their engagement. All I’m saying is, just be careful telling your wife about promotion! After all, Shakespeare’s character started off level-headed and sensible as well.

I’d like to end with another quotation from Shakespeare, this time from the much more cheerful A Midsummer Night’s Dream:

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is wing’d Cupid painted blind”

Stevie and Sacha complement each other, mind, body and soul. I wish them that their union be happy, enduring and contented.

Thank you.