Once upon a time, Ned was someone I knew only from Lindsay’s high school capers. I experienced these capers second-hand by admissible evidence in the form of photos featuring red and yellow Solo-Cups and silver beer kegs.
I finally got to meet Ned sometime in the late 1990s when I was asked to be the designated driver to a Dave Matthews Band concert at Giant’s Stadium. I only agreed to do this because I wanted to see the opening acts. I might be a nice sister, but I’m no saint.
The drive was uneventful, just a minivan full of teenagers and beer, and once the car was parked, I made my way to the entrance. It was then that Lindsay asked me to stand guard while they tailgated.
“No,” I said. “I want to see the opening bands.”
Ned’s head popped up like a meerkat from the mob unloading the van.
“Who’s opening?” he asked.
I told him. Beck and Ben Folds Five.
He stood there, frozen with indecision. Beer or music. Music or beer.
A man who is as passionate about music as Ned is will make a great husband. Because music is an art form that consumes every emotion of the artist. The musician pours love, desire, and every bit of what they’re feeling into what they’re making, and when it’s right, it shows in the sound. Someone who knows that, someone like Ned, is someone who really gets love.
Lindsay really gets love. She burns hot, approaching everything she does with passion. Whether it’s soccer, drama, her teaching career, or wedding planning, she goes all in, regardless of whatever else she has planned. Everything gets the same attention, and somehow it all gets done with the same gusto. She has life and energy to spare.
I’m glad she has someone who understands that to spend the rest of her life with.
Lindsay and Ned understand love because they know how have fun with it. They, like musicians, play with every element of life after they’ve figured out that particular part, and how it has to be done seriously. This is what makes them great. Their sense of fun, passion, and creativity - with everything.
So on the evening Dave Matthews played, I walked into Giants stadium alone. Ned had chosen wisely. Not because the music wasn’t important to him, but because it was. Because while anyone can sing to him for 30 minutes, Lindsay was, and is, the only one who can sing to his soul forever.
Ned chose love. And … he chose beer. Let’s face it, who can argue with that?
TOAST: To Lindsay and Ned, musicians in their own right.