I went to a nice wedding last week, as something slightly more than an invited guest. The groom is from Singapore, and he speaks no Thai. There were a lot of traditional, ceremonial things before the wedding, and I was stationed at his elbow to explain what people were asking him and feed him lines in Thai, sometimes just be the lawyer and speak for him. It was a lot of fun. None of it was rocket science, so I could handle it okay. I know something about Thai people, and I've learned to keep things light and just have fun.
I was told on the way that I was to give a little speech at some point, ten minutes or so, please make it a little bit funny. Okay, I can do that. I made some notes and ran through it a few times, but in the event the opportunity never came up. Here's the gist of what I was going to say:
"(Greetings and thanks, etc.) I've been asked to say a few words, and I guess I do know a little bit about marriage. From the husband's point of view, of course.
My standard advice to young husbands is to practice in the mirror, look in the mirror and make a nice, relaxed smile and say, "yes, dear," over and over again until it becomes second nature, "yes, dear." I say this because the husband's most important job is making his wife happy. If the wife is happy, the husband is happy.
I think this works in both directions, and it's really a selfish act. You make your spouse happy as a good way to make yourself happy.
Love is a simple thing, but it's never easy. The hard part is learning enough about your spouse to find out how to make them happy. Men are not famous for understanding women, and I'm not sure that women are any better at understanding men. But it's important to try. Find out what your spouse likes, find out what they need. And then do your best to do those things, to make sure that your spouse gets the things that they like and need.
I said it's hard, maybe it's very hard. I saw a book one time, "Everything That Men Know About Women." When you opened the book, all of the pages were blank. So you both have your work cut out for you, and I wish you the best of luck and success."
The bride is a fellow prof at the law faculty of my university, and I've known her for years. She's a very nice young woman, she has a great temperament and she is a lovely woman in every way. It was quite a relief to meet the groom. These Thai weddings are a lot of work for the bride and groom, and he took the whole experience very good naturedly and with great patience. I like them both, and actually I think they have a good shot. I think they'll be fine. Good luck!