I Believe In Love
The groom, our friend, is the kind of guy who is in love with being in love. He's a HUGE fan of the grand romantic gesture, the Hallmark moment, the cavity inducing sweetness that is twooooooooo wuuuvvvvv.
Sadly, he has not been lucky in love. His romantic past is so checkered that friends and co-workers took to calling him "Ross".
But I think he got it right this time. His bride is a lovely young lady and they are very well suited to one another. They both have the same buoyant, sunny personality and positive outlook on life. They are both fun loving, kind and generous.
But more importantly, they share a love of the absurd, the riduculous and the silly.
That will take them far. Because there have been many times in our fifteen year marriage, that if we hadn't been able to laugh, we would have cried. Being able to laugh with someone is a true gift. Being able to laugh with someone when things look hopeless and bleak is absolutely priceless.
The wedding was held outdoors, overlooking a sparkling blue bay. The weather was perfection, the ceremony simple, but elegant.
I really didn't expect to get all choked up, but I did. The moment the bride appeared in the doorway that opened onto the flagstone veranda, I felt a tightness in my throat and a tremble in my chin.
Because, true love...sigh...
Starting a life together...sniffle...
Pledging your life to your best friend....sob....
At a wedding, who doesn't think about the day they said their own vows? Who doesn't remember how pure and true and uncomplicated it was in the beginning? Who can watch a bride and groom and not be wistful for that time when everything was so full of promise and the possibilities for the life ahead were endless?
My wedding? Sucked.
But my marriage, all things considered, has been pretty great. Certainly we've had our ups and downs. But I've never, ever doubted the depth of his love or the strength of his commitment to me.
And we laugh. We laugh a lot.
You know how people say..."I love her/him more than I did the day we said 'I do'"?
I understand that now. It's different, no doubt. It's a quieter love, but deeper, stronger, and more solid. Then, it was all dazzle and heat. Now, it's comfort and warmth.
Oh we still burn...but it's a slow burn, one that smokes and smolders and needs a little more stoking before it ignites. But when it does, it is just as hot.
Fifteen years. How is that possible? In some ways, it seems like it was just yesterday.
A lot of people ask us how we do it. There are a lot of reasons our marriage works, and I could expound on all that. But much of our success I attribute to plain old dumb luck. I made some choices and I was selective in some ways. But marriage, at it's most basic level, is still a gamble. It just happened to pay off for us.
I honestly can't imagine being with anybody else. I can't imagine being out there at 40, trying to date. Who else would look upon my stretchmarks with fondness? Who else would look past the baby belly and the dimpled thighs? How would I ever compete with all those taut young twenty somethings walking around? It really makes me feel quite ill to think about it. I think I might die of anxiety if I had to get naked in front of a strange man.
But it's more than that. He's really and truly my best friend. I don't know that people get that lucky twice. I think I would feel as if I was tempting fate to even try. And I don't know how anybody else could ever measure up. How could I keep myself from mentally comparing every move, every thought, every gesture?
Well, I am a creature of habit, and I suppose that's just one more manifestation of that. I don't like things to change. I like comfortable. I like dependable. I like solid, safe, and secure.
Thank God he does too.
So, watching these two say their vows, I found myself hoping they would experience as much joy in each other as Husband and I do. We're not the perfect couple. But we're happy. And I think we will be together another 15 years, and maybe even 15 more.
No matter how old and wrinkled and toothless we become, he will always be the man to whom I said "I do", fifteen years ago.