Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Celebrating 15 Years of "The Look"

So, my mom does this thing when she goes to weddings. She says she has a way to tell if a marriage is going to work or not by seeing if the newlywed couple has "The Look." The ceremony is unimportant -- yes, it's nice and all the right readings are done, and the words are said, "Love is patient, blah, blah, blah..." That's not what's critical. The first kiss is nice, and you can tell a lot about the couple by the kind of kiss it is -- prim and properly chaste or open-mouthed and kinda skanky-hungry for church -- but that's not what foretells the future. No, the moment of truth, according to my mother (who has been married for 46 years, by the way) is at the reception. She waits until the bride and groom have their first dance, and then she watches.

During that first dance, my mother watches to see where the bride's eyes land when the music starts. She watches to see where the groom looks. If the rest of the room disappears when they look into each others' eyes during that first dance, they have it. They have "The Look." The Look that says that no matter what comes next, it all comes down to the two of them. Nothing else and nobody else matters. Nothing else in the world exists -- there is nothing in the world at that moment besides the two of them, locked in step with each other at the beginning of their lives together.

My husband has never been comfortable dancing, and while I spent many a night in clubs dancing to 80s music, we never really danced together when we were dating. It just wasn't something we did; it wasn't our thing. We had more fun at the ballpark, at the movies, at the hockey rink, or just hanging out with friends. But, on our wedding day, after the ceremony, first kiss, and pronouncement of us as husband and wife, after the sweltering open-air convertible drive across town (complete with horns honking and people cheering and waving to us on the streets of Arlington), after the mariachis finished playing, we did dance. And we gazed at each other during that dance, and the entire universe melted away. When the song was over, I looked at my mother, and she had tears in her eyes. I didn't even have to ask. I could tell by her reaction, that, yes, we had The Look.

In the 15 years since that first dance, we've had our share of ups and downs. Sometimes it seems that there are more downs than ups. Sometimes, things are going swimmingly and then we get knocked down with a harsh reality. Most days, though, we just mosey along and have a pretty normal, pretty satisfying life. But throughout it all, up, down or happily in the middle, we've always known that at the end of the day, we have each other. We have the life we've built, with each other and for each other, and that is all that matters. We have our home and our family, and he has me and I have him.

And sometimes, not often, but sometimes, we dance together.

Happy Anniversary to my husband of 15 years. You are my love, my life, my soul and my heart.

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