When you're my age, it's probable that you've witnessed a marriage ceremony or two, both as a guest or a bridesmaid. I was recently a bridesmaid in TWO weddings this past spring. It's been a very active wedding season for me. I will say though, these two weddings were probably my last to attend as a bridesmaid. I'm pretty sure most of my friends are married. My sister is still left, but no doubt she will elope. I found myself super emotional actually. I mean, I was married before I could legally drink. Fast forward almost a decade later, I have learned how much I've grown as a designer and person. I wondered what our wedding would have been like if we had met later in life and married closer to thirty rather than barely twenty.
I digress. When it comes to attending a wedding, I think men and women have different perspectives. When I open up that pretty wedding stationery, I'm instantly giddy. I mean, who doesn't love a reason to dress up, a heartfelt ceremony, followed by a dance floor? ...well, not that part. I can't dance. Men. When my husband learns one of his weekends is booked up, he grumbles at the thought of putting on decent clothes and a pair of matching socks. I can physically feel his eyes roll as he lets out the most dramatic, award winning sigh.
Inevitably though, as the wedding day comes and the excitement fills the air, you can't help but feel the love. A few years ago, Michael and I stood by two of our best friends as they tied the knot. As we stood up at the alter, him next to the groom and me next to the bride, we made eye contact. Like any true female, I was probably hoping for a wink or smile with a rush of emotion swept across his face as he looked in to my eyes thinking "this was us, I love you so much." Maybe even a teary eyed gleam. Nope. He did send an expression my way, but it was a goofy, crossed eyed silly face. No tears, that's for sure. Except the ones I was holding back with laughter.
Men and women may look at weddings with a complete opposite perspective. At least my husband and I do, but emotions are unavoidable. Despite his silliness, Michael and I have never attended a wedding were our own emotions were not heightened with joy and nostalgia as we realize how much we've accomplished as a couple and how much we have grown in love, from two teenagers to newlyweds to parents.
Look your loved one in the eyes, smile (or make a silly face). I mean, if you could shed a tear or two, that would be great too. More importantly though, that look must be shed far more often than across the crowd at your next wedding.
That look, in its most sensible form, is paramount whether its across a dance floor or across the kitchen table.
A few weeks ago, Michael and I sat down for dinner and we felt like we were on the outside looking in (with a possible reality show on our hands). The dog had sped through the front door covered in mud and took a slight curve to make sure she could use the couch for a sling shot of momentum out the back door. The kids were two steps behind her, the girl had no clothes on, except for some fairy wings, the boy right next to her, fleeing out the back door. Michael and I just gave each other this widen eyed glare like "what in the world" as we noticed the scattered trucks and baby dolls around the house. We both immediately smiled as we silently gave each other the "this is our life" look ...and we savored that moment.
Those looks will change throughout the years. Marriage is a series of tidal waves, coming and going with ease and hardships. It's a balancing act of faith and patience, of grace and grit. Before you know it, you're hand in hand with your husband, wondering how 7+ years got here so quick; wondering how in the world people make it to 30 and 50 years. I can hear Michael saying "oh Lord, 50 years" right now. Trust me, if we've put up with each other's antics this long, we're in it for the long haul.
I pray simply that I will always give and get the look ...be it a teary eyed gleam or a goofy laugh induced face.