On the morning of this day a few years ago, I was nervously waiting in a closet. I hadn’t slept well the night before, partially from nerves and partially from the fact that my brothers and I had gone out to catch a late showing of whatever Mummy movie was playing at the time. (If that doesn’t seem like the obvious thing to do, I pity you a little bit.)
I kept fidgeting uncomfortably in my pinstripe suit, a bit embarrassed to be wearing a suit at all–I felt a bit like an ogre trying to pass for a king–and hoping that the pinstripes didn’t show because I was supposed to be wearing all black. That last concern kept bouncing through my head because I was one of the people who had to be at the front. That’s where grooms stand.
Also, I wasn’t kidding about the closet. Brides may have photographers buzzing around; they may arrive in a limousine flanked by a throng of excited supporters; they may be the only people at the wedding who aren’t dressed to blend into the audience. Grooms, contrariwise, have no associated glamour. They might as well have pulled me out of a burlap sack, in which I sat with a bunch of other identical grooms. I’m not complaining actually; I might have bolted had my job been more complicated.
Then I saw my bride, and I couldn’t help but smile. Everything vanished but the joy.
She would probably want me to describe her as a princess, but I think that misses the point. She looked like a goofy, clumsy, regular woman who had suddenly discovered that she got to be a princess. She was beaming as though she was so excited to let me know about this wonderful game she’d discovered. I can’t even do justice to how adorable she was.
My wife has the most enthusiastic and sincere smile of anyone I’ve ever met. As a rule she’s not subtle with any of her emotions, but when she smiles I can see that smiling is what she was designed to do. It resonates with her entire body and personality. Imagine a musician fumbling around on an instrument, when he or she finally finds the right note, the whole instrument resonates a bit and the song makes sense. Her smile is like that.
As she entered the church and turned up the aisle, that’s what I saw. I couldn’t help but smiling back. (For the record, I’m not sure why I would want to try to keep myself from smiling.) I was nervous until that moment, but then all that mattered was how happy she was to see me, and how happy I was to see her.
We smiled and giggled through the entire ceremony. I don’t think we stopped smiling all day. People still come up to us, years later, and remark about how amazing our wedding was, because we seemed so sincerely happy. That’s because of my wife. I was happy too, but only because of her.
For that, and for each year since, I’m thankful. I’m thankful for her. I thought I’d share.
Happy Anniversary, Honey!