I have a plaque in my bathroom that says, “Dance like there’s no one watching. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Sing like there’s nobody listening. Live like it’s heaven on earth. They are great sentiments but harder to do. I had good role models. My dad was one of them. He just did what felt right, and fun, and didn’t care about being shy or embarrassed. My Grandma was another. She would do the silliest things and then crack up at herself for doing them.
I was chatting with one of Harry’s cousins and she said to me, “You bring out life in my cousin. He’s a different man with you.” It was a great compliment that I tried to defer because I didn’t want to take credit for the incredible change I’ve seen in Harry the past two years. So I said, “He was just holding back before.” But, maybe I AM that person for Harry who makes it safe to live life with abandon. I know he is that person for me. He’s the one I have the most fun with.
I’m lucky that my best friend is my husband. It doesn’t work out that way for many people. Husbands usually are the closest person a wife has but many wives save their fun moments for when they are with their girlfriends and vise versa. Harry is my true best friend. And if we had never fallen in love, he would still be the one who I wanted to hang out and have fun with.
Whether we are in Pottery Barn or in front of friends during the halftime show of the Super Bowl, Harry and I often break out in spontaneous dance. Why? Because, it is fun! And just the other day, alone in the house, he came out of his office and the song once again inspired a dance. He asked, “How many people get to slow dance on their lunch break?” We don’t do it because there is an audience…we just don’t care if there is.
I have video of him getting jiggy on the subway in New York and in the park in Washington D.C. I joked that I want a video of him dancing in every city we visit.
But neither one of us were always like this. We bring it out in each other.
He used to tell me, “You can’t tell people I like The Bee Gee’s. I’d never hear the end of it.” There were lots of rules like that he had for himself. He never smiled in pictures either, he always wanted to look scary and tough. And he warned me that there would not be any picture taking going on…ever. Yeah right, I thought. I’m a photographer…good luck with that one buddy. He kept people an arm distance away as a form of protection. Until me.
And before I met him I was ready to be done with people. I ran, got really skinny, never ate, and vowed never to let my heart love ever again. I know now I was desperately trying to control the world around me for fear that I’d get hurt again if I let go. His friendship opened my heart back up to love like I’d never been hurt before.
In a very real and tangible way, the friendship that we share saved us both from being closed off. There is something miraculous about people in their mid-forties being able to live life with the expectation that joy will come if you just give up your hang ups, lets someone in, and look for the good.
On our last trip while in Pennsylvania, one of the hotels we stayed in had just been renovated and our room had one of those oversized jetted bathtubs. We spent about an hour in it sipping on wine and singing to…you guessed it…The Bee Gees and other great artists we both love. There are definitely perks to being married to my best friend. You wouldn’t catch me doing that with anyone else! After our bath, we started taking selfies with my camera. After about the fifth shot I put my phone down and he said, “No, don’t stop I want more pictures.” I couldn’t believe my ears.
We were singing, and dancing, and laughing, and enjoying the night having the time of our lives. Just him and me. We didn’t need anything else.
On the same trip while in D.C., we were up for something to eat so we did a search on Yelp drove to the wrong location, walked a block, went back to the car, found the right location and had a disappointing burger. That experience could have put us in a bad mood, or made us grumpy with each other. But what it ended up doing is it brought us to the magic of THAT night.
We found ourselves, by accident, in a great eclectic neighborhood of D.C. at the foot of Howard University called the U Street Corridor. Every shape and size and color was there showing off their vintage or hipster fashion. There was lots of music, friendly crowds eating chili dogs, people passing out flyers to legalize marijuana, and every eatery touted bottomless mimosas. It was a riot. I’ve never seen anyplace like it. It was like Venice Beach meets New Orleans. On a whim we dove into Ben’s Chili Bowl and got us a hot dog and absorbed the scene. We go with the flow and don’t say no, and fun things happen to us every time!
We can be in a crowd or alone. It just doesn’t matter.
Somehow each of us are able to Dance like there’s no one watching. Love like we’ve never been hurt. Sing like there’s no one listening. And then last night we were sitting on the couch watching our favorite show Mad Men on television. He had his feet up and I was rubbing his leg on my lap and he said, “I don’t know…heaven might have a problem because this is really hard to beat.”
So it looks like we’ve got, Live like it’s heaven on earth, down too. We might still be in what people call the honeymoon phase. But somehow I think that after two years, and now practically spending all our time together working, playing, eating, and sleeping…this is going to last. And last a very long time.
He’s working at his office today and we were chatting about what we wanted to do for fun tonight. It’s been a long morning already for both us. He with his computers and me with arguing with my son. This was our chat:
Livvy: I’m so proud of you, who you are, and that you love me…if it weren’t for you in my life I don’t know where I’d be. Sometimes I think you saved me too
Harry: Just be my friend first and always. We can do anything.