One might think, that since I am such a fan of romance, that I would be one of those girls. You know, who started fantasizing about her wedding at the age of five, doodling dresses and playing bride by putting white towels on her head.
Not even a little bit. Weddings are not romantic.
I have read, with interest, many wedding websites — those of friends, former classmates, even strangers. What I have found absent from every last one is romance. Everything is formulaic. “Surprises” are unsurprising, the words are hackneyed, the methods are tired, and everyone always says yes. Every story sounds the same. I’ve said it before — I have more romantic stories with my friends than anything I have ever read on a wedding website. For example, this proposal is at once boring and trying-too-hard. How is that possible?
I have a story with B which is far more romantic, and we aren’t even — were never even – terribly close. I was pleasantly intoxicated at a music and story night given by my housing co-op, and someone dragged me up to the piano and sat me down, saying “Play. I know you can. I’ve seen you.” Silence and expectation filled the room, so I began to play the only thing I had memorized — the adagio cantabile from Beethoven’s Sonata Pathetique.
Almost exactly one year later, I was hurrying to class when the sky released a torrential downpour on me. I would’ve been drenched within a minute, but suddenly there was someone holding an umbrella over my head. It was B. I barely recognized him, but he remembered me:
“You played the 2nd movement of the Sonata Pathetique at Wilde House’s music and story night. I remember you, I remember being stunned at the depth of feeling in your performance. I have always wanted to talk to you. I’ve seen you around the house, but I’ve been too shy. Hello. I’m B.”
Perfection. He turned out to be one of the most interesting people I have ever known. We never dated*, but about once a semester, we would share a bottle of wine and talk through the night. Because he knows everything about everything but somehow made me feel even more brilliant than that.
And there you have it. He rescued me from the rain, and I had made such and impression on him that he couldn’t forget what I had played that night. Far more romantic than rose petals (red and white), a ring in two boxes (to cleverly disguise the size), and a venue recycled from a New Year’s party where love was first declared.
* He was convinced I could never love him…