When the DJ called for those who had been married for less than fifteen years to leave, David and I finally had to depart. We just celebrated our eleventh wedding anniversary last month. It is hard to believe that we have been together for so long (we dated for nearly four years before the big day), but at the same time I almost can’t remember life before the two of us were together.
All of our friends are really big into celebrating anniversaries. What did you do? They ask. Where did you go? What did you exchange for gifts? Nothing… Nowhere… We didn’t. Those clearly aren’t the answers they’re looking for, but those are the answers that they get. I suppose that isn’t completely true. Last year we went to lunch at Duke’s in Malibu with the kids and my mom. Romantic, I know. But when you think about it, it is no less romantic than going out to dinner just because you got married on that same day several years ago or getting an obligatory trinket just because you feel, well, obligated. To me, romance comes from the little surprises in life. Like when David shows up on a random Tuesday with flowers because while he was at the grocery store buying the milk I asked him to pick up for dinner, he saw them and thought of me. Romance is when we find a way to sneak off to the movies and we order Red Vines and a Wild Cherry Pepsi like when we were in college. It is splitting the last cupcake and insisting that your sweetie take the last bite. Romance doesn’t come from the gesture itself, it comes from the feeling behind the gesture. When you try to be romantic for the sake of romance, it feels forced and almost futile. Have you ever noticed that it is the people that have to constantly remind you how in love they are often have the shortest relationships?
This year we did do something on our anniversary. We went to the movies with my brother and my cousin. And not just any movie. I want you to imagine the most romantic movie you can think of. Can you see it? It’s light, it’s flirty. Now picture the exact opposite. We went to see The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. From the same director that brought us Fight Club and Se7en, this film is Dark (very dark), it is depressing, it has a gruesome rape scene… I’m very rarely tempted to walk out of the movie theatre (I studied film in college… very little upsets me), but I almost did on this one. Romantic this was not. The theatre we saw it in, however, was very romantic. Maybe romantic is the wrong word. I guess you could say it was, for lack of a better word…. completely awesome. We went to one of those theatres that have VIP seating, and let me tell you, I felt very VIP. Our chairs were not theatre chairs, but “loveseats” and we were served wine along with our Red Vines. That’s right, wine. Good wine. I highly recommend dinking a glass (preferably two) of wine before watching this movie, by the way. I’m not sure I could have gotten through it otherwise. It is very dark and eerie but it is also thrilling. The most romantic thing about the movie was when David could tell that a scene was bothering me and he would take my hand or move a little closer.
I discovered a few things watching this movie: 1, cinematically and dramatically, this is an excellent film. It is beautifully shot and masterfully acted (props to Rooney Mara. That girl can seriously act!). It definitely lives up to the hype. That being said, it is not a movie that I would watch over and over. 2, when going on a date, VIP seating is the way to go. Seeing a movie at the theatre never felt quite so magical… or comfortable.