Sunday, May 8, 2016

Richly Meaningful

Saturday evening, I officiated Anna and Aaron’s wedding ceremony at the Dallas Zoo, in Dallas, Texas. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

Our modern world allows us to indulge in the fantasy, that we control our circumstances. In fact, we constantly look for apps in the technological realm and life-hacks beyond that realm, to help us FEEL like we are in control. We even pine for an imagined yesteryear, when we think people had more control over their lives, though the evidence usually belies this thought. 

Anna and Aaron's love story teaches us to embrace the lack of control, inherent in human life, rather than allowing it to cause us discomfort. This is little ironic, since causing discomfort was one of Aaron’s chief objectives in high school... In classes he and Anna shared, he expended a considerable amount of his energy on trying to make her and others laugh. Listen to Anna: "He was an insufferable flirt and made me pretty embarrassed, but seemed funny and nice enough when he didn’t realize I was nearby... I remember our Spanish teacher often struggling not to laugh at something he said during class, because it was slightly inappropriate and she was trying not to show that she was amused. I noticed that class was a lot less interesting on days when he wasn’t there."

Now, if you don't know Anna and Aaron, you would think, ah, high school sweethearts. But no, even though Anna admits she had a little bit of a crush during high school, and Aaron was clearly interested in Anna, their lives took them on their separate, very meaningful and quite different journeys. They had only sporadic contact in the decade after high school. There wasn't an "app for that”; there were no life-hacks. Aaron emphasizes that, on one occasion, Anna even failed the door test, a cinematic love-life-hack from "A Bronx Tale". (If you don't know what I am talking about, find me during the reception and I will show you the YouTube clip...)

They were each open to their personal journeys, because they embraced their not perfectly orderly, but richly meaningful endeavors. And this very spirit of adventure, coupled with deep thoughtfulness, allowed them to reconnect years later, and rekindle a spark that was there all along. It also allows them, two people who have known each other for almost 20 years, to keep their relationship serious and fun at the same time (though admittedly, this involves a substantial amount of eye-rolling for Anna...)

This is why Anna says, "Some people just get under your skin (in a good way). Aaron makes me laugh and keeps life interesting. We have different interests (he loves death metal; I don’t), but also enjoy doing things together and are on the same page about the big stuff..." And it is why Aaron says, "There’s no friend I’d rather spend all my time with than Anna."

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