And that is all that love’s about
And we’ll recall when time runs out
That it only took a moment
To be loved
A whole life long“It Only Takes A Moment” from “Hello, Dolly!”
If you’re lucky enough to find them, there comes a moment when you meet the person who changes your stars. They create small ripples in your own narrative that slowly allow the empty pages of life to be written, as your two lives intertwine.
In one of our favorite musicals, “Hello, Dolly!” Cornelius Hackl and Irene Malloy are two characters whose love story is both a mixture of happenstance and meddling of a matchmaker. They have not felt that all the puzzle pieces of their lives are aligned, as the young man works tirelessly for a wealthy store owner and the young woman sells hats to the upper crust of Manhattan with little to show for it; that is, until they are thrown together and have that storybook love at first sight moment. Cornelius’ song is both vulnerable and idyllic—he recognizes that the accidental meeting would alter the course of his fate, and that leaving his comfort zone gave him the chance of a lifetime. Although this is not everyone’s typical trajectory when they go on their first date, I’d have to say that it was actually true for us.
Twenty years ago, on this night, a simple, unassuming date between two eighteen-year old college freshmen brought me the one who would later become my perfect match. If we’re being honest, I felt the change in my circumstances deep down in my core, and it was both terrifying and thrilling to feel a magnetic pull to this other soul.
Our narrative was simple and grew from friendship first, as I truly believe many successful pairings do. We orbited around one another as we experienced the ins and outs of college life and a shared love of the stage. He, the shy carpenter and technician—me, the boisterous actress, writer, and one-day, teacher. To the outside world, opposites in many ways. To us, a perfect amalgamation of two like minds when it came to what really matters.
We spent the better part of our early 20’s learning the idiosyncrasies of the other, then weighing them against our own, and I saw a parallel path forming. While we were both discovering our own passions, we navigated many firsts—triumphs, failures, losses of loved ones, jobs, and more—all with a recognition that we wanted to do things together.
I’m falling even more in love with you
Letting go of all I’ve held onto
I’m standing here until you make me move
I’m hanging by a moment here with you-Lifehouse-
When the day came for us to decide if “forever” would enter into our vocabulary, I looked across the landscape of seven years, and realized again that my story would be unfinished if he were not part of my whole narrative.
Our pages may now be filled with adult cares, parenting rollercoasters, and more responsibilities than we had at eighteen. Dates are few and far between, and can range from simplicity on the couch with our favorite tv series to some of our fancier hijinx watching plays downtown, but none of those would be possible if this particular day had gone unnoticed.
Two decades later, I’m even more grateful for that night when our stars aligned.
To my best friend—I’m still hanging by this moment here with you.