About my valentine


From the general down to the specific…

Thinking back to my last post, there’s something a little unsavory, a little disappointing, about me talking about how appealing two famous actresses are. I mean, aside from the tackiness of playing to celebrity obsession. A bit of the dirty old man — even though Katharine Ross is a lot older than I am, and I emphasized the other-than-sexual appeal of her and Zooey Deschanel.

Just for the record, as appealing as they are, they’re not for me. The one in the picture above is the one for me (and that’s what “500 Days” was about — whether the female lead was “the one” for the protagonist).

This post is to say that, just for the record, and it’s also to show off the valentine I made for my wife over the weekend. I’m sort of proud of the way I put my PhotoShop skills, such as they are, to work. (I especially like the effect of almost, but not quite, dropping out the entire background.) She liked it too, which was of course the point.

Before it was a valentine it was a regular photograph, which like all photos captured a moment. This particular moment was as my wife and I were about to leave on our honeymoon on August 17, 1974. We had outfoxed her brothers and their shaving-cream plans by hiding the car we were leaving in over at the home of the maid of honor’s mother, who had whisked us away from the reception in her car. At this moment, we’re at our car, about to leave, and the friend is taking this picture.

I wrote of Ms. Ross and Ms. Deschanel bringing a certain je ne sais quoi to their movie roles. For me, this picture is one that captures that “I don’t know what” that makes my wife the one. Maybe you can see it; maybe you need the context of being me and knowing her to get it. Maybe you can’t get past the perfectly natural reaction of “What does she see in that scrawny geek?”

But what I see is the face that is THE face for me. It’s the face that, to this day, makes the pattern recognition faculty in my brain click and hum, to rev up to a higher level. When I see that face in a crowd — see her on aisle 4 after losing her in a supermarket, or spot her in a pew at church when I’m up front because I have to read, or in any situation like that in which my eye is scanning a lot of data and suddenly there she is — there’s an incomparable snap as the crucial puzzle piece fits perfectly into its place. Yes. There. That’s her. She’s the one you’re looking for. All with an assurance that no other moment of recognition can produce. Seeing my own face in a photograph doesn’t produce the same intensity of recognition. When I see her, it’s like, that’s why my brain has this faculty, so I can recognize her.

Which doesn’t really explain it. But at least I tried. Now, back to stuff that is far less important to me…

11 thoughts on “About my valentine

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    I believe Katharine Ross just had her 68th birthday.

    Why did you post a photo of Juanita and George Harrison?

  2. KP

    Aww. I was all poised to say something unflattering about this portrait of the writer as a young man (like O.M.G.), but that was such an amazing post that I changed my mind. What a nice description of what it’s like to have a person who is truly your place in the world.

  3. bud

    Maybe you can’t get past the perfectly natural reaction of “What does she see in that scrawny geek?”

    That was my first reaction. However, I did get past it and the rest of the post was a very good one for Valentine’s day. You are very lucky.

  4. Bart

    The photo of you and your lovely bride once again proves the old adage. Guys, as a general rule, always marry above their station and pay grade. From all indications, you moved up several grades. I can’t say too much. I did the same.

  5. Kathryn Fenner

    Or was it a blue-eyed Tony Orlando? Usually it is eyeglasses that date a photo…now I see why you dress so correctly and conservatively today….this from a woman whose wedding pictures sport a nasty perm….


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