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Romance

Love

By Candlelight

Jackie Kennedy lighting candles in a very glam gown

Jackie Kennedy lighting candles in a very glam gown

When I traveled back home to Massachusetts this summer, my mom revealed to me that my grandparents ate dinner by candlelight every night of their marriage. In fact, she said she didn’t think there was a single night in her entire childhood or adulthood where her mother forgot to light candles at the dinner table. This got me wondering whether the ritual of striking matches and sharing glances through flickering flames was one of the secrets to my grandparents’ successful marriage.

These things always sound trivial on the surface, but I think tradition really does count for something. I’m not saying taper candles are a substitute for strong communication, but I do think that holding true to simple rituals or romantic gestures just may have the power to act as an anchor, keeping our relationships steady whenever we face choppy seas. And, isn’t that one of the greatest goals of being in a relationship for the long haul — to be each other ‘s constant in this crazy, modern world? What do you think? Do you have any romantic rituals, like lighting candles or scheduling weekly date nights? I’d love to hear your take! Leave a comment.

Image via Pinterest.

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Inspiring Tidbits, Love

My Hero

Glimpse of the MTV Movie Awards set snapped backstage during a rehearsal (all those sleek, curving strips of light are my husband’s latest design)

Perhaps to some it seems as though I gush about how much I love my husband far too often, but from where I sit it feels like I don’t do it nearly enough. This week in particular is one in which I feel overwhelmed by a need to somehow show him just how much he means to me. I feebly attempted to do this the other night as we watched the MTV Movie Awards (a show that also happened to be debuting his latest lighting invention all over its stage), but anything that came out of my mouth fell short. The lights were blindingly beautiful and sleek after all, much like him – he makes every task (no matter how daunting) appear seamless and under control – and I now realize this is probably what I should have said to him amidst the distracting light show. He has undertaken so much over the past few months that it almost seems absurd when I write it all down: he’s designed a bunch of crazy lighting projects for MTV and countless concert tours (so, yeah, there’s that); he’s coordinated a massive home renovation (ripping up floors, staying up into the wee hours cutting counter tops and installing appliances, and completely redoing the drainage system in our yard); and he’s even managed to get our Austin house ready to sell (it goes on the market in mid June). I know it kills him that he can’t do even more, so I only wish he could see how amazing all the things are that he does and how deeply he enriches my life…

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Movies and TV

Better Than Bromance

A still from “Supporting Characters” (2012), shot by Richard P. Ulivella

I spent the weekend attending screenings at the United Film Festival in Los Angeles, and although I expected these past few days to feel like just another long string of artsy flicks and forced conversations I ended up being really impressed by the lineup and even seeing one movie that downright inspired me. This inspiring film is called “Supporting Characters,” and it’s a lovelorn comedy about two movie editors who are grappling to make sense of their own dating lives while working to finish a seemingly straightforward romance flick. The film’s two stars (Alex Karpovsky and Tarik Lowe) have a rare brand of chemistry with each other, and their discussions of love, sex, and friendship keep the audience laughing out loud at a fast clip. Not only does the charismatic acting and flawlessly paced editing of the film make it thoroughly entertaining, but the movie possesses a quality that I haven’t seen in a comedy (romantic, bromantic, or otherwise) in quite a few years: it has major heart…This is all to say, there is something so genuine about the characters’ quests for love and their missteps in the name of lust that makes the film oh-so refreshing, human, and real.

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Love

Sparkle or Settle

Repurposed sign letters spelling out ROMANCE by Jack Pierson

It’s hard to talk about dating and love these days without devoting quite a bit of time to the topic of settling. Our youngish generation of X/Y/Z-ers was practically reared on daily spoon feedings of “don’t settle” tales from our parents and the media after all, and yet I see a surprising number of people settle every day in tragic ways and witness even more people refuse to settle in ways that they probably should. “What’s this blaspheme?” I hear that heckler in the peanut gallery shout, “You think it’s ever remotely okay to settle in matters of the heart?” My simple answer: yes, there’s a time and a place where settling is actually a good thing. I know I will catch a lot of flack for writing this no matter what, but let me try to explain…

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Love

Three Zero

My love and me captured by the lens of Clayton Austin

Just three years ago today (on October 30, 2008), my husband and I had our first date on the patio of a sleepy cantina in Austin, Texas. We talked about Soderbergh movies, had a Diet-Coke-drinking contest, and I decided then and there that I wanted to know this handsome guy forever. By some crazy stroke of good fortune, he made the very same decision about me on that creaky wood patio, and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world because I get to know him a little bit more every day for the rest of our lives. It won’t always be as easy to know each other as it is now, and I would be lying if I said this didn’t scare the shit out of me. But, a wise person once told me no dream is worth having unless it scares you a little. I guess this scariness (of the mysterious future, the hard work, and the backaches it will likely take to support one another in the years when our batting averages aren’t so stellar) is really just a small price to pay in order to live out the dream of knowing my dearest friend for all eternity.

Psst: The above photo is part of a love story that was shot by the infinitely talented Clayton Austin back in May of 2011. Would you like to see more snippets from this photographic love story? Leave a comment.

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Love

Sleeping Together

Ah, the romantic notion of hearts that sleep in tandem

The act of sleeping beside our beloveds is almost always more romantic in our minds than in reality. This is because what begins so elegantly with heads resting on chests, heartbeats echoing in ears, and arms draping over stomachs, so often ends with wriggle-kicking, sweaty limbs, blanket stealing, and someone getting punched in the eye or stabbed in the derriere with a toenail. My ideas of what it would be like to share a bed with my husband after our move to California were similarly over-romanticized not only in that I had the faulty impression that blanket hogging would not exist in the golden state that introduced the world to California king mattresses, but in that I made the crazy assumption that my love and I would actually go to bed and wake up beside one another at the same time. You see, we’d spent much of our relationship commuting long distances for work and cherishing the few nights out of every week that we were able to fall asleep in the same state (let alone beneath the same covers), so I couldn’t imagine any scenario in which we’d take a single night at home together for granted. This is to say, I kinda didn’t think about the fact that my hubby is perpetually flying out the door at the crack of dawn so he can take European conference calls and I’m almost religiously staying up until 4 a.m. writing.

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Love

Workaholics In Love

Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller at home – two artistic workaholics who eventually stopped working at their relationship

In case you haven’t noticed, I am a workaholic and my husband is too. One of the giddiest sensations I can ever recall is actually when I realized this on our first date a little less than three years ago. I immediately saw visions of sprawling on the sofa working together with laptops and sketch pads, our feet entwined – I saw us waking up beside each other in the middle of the night and unabashedly turning on reading lamps so we could scribble down ideas, and I even foresaw him knowing just how to walk through the house without making any noise whenever my office door was shut. Okay, maybe that giddy feeling came more from meeting the love of my life than from seeing these visions, but I still think our work habits play a big role in why my sweet and I are so perfect for each other. This is to say: we both share a commitment to creating and bringing new things into the world, and the ways in which our goals/ever-expanding passion projects are compatible helps us to both support and have a greater understanding of each other…

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Love

My Kind of Timeless

That day we got married on a cliff by the sea. Photo credit: Clayton Austin

When you look forward to one specific day your whole life, it’s an understatement to say you build up a residue of misconceptions. When this day involves a wedding, the misconceptions only multiply. There were the gauzy delusions I clung to as a child of Cinderella dresses, candlelight, and peony garlands; the teenage fantasies of eloping barefoot in jeans; and then there were even the adult ideals I clung to up until my wedding day. Although my sweet and I ended up meticulously planning a seaside ceremony somewhere in between a princess fête and a bohemian elopement in which almost every detail met our expectations, there was one thing I simply couldn’t foresee: the fact that I would actually be living out that mythical day. This is to say: I not only thought my wedding would loom on the horizon indefinitely, but I also thought that whenever the day did arrive I would magically become someone else.

Brides are elegant ladies who do not curse, make sarcastic remarks, or communicate via goofy facial expressions after all, so I anticipated that when it finally came time to say my vows I would be more like this elegant, timeless creature and less like me. A sense of timelessness did envelop the day, but sarcastic statements certainly flowed freely from my lips and I’m surprised even now as I find myself about to tell you the story of this silly gal marrying the love of her life on a cliff…

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Love

Roadmaps and Bridges

My sis helping me down the path to our “first look.” Photo credit: Clayton Austin

The road to a wedding holds so many unique moments that are all at once unexpected and predictable (thanks to the nature of traditions). Since my love and I were planning such a tiny wedding, however, we were very diligent about making sure our nuptials felt steeped in enough traditions to balance out the gads of unexpected events ahead of us. Perhaps the most noteworthy tradition we adhered to was that of my groom not seeing my dress before the big day (er, big moment on the big day). This was a little logistically challenging thanks to our recent move and downsized living quarters, but the thrill of secrecy and the build up to the time when my beau would finally see me in my wedding dress made me beyond giddy. I carefully layered multiple garment bags over my dress the moment it arrived from the designer, and I constantly draped additional blankets over these bags to ensure my sweet couldn’t catch even the faintest outline of my dress even in the starkest lights…

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