Five Reasons I Love You

Washington, D.C., May 20, 2017

I sat on the steps of the Carnegie Institution for Science with a drink called "Bee's Knees" (alright, it was my second but it had been a really long day and they were so delicious).  I took off the sandals I'd bought three hours ago and stretched out my legs.  

The music thumped behind me as the hugely tall doors were open to the rotunda which was doubling as the dance floor.   Music, light, and laughter spilled out and down the steps onto P Street.  I watched as the wedding coordinator set dozens of flame-less candles on the steps leading down to the sidewalk.  A passer-by asked if a wedding was inside. I nodded.

Tanya and Jason had married the hour before. They had gathered up their closest friends and family, made a whole bunch groomsmen and bridesmaids, and rented a building smack in the heart of D.C. (a great big, glorious building with columns, marble floors, that marvelous rotunda, and a sweeping curved staircase). Of course, they did this all months- maybe years prior. He is an engineer and graduate of  Penn State. She is a statistician and graduate of the University of Pittsburgh.  We can assume they are very, very organized.  When I got married, on the other hand, we had not considered how to get from the ceremony to the reception, and we had to ask the best man for a ride.

Tanya chose bouquets of white and and barely blue hydrangeas, yellow crocuses, and yellow and white roses. The white roses had petals so big and velvety soft you had to touch them. The groomsmen wore yellow rose boutonnieres and green and white polka dot bow ties.  Rumor has it only one in seven could tie a bow tie- even with YouTube to guide them (between them I bet there were at least a dozen degrees-none of which were useful at the moment). But they managed and dressed in light gray suits, with the groom wearing dark blue, they were ready.

The bridesmaids wore short teal chiffon gowns and carried hydrangea bouquets with stems wrapped in white satin. The best man, the groom's twin, didn't lose the rings but may have stolen the box the rings came in.  It turns out the box is a perfect fit for his and his husband's ring.  He did however, give what I assume was a tongue in cheek toast urging Tanya to reach out to him in times of need as he "knew Jason best." I predict Tanya will decline the invitation as she seems to have a pretty good idea on how to handle her new husband.

The maid of honor told of meeting Jason for the first time.  Assured he loved dogs, she let her two one-hundred pound dogs out to greet Jason. As it turns out, Jason is a cat person and two hundred pounds of wagging tails was two hundred too many.  But she suspected Tanya saw a future with Jason and that future included meeting her friends- even the friends who owned dogs, and even if Tanya had to tell a little white lie to make it come together.

The Reverend Kiana Hebron officiated.  The traditional Here Comes The Bride was the bride's cue to begin her descent and Jason looked mighty glad to see her.  The bride wore a floor length, sleeveless dress of white English lace with a deep V back.  Personally, I think watching the groom watch the bride is one of the best parts of the whole wedding, don't you?

Warm and engaging, the Reverend set a tone both intimate and sweet, a feat considering the grandeur of the setting.  The vows were both traditional and modern, like the reception.  After she explained how the couple met (A bar crawl- no judgment, folks- they are young and living in D.C.  I'd be at a bar crawl too if I was 30), she surprised both the guests and the bride and groom by reading from an exercise she had given the couple.

The couple was asked to separately write down five reasons why they loved each other.  Among other things, the bride loved that Jason saw her as an equal and always, no matter the reason, if she was upset, he did his best to try to help.  Jason wrote (and wrote and wrote- if he'd been asked to write ten reasons, I am sure we all would have missed dinner). He wrote of her willingness to give of herself to others and her ability to confront new situations with confidence. The reasons were funny and sweet and clearly showed the love between them.

After the newly minted Mr. and Mrs. were announced for the first time as husband and wife, they disappeared.  I am not really sure where they went but I heard a lot of cheering coming from the Carnegie Library. That was when I had my first Bee's Knees.  I didn't have my glasses but a very nice young woman with either perfect vision or contacts read the ingredient list to me.  It was a winner.

The lemon raspberry cupcake was also a winner.

But I do wonder if maybe we should all think about five reasons.  Five reason why you love your spouse, your most difficult child, your dog.  Maybe five reasons why you're grateful to be alive.

While you are thinking about that, you might want to make a Bee's Knees.

Bee's Knees

  • 2 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin

  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice

  • 3/4 oz honey simple syrup 1:1

  • Garnish with a lemon twist

Add all ingredients to your shaker except for the garnish. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. Recipe courtesy of Post Prohibition Handcrafted Libations website. 

Best served someplace with beautiful view, great music, and surrounded by friends and family.  


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