Friday, October 03, 2008

A beautiful couple

I often reflect on the gap between the real and the ideal in marriages I observe. It it is particularly evident in older couples I see shopping or traveling together. At best these couples seem bored with each other or indifferent to one another. At worst they seem openly hostile. They are ugly couples. There is no joy in their relationship. How did this happen? I wonder what they looked like on the day when those who are “coupled” seem most beautiful to each other - and to others - on their wedding day.

Sitting next to me on my Doha - Washington flight is a couple, in their mid eighties I would guess, who are just as beautiful now as they must have seemed on their wedding day. Both the man and woman seem frail but resilient. That they care for each other is evident in the careful attention they give to each other. They seem to radiate civility, grace and good humor. They seem to take joy in each other’s company and in living. What a pleasure it has been, on this fourteen hour-trip, to observe them and be in their presence.

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