My escort for the evening is my incomparable husband, who does not yet know that he will soon be whirling me around the dance floor, the two of us as light on our feet as whispers. Speaking of whispers, I will murmur to him of how very much I love him after all these years, almost a quarter century, and though we like to joke that the proverbial bloom is long off the rose, life with him truly sparkles, like his eyes when a wry bit of humor lies in their depths, waiting to spring from his lips and lighten the mood. Oh yes, he knows how to lighten my mood.
That's my favorite photo of him from the year we got married. He still doesn't quite grasp how swoon-worthy he is, but I don't mind. And doesn't he look all dapper in his dark suit and the cufflinks my father gave him, as we walk into Willow's sumptuously decorated manor. There are yellow roses everywhere and candlelight dancing on the walls and oh, the desserts! Oh Willow, you've outdone yourself!
As we enter, we notice Barack and Michelle on the other side of the room sharing a swoon-worthy moment of their own. We always wonder, my husband and I, what the President might be whispering to his wife when the mischief is in his eyes. We think it may well be something quite witty and quite naughty, and it delights us to think that the leader of the free world has a rather delightfully loving and witty and naughty marriage, because well, he needs those moments of escape and affirmation, what with everything coming at him all the time.
And look! Over there. It's Gerald Butler, looking much as he did when he played the lead in Phantom of the Opera and that lovely gem of a movie, Dear Frankie. Now my husband is teasing me, because he knows that I have a schoolgirl crush on Gerard Butler. I noticed him long before he crossed over into blockbusterdom with the testosterone-infused Spartan epic 300. He's looking so debonair this evening, his black tie already undone, those Scottish eyes both laughing and smoldering. Ah yes, I feel about 16 years old as I feast my eyes.
But where are my manners! Willow, we brought you some flowers to help make the place festive, though we can see you took care of that brilliantly. Still, here they are, our small offering. Perhaps you'll put them in an artful vase in some far off corner of the house where you can enjoy them tomorrow after we've all danced till the wee hours, and our good cheer is settling into the morning-after air, evoking pleasant memories of yet another smashingly successful Willow Manor Ball.
You are so imaginative and expansive of spirit, dear Willow. As we take our leave, please know that we've had a most delightful evening in your company and we hope to see you here again next year!