I went to a movie today, a hip indie film for a screening that was poorly attended. I sat in the back of a nearly empty theater. Shortly before the previews an elderly couple in their 80’s walked in. I am guessing about the 80’s part. They were old enough to where the simple act of going to the movies was something that seemed to take full effort and coordination for them. The wife walked in with a ginger purpose compared to her husband who pushed and slid his walker slowly down the sticky theater aisle behind her. She pointed the row out after she had already made sure was free and clear of obstacles. It felt like a rehearsed gymnastics routine; he handed his walker to his wife before bracing himself with the tops of the seats as he lowered himself into the chair with bent elbows. She folded the walker and placed it in the row behind them. This part felt effortless especially after seeing the old man struggle so much just to get into his seat. As she rounded the aisle corner behind him, I saw it… a gesture so small, most people wouldn’t notice. She placed her fingers in the hair on the back of his head and gently rubbed before taking her seat with a short step. About an hour into the movie, I saw the husband lean over and kiss his wife on the temple. It was the only graceful movement I saw from him that night. It wasn’t during a romantic part or the climax. Nothing significant was happening on screen to inspire this. He chose an indiscriminate, non important moment in the movie to lean over and kiss his wife’s forehead. It was almost as if he was just thanking her for being there.
And at that moment, I realized that is the kind of love I want. The kind of love that let’s you know it’s there, not just during the big moments in your life, but also during the infinite moments in between that no one seems to notice. The rub of a head and a kiss on a temple in darkness on an idle Sunday night. Not the kind of love you see in the movies, but the kind of love that drives you to the movies with your significant other even though both of you are well into the dawn of your lives. The kind of love that gives you hope that growing old won’t be as depressing or lonesome as anticipated. A love that no one notices except for the random guy who just happened to be sitting behind you in a theater.