Thursday, April 26, 2012

Holding Hands

Sitting in a piano bar aboard my cruise ship (yeah, it’s my cruise ship, you got a problem with that?) I spent many an evening listening to gorgeous old love songs.  Frank Sinatra, Henry Mancini, My Fair Lady and a thousand other romantic tunes from an older era before romance became “It’s getting’ hot in here, so take off all your clothes.”  I spent a lot of hours in that piano bar. (And can you blame me?  The music was amazing and the pianist was freaking hot.  Just sayin'.)

On occasion I would be lured away by the insanely badass blues band or the raucous fun of the dueling piano bar, but it’s hard to walk away from a man crooning my all time favorite Edith Piaf song so yeah, I was addicted to Shakers Martini Bar and the stylings of Mr. Carlo Nuschi.  And I wasn’t the only addict. 

Every night, the bar was packed, mostly with couples more in my grandparents’ generation than my own.  And as Moonlight Serenade filled the bar, the octogenarian lovers would reach over the high arms of the comfy chairs and touch – a brush of a hand on the shoulder, a little shared smile which was more a tipping of the head than anything, or my absolute favorite: the hand hold.  

We don’t know their history.  What came before or what will come after.  We don’t know if they’ve been together for five minutes of fifty years.  All we know is that in that sweet, perfect, stretching romantic moment, he’s holding her hand and they are in love.  An entire lifetime in that moment.  With the kind of love reinforced by years, tempered by time until it is steel.  My grandparents held hands like that.

I found myself wondering one night, between Misty and As Time Goes By, if loving that music makes you more likely to avoid the divorce statistics and become an eighty-five-year-old hand-holder. If there's a cause and effect involved.  Like they say those who like romance novels tend to have (studies have shown) good relationships (and sex lives).  It’s like buying into the romance makes it happen.   

I say life is what we make of it.  So let’s make it romantic.  Let’s make it steel love and a hand to hold.

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