Yesterday Kate and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary. Twenty-three years ago this dark-haired babe and this slender (well, as slender as it ever got, given those genes) dude stood before God and man and woman and toddlers and promised to love, honor, and serve one another. Twenty-three years later this silver-haired babe and this balding fat guy worshiped in a church where some of those toddlers are now all grown up, and raising toddlers of their own. It's a different church, with a few more churches in between, and with a lot of joy and sorrow woven throughout. I married Kate for many reasons (the dark-haired babe factor being somewhat prominent), but mainly because she was my best friend. She still is. I hate the term "soul mate." It conjures up images of New Agers and newspaper ads for singles. But I love her beauty and her compassion and her wisdom. She's not the same person she was 23 years ago. Neither am I. But I like to think, and I'm fairly certain that it's true, that if I'm a better person, it's mostly because of her. I tried for a while to get married, went through a succession of girlfriends, and one broken engagement. And I married the right person. I like to think, and I'm fairly certain that it's true, that if that's the case, it's because of God, who knew me better than I knew myself.
We went to see The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe after church. I enjoyed it, although not as much as I'd hoped. I know this story very well, and the movie was actually very faithful to C.S. Lewis' book. Certainly it was better than any of the other film adaptations of the story I've seen (there was a particularly painful PBS version from about ten years ago). But I found myself making comparisons to The Lord of the Rings trilogy throughout, and TLOTR was superior in every way. Battle scenes with no blood? Please. Perhaps because it's a story intended for small children, but I found the story itself to be antiseptic and shallow and about as a subtle as a sledgehammer. The Aslan/Christ parallels are blindingly obvious. And they are in the book as well, of course. In any event, I found myself longing for deeper, more complex characters. But that would have meant a different story, I suppose. I read The Chronicles of Narnia for the first time as an adult, and I had the same complaint. Perhaps I just came to this story too late in life.
Afterwards we headed to Lindey's in German Village. It was snowing. The luminaries were lit. There was a brass band playing Christmas carols on a street corner, and a street vendor roasting chestnuts out in front of the restaurant. It was all quaintly Victorian in the best faux-Dickens sense. God bless us every one. The meal was fabulous, and included Beef Carpaccio -- raw beef with shaved Parmesan cheese and Portobello mushrooms. Mmmm. The carnivore in me still wasn't sated, however, so I went for the New York Strip Steak, while Kate opted for scallops. All in all, it was a great day. And it's a wonderful life. Really. In spite of my depression, it really is.