It was the first night of our honeymoon. We arrived at our accommodation too late to order food in-house, so we ventured out into the night in search of a restaurant.
We didn’t have to look far – we found the one pub in the one-pub town and let ourselves into the cosy room. There were a few locals standing down one end of the bar, near the fireplace, and one woman serving them drinks.
They all stopped laughing and looked at us when we walked in. It felt like we’d walked into someone’s private dinner party by mistake.
They looked us over.
“Let me guess,” said one of the older men, “you’re staying at Eagle View?”
“Yep,” said my husband, “We’re on our honeymoon.”
He squeezed my hand and I beamed back at him.
“Remember what that looks like,” one of the swaying, middle-aged men said to my husband, gesturing at my smiling face. “You’ll never see it again.”
Isn’t it amazing, all the things a smile communicates when sent in the direction of our husbands?
I love you.
I appreciate you.
I’m glad you’re here.
I’m glad I’m here.
I’m excited to see you.
I’m thinking about you.
I’m happy when I’m around you.
I enjoy your company.
Those sobering words from the slightly drunk stranger on our honeymoon were easy to brush off as a couple of love-drunk newly-weds. But as time wears on, they take on a greater significance and importance.
Because sometimes it is hard to muster up a smile, when the days are long and real life weighs heavily on us. But all those messages I listed – the messages we can send with a smile? They’re still things I want to say to him.
So, eight years on and I’m still smiling up at him. Sometimes it’s an intentional show of love. Sometimes it’s a spontaneous burst of joy.
But I’m still here and I’m still smiling.