From a Wedding Writer’s Notebook, 10 Views on Love
When writing for the weddings pages of The New York Times — which I have done since 1992, at first on a weekly basis and now occasionally — the job is to walk into a room full of well-dressed strangers and collect the best descriptions you can find about love and marriage, mostly love. It isn’t easy. For one thing, people sense a stranger in their midst as acutely as a herd of gazelles might, and they tend to scatter, or stare from a distance in a menacing way.
Over the years, I have filled many spiral notebooks with quotations. On the subject of love, clichés are hard to avoid. I have heard, “They/we are like two pieces of a puzzle,” or “It was fate/bashert/kismet/meant to be” thousands of times, or that’s how it feels anyway. Occasionally, though, people say something original and sparkly about love, and as a reporter, I want to hug them. It’s like finding a diamond in the sand. As a sort of thank-you to all of those whom I have written about, and those whom I have written for, here are 10 of those jewels:
- “In a sense, the person we marry is a stranger about whom we have a magnificent hunch.”This is my all-time favorite quotation about marriage, spoken during a 1992 wedding in a small, unheated chapel in Cold Spring, N.Y., and sourced from the 1991 book “Weddings From the Heart” by Daphne Rose Kingma. In its own way, the quotation also explains a lot about divorce.
“从某种意义上讲，我们的结婚对象是个陌生人，我们对他/她有强烈的预感。”这是我一直以来最喜欢的关于婚姻的引语。1992年，我在纽约州科尔德斯普林市一个没有暖气的小教堂举办的一场婚礼上听到了这句话，它出自1991年达芙妮·罗丝·金马（Daphne Rose Kingma）的书《发自内心的婚礼》（Weddings From the Heart）。这段引语也以自己的方式对离婚做出了很多阐释。
- This remark, from a Vows column aboutthe 1995 wedding of Elizabeth Burbank and LaMott Britto, describes how it feels to finally find a partner: “I’ve always felt like a fish out of water, and when I met LaMott it was like he was the same fish.”
下面这句话来自一个关于结婚誓言的专栏。它提到了1995年伊丽莎白·伯班克（Elizabeth Burbank）和拉莫特·布里托（LaMott Britto）的婚礼，描述了最终找到人生伴侣的感觉：“我一直觉得自己像一条离开水的鱼，遇见拉莫特时，我感觉他也是这样一条鱼。”
- According to Stacy Cor, who became engaged to Dan Polner 10 days after they met on an airplane in 1993, examination should not be necessary to determine if love is real. “When you know you know, and don’t believe it any other way,” she said. “When someone asks you to marry them, you shouldn’t have to make a list of pros and cons. You just know. You jump into their arms and say, ‘Yeah!’”
据斯塔茜·科尔（Stacy Cor）说，你不需要通过研究来确定自己是否遇到了真爱。1993年，她在飞机上遇见丹·波尔纳（Dan Polner），10天后，他们订婚了。“你知道就是知道，不要再有其他想法，”她说。“有人向你求婚时，你不必列出利弊清单。你就是知道。你跳进他们怀里说：‘我愿意！’”
- For some, “knowing” is not so obvious. This is how Patricia Durkin knew Kenneth Wignall, whom she would marry in 1995, was right for her: “One night, a moth was flying around a light bulb and he caught it and let it out the window. I said: ‘That’s it. He’s the guy.’”This quotation also speaks to the fruitlessness of trying to impress someone with a certain look, attribute, political affiliation or apartment décor. The things that spark attention and interest are often mysteries, even to ourselves. So throw out the list.
而对有些人来说，“知道”并不那么明显。帕特丽夏·德金（Patricia Durkin）就是这样。她是这样知道肯尼思·威格纳尔（Kenneth Wignall）是她的真命天子的：“一天晚上，一只蛾子一直绕着灯泡飞，他抓住它，送它飞出窗口。当时我心想：‘就是他了。他就是那个人。’”1995年，她嫁给了威格纳尔。这个故事也说明，试图以某种外表、特点、政治立场或公寓装饰来打动别人是徒劳无功的。能引起注意和兴趣的事往往很神秘，甚至对我们自己来说也是如此。所以不要去列清单。
- When brides and grooms describe their first or second meetings, they often say they feel as if they have known each other forever, possibly even in former lives. “I feel like Sean and I have known each other since the beginning of time,” Meghan Milewski said of Sean Yeaton, whom she married in 2013. “I always tell him, ‘After we die, we have to find each other in our next life.’ I also tell him if I die before him, I really want him to fall in love again. But in our next lifetime, he has to find me, not her. That’s the deal.”
当新郎和新娘描述他们的第一次或第二次相遇时，他们常说，感觉好像一直都认识对方，甚至可能是上辈子就认识。“我觉得我和肖恩（Sean）好像从洪荒之初就认识彼此，”梅根·米莱夫斯基（Meghan Milewski）在提起肖恩·耶顿（Sean Yeaton）时说。他们于2013年结婚。“我总是对他说，‘我们死后，必须在来生找到彼此。’我还对他说，如果我比他先死，我真的希望他再次恋爱。但是在来生，他必须找到我，而不是她。这是我们的约定。”
- Sometimes, you only learn what love is by breaking up. Before Eames Yates and Pamela Taylor were married in 2006 in Snowmass, Colo., they separated for a period of time that was especially excruciating for Mr. Yates. It was also illuminating: “I now know what love is,” he said. “It’s when someone becomes part of every breath, in what way I do not know. But I couldn’t breathe without her.”
有时，只有在分手后，你才知道爱情是什么。埃姆斯·耶茨（Eames Yates）和帕梅拉·泰勒（Pamela Taylor）2006年在科罗拉多州斯诺马斯镇结婚之前，曾经分开过一段时间，那让耶茨感到极度痛苦。不过那也让他醒悟了：“现在我知道爱是什么了，”他说，“爱就是某个人成了你呼吸的一部分，具体怎么回事我不知道。但是没有她，我无法呼吸。”
- Billboards and big diamonds are not necessary for proposals to be romantic. This is how Gabriela Power Porto described the marriage proposal Peter Castaldi put forth, more than two decades ago, one of the sweetest I ever heard: “When he gave me the ring, he said: ‘It’s not a big stone you can’t carry around. This ring won’t put you in danger on the subways.’ He said, ‘This is a solid ring, like my promises.’”
广告牌和大钻石不是浪漫求婚的必备条件。这是加布丽埃拉·鲍尔·波尔托（Gabriela Power Porto）对20多年前彼得·卡斯塔尔迪（Peter Castaldi）求婚情景的描述。那是我听过的最甜蜜的求婚故事之一：“他给我戒指时说：‘这个戒指不大，不至于让你无法戴着它四处行走，也不会让你在地铁上遇到危险。’他说，‘但它很结实，和我的承诺一样。’”
- How should you feel on your wedding day? There are no rules, but this is how Ryan Baker described the day of his 1995 wedding to Brett Savage: “It was like a dream. It was surreal. In life, you don’t have to search for bad things — they find you without a problem. Disasters always seem to know your address, even if you move. But the good times, they’re hard to find, and this one was one of those truly spectacular times.”
婚礼当天应该是什么感受？这没什么规定，不过瑞安·贝克（Ryan Baker）是这样描述1995年他与布蕾特·萨维奇（Brett Savage）结婚那天的情景的：“它就像一个梦。它是超现实的。在生活中，你不必去寻找坏事——它毫不费力就能找到你。灾难似乎总是知道你的地址，就算搬家也躲不开。但美好的时光很难寻找，这是真正美好的时光之一。”
- Of all the homemade vows I’ve heard, one spoken by Melissa Richard during her 1996 wedding to Frank J. Oteri sums up the reason we continue to marry, against the odds: “Of my own accord, I present myself, my days, my nights and my life. I present them freely and willingly because they cannot be better spent than in your company.” More than a few couples I’ve interviewed have described love as a good conversation that lasts.
在我听过的所有自己写的誓言中，梅莉莎·理查（Melissa Richard）在1996年的婚礼上对弗兰克·J·奥特里（Frank J. Oteri）说出的誓言总结了我们克服困难继续选择结婚的原因：“我自愿奉上我自己，奉上我的白天和黑夜，奉上我的生活。我自由、自愿地奉上它们，因为只有在你的陪伴下，它们才更美好。”我采访的夫妻中有不少人把爱情描述为一场能持续下去的良好对话。
- However, nothing lasts forever （unless you believe in reincarnation）. The Rev. William G. Kalaidjian, who was known as Reverend Bill and died in 2015, was the officiant at one of the first weddings I covered, in 1992. He lived in a house full of noisy clocks. “I like to hear the tick, tick, tick of clocks,” he said. “I always tell the couples I marry, ‘Take time before time takes you.’”
然而，没有什么能永存（除非你相信轮回转世）。2015年去世的威廉·G·卡莱吉安牧师（William G. Kalaidjian）——人们爱称他为比尔牧师——主持了1992年我最初报道的几场婚礼中的一场。他住在一个装满嘈杂钟表的房子里。“我喜欢倾听钟表滴答滴答的声音，”他说，“我总是对我主持婚礼的夫妻说，‘在时光把你们带走之前，好好享受它。’”