Last night at about 9pm I realised I was out of milk. This is not uncommon for me, given that a) we get through litres of milk a day, and b) I have twenty billion things in my head at any one time and would forget my nose if it wasn't directly attached to my face.
I sighed heavily and trudged out of the house to the shops. I was extremely tired and a little cranky, as a) it had been a long day, b) two out of three kids were still awake, and c) I had tons to do before bed. All I wanted to do was get to the corner store, get my milk, and get home.
I pulled up outside the store and saw that the light was off. The owner's son, M, was closing up. My heart sank. In desperation, I called out "M! Stop! Can I please just have some milk?"
"Sure thing, mate," he said cheerily, and ducked into the store to fetch the milk. "Pay me next time."
M is a big, bald Greek boy who loves a beer and the footy. And, as he approached the car, I noticed that he was glowing like a pregnant angel.
"I got married yesterday!" he cried, pushing his face into my window, his face nearly split in half with the most magnificent smile I'd ever seen.
"OH MY GOD!" I screamed. "I didn't realise it was yesterday! Congratulations!"
"It was the best night ever," he told me, beaming. He was ecstatically happy, literally shining with joy. I couldn't help but smile with him.
"Is E around?" I asked. E is M's new wife. She is a big, beautiful Jewish girl, who I thought to be M's sister for years because they look so similar.
"She's over there!" M said, pointing down the road. He called her over and E bounded up to my car. She, too, radiated happiness. M wrapped his arms around her and kissed her affectionately on the cheek. Their love was so infectious I felt high. I wished I had been at their wedding.
"M sobbed the whole way through the ceremony," E told me, rolling her eyes. It made me laugh.
M and E have been together for ten years. TEN. They seem as madly in love as they did in those very first years. Now, as a writer, I spend a lot of time thinking and writing about the challenges of relationships, and M and E do not negate those. I am sure they have had their rough times, too. But they did remind me, just for a few moments, of the pure joy of true love. It is there and it is heart-soaringly magnificent, and it can be found in a suburban store in Sydney.
And I am grateful for having a glimpse into it last night. M and E, if you read this, congratulations again.
And THANK YOU.