Photographers, I’ve noticed, generally get excited about a few certain things: good, available light, black and white street photography, the newest edition Canon or Nikon, photo walks, composition and f-stops, and the Supermoon. Yes, that’s right, the Supermoon. It’s much like Superman, Supermom, Super-sized fast-food value meals, or Rick James’ Super Freak. The Supermoon.
The Supermoon, the full moon at its brightest and biggest in the entire year because of its close proximity to the Earth on its elliptical orbit, got my friends in my photography circles all abuzz, talking it up as if the Pope himself were coming for a visit, or if the Jets had won Superbowl (or if they ever made the Superbowl, but that’s another, more elusive story).
There were lengthy discussions on how marvelous it would be. There were practice shots before the big event. Conversations ensued about camera lenses, shutter speeds, and the best vantage points in New York City to capture the magnificence of the much-anticipated Supermoon.
When the time came, my husband, Michael, was kind enough to humor me, as he usually does, bless his soul, in my search to witness and make pictures of the Supermoon. We secured babysitting for our three daughters and promptly headed from Staten Island into Manhattan.
At First Avenue and Sixth Street is a South Asian neighborhood known as Little India. The sky looked cloudy that night and we thought we’d give it time to clear up over some mulligatawny soup and shrimp vindaloo. We walked for a few blocks until we decided upon a gaudy Indian restaurant that seemed authentic enough to be good, but modern enough so that we wouldn’t be up all night, “remembering” our dinner.
Ahhh… no kids and the promise of the Supermoon in an hour’s time! I set my baby Canon on the table in our corner booth and devoured my dinner. Everything was savory, just-right spicy, and with good service, to boot. And cheap! There was even entertainment: a solitary, Indian musician, cross-legged on an elevated platform, chanting, singing, and strumming his sitar, so close to us that I almost offered him some nan. I ate the chicken tikka masala, jasmine rice, and aloo-palak by the spoonfuls, washed down with some Taj beers.
Satiated is what we were.
And then, we did something we hadn’t done in a long time: we laughed. We laughed hard. We laughed the type of laugh that is uncontrollable and borderline embarrassing to other patrons at adjacent tables. By the time we ate our mango and red bean ice cream, tears were streaming and the muscles in my face hurt from smiling too much.
That night, in search of the Supermoon, I was happy. Really and truly happy. Michael and I were on a date! It was reminiscent of the days before the stresses of running two dental practices, tenants, and our house renovations. Easy conversation and joking around with my husband reminded me of days gone by — before discussions of college funds, and where our eldest daughter would attend high school in a couple of years. Looking into his eyes those couple of hours was reminiscent of days before mortgages, quarterly estimated taxes, our parents’ health issues. It reminded me of our past, when we were younger… and happier.
Now, mind you, our marriage is in relatively good shape, considering we have attended a number of our friends’ second marriages, so don’t get the wrong idea and start making a list of divorce lawyers to recommend to us. However, if you have been married for more than seven years, I think you can totally relate. And if you can’t, then I think you are lying. Or are in denial.
In our case, in the few weeks leading up to Supermoon weekend, things had been very stressful. Work was busy, but the type of “busy” that was synonymous with stress. The kids’ soccer, swim, and softball schedules were a bear. Throw into the mix piano and tennis lessons, plus a social calendar, and what you’ve got is chaos soup. You know — the normal stuff that couples who have been married for almost 17 years feel. At times. And at times more often than others. It had been one of those times.
But the night of the Supermoon, we were unfettered. The kids were safe and were NOT with us. I rambled on about my photography and some interesting patients at the office. I went into excruciating detail about what I was wearing to our friends’ upcoming rehearsal dinner, our daughter’s tales of preteen angst, and did he like the color I had my nails done last week. It was all mundane stuff, but with one big difference: I had his undivided attention. It had been a long time.
We held hands. We paid the bill. Sauntering about the East Village, back to the car, we looked up. The sky was still as cloudy as could be. We had hoped that the heavy fog would lift, even for just a moment, so I could just capture a few images. No luck. All that hype for naught. No Supermoon. No pictures made to post on my Facebook tomorrow, or email my sisters and my closest photographer friends. No anything. None. Zippo. Nada. Kaput.
But what I did get in return that night, in the hunt for the elusive Supermoon, was an evening with my husband. And we had a “Super Time.” Lots of laughs and a belly full of great food in the most fabulous city in the world. I was reminded of why he was my best friend and why I decided to accept his offer to go on a date with him in August of 1990. And why, after 22 years and three beautiful children together, I not only loved him, but I realized I still really liked him.
And, for that, I was grateful. ♥