Happiness: Taking Tourist Photos of My Own Romance.

Photo of a heart drawn on a foggy window

On Saturday, I took the train up to New Haven for my college reunion. I went to Yale both for college and law school, so returning there is always a very intense experience. Mostly pleasant.

Even though I spent most of the day in undergrad nostalgia mode, I also took an hour to walk through the law school. (I also considered visiting the sole copy of J. M. Barrie’s The Boy Castaways of Black Lake Island, at its home in the Beinecke Library, but I ran out of time.)

A few weeks ago, I posted one of my all-time favorite posts: about how seeing the movie Twilight had reminded me of the time when my husband and I were falling in love, and had inspired me to do a better job with some of my resolutions.

Many of my resolutions are aimed at helping me keep happy memories vivid (e.g., Be a treasure house of happy memories) and also at helping me stay tender and romantic. As a way to keep both sets of resolutions, I decided to take photos of some of the most important sites in our falling-in-love story:
We met because our carrels were back-to-back in the law library. This is the carrel I used.
Here’s the staircase where we ran into each other that time.
This is the Anchor Bar. A big group went there one night, and on the way out, he casually asked if I wanted to have breakfast at the Copper Kitchen diner the next morning, before our Corporations class. I didn’t sleep all night.
Here’s the Copper Kitchen.
Here’s the picnic table where he was sitting with a bunch of people when I came down from my dorm room to announce that I’d broken up with my boyfriend.
Here’s the bench where we held hands for the first time.
I’m so glad I took these pictures. Everything changes, and one day the Copper Kitchen and the picnic bench and even that marble staircase will be gone, but now I have my record.

I’m reminded of a postcard I kept above my desk during college, of a work by Duane Michals: This photograph is my proof. The photograph shows a couple sitting cozily on a bed, and underneath is written, “This photograph is my proof. There was that afternoon when things were still good between us, and she embraced me. And we were so happy. It did happen. She did love me. Look, see for yourself!”

Ah, I have my photograph and my proof.

* The always interesting Marci Alboher sent me the link to a great post, Can Cooking Make You Happier? at My Kitchen Nutrition. It reminds me that everyone’s happiness project is different. Cooking isn’t a source of happiness for me, but it is for a lot of other people.

* Interested in starting your own happiness project? If you’d like to take a look at my personal Resolutions Chart, for inspiration, just email me at grubin, then the “at” sign, then gretchenrubin dot com. (Sorry about writing it in that roundabout way; I’m trying to thwart spammers.) Just write “Resolutions Chart” in the subject line.



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