Once a year, having waited to the very end of December, my wife and I dress up. Some people wait a lifetime to start living, but fortunately for us, New Year’s Eve intervenes every year. With mortality staring us right in the face, we get around to that date we should have had months ago. Rexene looks absolutely stunning in a cocktail dress. (How many times does a pastor’s wife get to wear a cocktail dress?)
Others on the dance floor share in the sense of occasion. Even the most casual folks are wearing their best pair of jeans. If dress is a signifier, as the academics say, what it signifies on New Year’s Eve is that people of every class want to look classy.
Why should the surfaces matter? Why should my wife, who has seen me bleary and unshaven, care how I look tonight? But she does light up, and I am grateful—for these borrowed hours and to see her smile.