About a year ago, I was hanging out with my friend Tomoko in her campus apartment after work. A young man with an unrequited crush on her had also stopped by, and in order to ignore him she asked me about my love life. Specifically, what about this girl I'd mentioned the last time we'd talked? How was that going?
Great! I said. She's very sweet, very cute. You know, she's got the kind of smile, when she's really happy, that the whole room just lights up.
Aw, said Tomoko. And I was a little surprised, to be honest, because I hadn't meant it in a sappy or a metaphorical way. I really thought that everything got a little brighter for that grin. For a minute or so I considered buying a light meter so I could prove it. See! I would say. 15 lumens, easy! I don't need electricity to read at night, I'll just tell her a really funny joke, because my girlfriend is that cute. And of course, she still is.
Happy Valentine's Day, Belle. Thanks for being the light of my life.