After viewing the sweet viral video of the twentysomething, soon-to-be-married couple Tavis and Kristie—who are professionally age-progressed with special hair and makeup effects to appear in their fifties, seventies and nineties—I wish every committed couple could do this fun exercise. Before marriage, and certainly long after you’ve said your vows, too.
Why? Because glimpsing a future version of yourself—and your spouse—might serve as a reminder of how quickly time sails by, and how important it is to appreciate the here and now.
One minute, you’re planning your wedding. The next, giving birth and learning how to adjust the straps of a BabyBjörn. Then suddenly everything becomes a time-lapsed blur: Preschool merges into the elementary years, and a moment later, your kid’s got a high school diploma and is leaving home for college. In the blink of an eye, you’re an empty-nester—and then a grandparent yourself. Such is the stuff of life.
Tavis and Kristie were clearly affected by the experience of truly imagining “’til death do us part.” Even hardcore cynics find their emotional response touching. (What’s that in my eye? Nothing—it’s allergies. Sniff.) I don’t think these two young people were acting when they fought back tears after seeing one another as they’ll one day appear in midlife, during retirement and as grey-haired elders sharing their final moments together.
Tavis is impressed with how well his fiancée holds up into middle age. Kristie? Not so much. At least with her own countenance.
Kristie: Yep. I’m gonna look just like my mother one day.
Tavis: OK, I see I need to start using sunscreen.
Kristie: We’ll have a couple of teenagers … oh, that’ll be rough.
Tavis: We’ll be on the PTA! Oh, God, that sounds so weird!
Kristie is visibly moved by their joint transformation, even though she laughs at the wigs. The reality of the lifelong commitment she’s just a month shy of making to her beloved seems to resonate more deeply with her now. Tavis, too, is getting misty-eyed.
Tavis: [genuinely pleased] I’m pretty happy with the way that she looks!
Kristie: I look like my grandma!
Tavis: I do not age well …
Kristie: I hope I’m taking better care of your hair at this age!
Tavis: I can’t help but think of the potential of the last 50 years … to see her look like this, to think where we have gone … and what would have happened in between.
Kristie: We’ll have kids and grandkids and so many stories …
Tavis: And we’ll be forgetting things … so many things …
Kristie: We’ll have to take care of each other … It’s a really affecting thing to see someone you’ve known since you were 19 in their 70s and imagine what life would be like then.
Now the waterworks really start. The couple is staring down their mortality, as well as the journey they’re about to embark on together.
Kristie: Ohhh! [openly emotional as she looks at Tavis, then herself, in the mirror]
Tavis: You look fantastic. Not a day over 75!
Kristie: Really? You do! [laughs, then starts crying]
Tavis: When I smile, I look like a very jolly old man. When I don’t, I look like a stern asshole!
[Voice off-camera asks if they’ll still have sex]
Kristie: Nah … I’ll be tired.
Tavis: I’ll still try!
When asked to share their (future) final words to one another, the young-old couple gaze into each other’s eyes, and the sentiment flows.
Kristie: I guess I’d just want him to know how much I’ve loved him, and how important he’s been to me.
Tavis: You’ve made me a better person. There are so many things I couldn’t be without you, and would never be without you.
Kristie: There’s a strange comfort in seeing you this way … I couldn’t be more sure that this is what I want. [They laugh together and kiss.]
Here’s to you, Tavis and Kristie, on your pending nuptials, from all the diehard romantics out there!