The movies hadn't started yet; the twilight sky was still bright. So as Kris and Andy Kapplin prepared to renew their marriage vows outside the concession stand at Bengies Drive-In last Saturday, a crowd of starry-eyed moviegoers gathered to watch. A few of them had been invited, but most were strangers, entranced by the sight of Kris, in a plum and lavender Renaissance-style dress, and Andy, wearing a cream-colored pirate shirt, standing before a white-robed minister in the parking lot.
The onlookers surrounded the couple as the ceremony began. The minister spoke of love and friendship, of hope and healing. She did not say that Kris and Andy's first 10 years of marriage had been difficult; that they had fallen in love, then deep in debt; or that Andy is a truck driver who is away from home most nights. She didn't say that the Kapplins and their 7-year-old son Ian come to the drive-in every Saturday, a cherished escape from stress and obligation, or that two and a half years ago, when the couple made a plan to repay their debt, the last payment was to have been due on their 10th wedding anniversary, a Saturday night in September.
She didn't mention that they paid the debt off two months early.
Kris and Andy held hands, stared deep into each other's eyes and, 10 years after it started, pledged to begin their marriage anew. Behind them, couples stood arm in arm and children angled for better views. Someone handed out little vials of soap bubbles, and when the service ended, strangers blew bubbles at the smiling couple. The people holding purple and white balloons let them go, and everyone craned their necks to watch them float away, 10 years of troubles disappearing into the darkening sky.
The movies hadn't started. But on this night at the drive-in, there would be no better love story.