Carolyn suggested we tell you all the story of how we met (standing in line for lasagna at a publishing party in Florida), how we discovered we had a lot in common (high anxiety…we are oodles of fun on a plane together), and how, after that first meeting on the opposite side of the country from where we both lived, our lives as writers and mothers began to intertwine in the most wonderful of ways.
I liked reminiscing about it all. Then she said, “Begin with your marriage. That’s how motherhood started.” Yeah, that’s a little harder, because now I have to be honest, and, well…eew.
Being honest about my husband is easy; he’s one of the most transparent people I’ve ever known. But we met when I was twenty-three, and I cannot say that transparency was one of my salient qualities back then.
I grew up hiding—or trying to hide–big chunks of myself. I was a people pleaser, a classic human chameleon. I stumbled into the real me, turning holes in my character into a whole human bit by fumbling bit. And for nearly thirty years now, my beautiful, honest-until-it-hurts husband has ridden shotgun.
When we met, I knew what I wanted in a boyfriend—a sense of humor, intelligence, a creative spark, strength and mystery. (I have no idea what I meant by mystery, and note to my daughters: That is a really asinine trait to look for in a life partner.) He and I had crossed paths a couple of times. We were both acting in theatre and had been cast in the same plays twice, but either I took the role offered while he turned his down, or vice versa. And then we both auditioned for Of Mice And Men.
He remembers watching me at the audition as I was playing with a little girl in the lobby of the theatre. In that moment, he knew I’d make a great mom someday. Ooookay, here’s where the icky, eewie truth comes in. That little girl was the director’s daughter. I was playing with her because I thought it would score me some points if I was nice to his kid. I DIDN’T WANT KIDS. Well…someday. About ten or twelve years from that night. Maybe fifteen years. Possibly twenty. It took a lot of time, a lot of tears and a very, very cool plot twist that involved Carolyn to get to the point where we squished that adorable baby in the photo between us.
To be continued on Thursday, because I promised Carolyn I wouldn’t get diarrhea of the keyboard.