Here’s what I remember about my husband when I first met him: I remember the way he looked at people when they spoke to him And that way was simply this: He looked at them.
Have you ever talked to an actor at a party or at an audition or in a market or on a street corner or in his living room or any dang place where the actor thinks there might, just might be someone who can give him a job? His handsome mug may be pointed in your direction; his eyes, however, will be scanning the room. (I’m sure I did that, too. I apologize to everyone I spoke to during my acting years.)
So, when I walked into the first rehearsal for Of Mice and Men, I saw Tim, surrounded by people, and what I noticed was that he listened to them. He cared about what they were saying—even if it wasn’t about acting. Each person deserved his attention. He seemed oblivious to his own appeal or whether he was upping his own status in the room. He spoke humbly and with authenticity.
That’s the word that went through my mind as I watched him. (Note to our daughters: Consider putting that quality at the top of your list of traits to look for in a potential husband. Thirty years after “Wow, he’s cute!” has worn thin, “Wow, he has integrity” will still pack quite a wallop.)
I liked him. I really, really, really liked him. He gave great pre-show hugs. He liked animals. And when my character was choked to death on stage and my skirt somehow inevitably wound up over my hips night after night, he was the only cast member who would find a way to push the skirt back into place, so I didn’t have to lie on stage with my tush on display for the next twenty minutes (I was dead, after all; I couldn’t do it.) So thank you, cute and considerate actor. Will you marry me?
He did. But later. A lot later. Twelve years later.
The fact is, DH and I make decisions about as fast as sap can drip up a tree. During a frost. After we married it took us another five years to decide to become parents. Ironically, we flip-flopped our positions: I was ready to have kids, and he wasn’t so sure.
Before kids, though, we got Carolyn. More on that next week as she returns to blog about how she and I met. I think she’s returning to blog. She’s currently in Cabo, getting relaxed, tan and blonder. I’m insane with envy. Hopefully she will come home and resume her responsibilities as a blog partner on Tuesday. Until then—
–Wendy…not in Cabo, not so relaxed, white as a 1000-watt daylight bulb, and in desperate need of some highlights.