This morning, as I was about to get out of bed, thinking that Scout had to be let out, Don teasingly said to me, “You just want to get to your blog. Why don’t you ever write about me? About what a good guy I am…” I retorted that he’s been the subject matter of many blog posts, more than enough, thank you very much.
I mean, really!
But here’s the truth: he is everything to me. He is simply the best man I’ve ever known.
Here’s a recipe for you. Take a woman who has avoided any sort of commitment, who is happily single and sure she will remain so, but has recently gone through a change and is thinking that she might want to break her previous patterns of behavior and let someone in her life. Add a man who has unexpectedly been offered a job at a theater and finds himself back in his hometown of San Diego. He’s been married before and he doesn’t know if he’ll ever find what he’s looking for in a relationship, but he’s ready to try.
Two bruised and damaged people (aren’t we all?) meet. They are wildly attracted to each other but they both have issues. And one of the first major conversations they have is about wanting to change those patterns I spoke of earlier. They are honest with each other from the start. No bull. No games. Just honest.
At every point where she would normally find an excuse to flee, he says something that knocks her for a loop. He is performing in a play that also features her students. She doesn’t want her students to know she’s seeing him, she wants that to remain private and she worries about it. These are all worries going on in her head, she has yet to bring the subject up to this man. She doesn’t have to. He brings it up. He says he wants her to know that he would never infringe on her relationship with her students, that he will never talk to them about her until she is ready. How did he know that?
He seems to anticipate her needs. He almost seems to know what she’s thinking, deep within the most neurotic and frightened part of her. He continually surprises her.
The woman is still wary. As an adult child of an alcoholic, commitment is hard for her, almost impossible. At the end of that summer, the guy has to leave town to do another play in Arizona. She is secretly relieved because she can get back to her normal life, her predictable and seemingly safe life. They say goodbye.
About 5 days later, he calls her from a pay phone on the road (no cell phones then) and she is surprised by how much she has missed talking to him. Of all things, she misses him. She tells him so.
Her teaching and coaching commitments continue. But a strange thing happens. Every Monday night, which is the traditional actor’s day off, he calls her. And they talk for hours. They talk about everything. A curious thing happens as the result of these phone calls. They get to know each other more deeply. The physical attraction which has always been there is now being matched by a deepening ‘knowing.’ Being physically separated forces them to get to know each other without any other distractions. No Skype then. Just a voice over the landline. Just words and inflections and thoughts and sharing.
She finds herself doing the very thing she thought she wouldn’t do. She visits him in Arizona for a weekend. And then, she finds herself looking forward to his return to San Diego that November.
She has changed. So has he.
On her birthday in November, he tells her he loves her. She is moved and a little panicked. She can’t quite bring herself to say those words yet.
Within a month, she says them out loud. To him.
And eventually, this woman finds herself wanting to marry him, hoping he’ll ask her. She can’t imagine life without him.
Who would have thought?
There you go, Don. This post is about you, my love.