Monday, July 19, 2010

My White Knight

Let me preface this blog with a warning: Schmoop Alert! Schlock Alert! Soppiness Alert! Treacle Alert! Gross, Slobbery Romanticism Alert! Okay, you’ve been warned. Read on at your own personal risk of drowning in gooey sentiment.

Yesterday, I went to see a production of Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” put on by the Reagle Music Theater in Waltham, MA. Over the past few years, I’ve seen a dozen productions at this theater and I’ve performed in a number of them myself. But Music Man has a special place in my heart because it’s the first show I ever saw here. And when I saw it, I had no idea that within a few short years I’d be married to the show’s photographer, I’d be the aunt of the adorable pair of child dancers, and I’d be friends with both leads and the majority of the cast. So of course, I listened to every line and every lyric with a certain sentimentality.

But the song that really touched my heart was Marian’s song, “My White Knight”. Her mother is accusing her of setting her sights too high for any man to attain, and she sings this lovely number explaining to her mother what exactly she’s looking for:

Being in love used to be my fav'rite dream. Oh, yes.
I've been in love more than anybody else has, I guess.
My first love heroic'ly ran the streetcar. I tingled at ev'ry clang clang.
Next I fell for the principal
But, oh that teacher who sang "In the Gloamin'."
Knee-deep in love--what a lovely dream! And yet, somehow,
Me deep in love's only half of what I'm longing for now.
I still love my being in love with someone,
But tell me, why couldn't there be somebody being in love with me?
All I want is a plain man. All I want is a modest man.
A quiet man, a gentle man, a straightforward and honest man
To sit with me in a cottage somewhere in the state of Iowa...
And I would like him to be more interested in me than he's in himself
And more interested in us than in me...
And if occasionally he'd ponder
What makes Shakespeare and Beethoven great,
Him I could love 'til I die. Him I could love 'til I die!

As I listened to those lyrics, it struck me that not only were those words an excellent description of what I had always wanted in a husband, but that they were a description of exactly what I'd gotten. My white knight IS plain, modest, gentle, straightforward, and honest. He IS happy to sit with me, if not exactly in a cottage in Iowa, certainly in a Colonial in Massachusetts. There’s no doubt that he is more concerned with me than with himself, and I know he is more concerned with us than with me. We’ve been known to have conversations now and then about Shakespeare and Beethoven (and Mozart and Rodgers and Hammerstein and Sondheim) and what makes them great.

But the best part of the parallel is the last line – not only COULD I love him ‘til I die, I WILL love him ‘til I die. Yes, I will indeed!!


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