Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Same Time Next Year

Five years ago, I performed in the Reagle Players’ annual production of “It’s ChristmasTime” for the first time. I was newly in love with the man who would soon become my husband, and that new love was imprinted on every scene that we did together. And every year since, re-staging those same numbers brings back the thrill and excitement of falling in love, truly in love, for the very first time.

I’ve often said that because we were older when we got married (I was 39; he was 45), we cherish our relationship more than some. People who marry young and who have been in the same relationship for basically all of their adult lives must find it so easy to take that relationship for granted. And as the often-exhausted parent of two small children, I can see that it is also easy to let the husband-wife relationship fall to the bottom of the priority list once you’re busy playing mom and dad all the time. So I am thankful that I have this event every single year that brings back to my mind everything that made me fall in love with my husband.

This show is really the perfect venue to sum up our relationship. Since it’s a similar production from year to year, it’s put together very quickly with a minimal rehearsal schedule. Which is great for the veterans, but it means that the newbies get a LOT of stuff thrown at them in a very short time. Those of you who know me personally know that I don’t do well with last-minute information, and any of you who have ever performed in a show with me know that I totally stress out about last-minute changes to blocking and choreography. So to get music one month before the show, learn choreography a week before the show, and see a costume plot two days before the show was incredibly stressful for me. Not to mention not knowing the order of the show until dress rehearsal. Most men would have been ready to wring my neck with my constant questions and anxiety, but my sweetheart was patient and understanding, and constantly reassured me that I would be just fine – and, more importantly, assured me that he would be by my side to make sure nothing went wrong. During that first production, I learned that I could trust and rely on him. And he learned that I was willing to step out of my comfort zone to make him happy. Interestingly enough, we now have several scenes where I arrive on stage first and look around for him, then he comes from behind and takes my hand or puts his arm around me. That, too, is a good symbol of our relationship: I was right where I was supposed be, but I was alone and looking for someone, and as soon as he appeared I felt happier and had more of a purpose.

So every year, as we once again step on that stage, my heart goes back to the place where it was all those years ago seeing my husband through the eyes of love, fresh and unspoiled. It’s good for me, and it’s good for US, to be able to remember so clearly what our love was like before it was clouded with the cares of children and money and jobs and reality. And so every year, I look forward to that magic reset button. What do you say, sweetheart? Same time next year?
In 2007, we were newly in love

In 2008, we were newlyweds
[In 2009 I didn’t perform because I was busing having a baby the day of the first rehearsal]
In 2010, we found out on opening night that we were expecting baby #2
In 2011, we were officially "married with children"
And in 2012, we will be happily continuing the tradition in a few short weeks!

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