I went to an audition a few weeks ago and ran into a former co-worker. We hadn’t seen each other in a while so after a few minutes of talking about the actual audition, we got down to business: boyfriends.
“He’s my rock,” she said. “I’m an artist, you know? So I always have these crazy ideas and I’m always stressed out and he’s just like, ‘It’s okay, take it one day at a time.’”
For a second, I thought I was talking to myself because that’s exactly how I feel about TWD and that’s exactly what he does. (Sometimes he even quotes Finding Nemo.)
“He doesn’t work in the arts,” she continued. “But he’s a musician, so he understands enough about what I do to get it, you know?”
I did. I knew exactly what she meant. In fact, last month when TWD came to see Giselle with me, I treated to him to dinner at Tequila’s beforehand and started telling him about a new piece I want to choreograph. I don’t usually talk about choreography. I don’t usually think about choreography beyond what’s required of me for the competition circuit, but I’ve had this idea for a while so I decided to tell him and you know what? He listened. He got it. He understood and even gave me a few suggestions.
I was floored.
I have been dancing for 24 years now and that has never, ever happened.
I used to think that I wanted to date an artist. But then I tried it. And it was an absolute nightmare.
So now I’m dating a man who isn’t an artist. He thinks things through. He finishes one project before starting another. He cleans up after himself and sets aside time to iron, to make his lunch and to change the oil in his car so he doesn’t end up stranded on the side of the road or bargaining with toll booth operators.
And even though these things drive me crazy sometimes, they are—in no small part—the reason why we work.
I’ve been flipping out a lot lately. I flipped out during our cruise to Bermuda because I read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and had a full-blown “I’ll never be able to write like that…” meltdown in our stateroom just before dinner. (Seriously? That book was brilliant. Do not read it if you’re a writer because it will make you want to kill yourself.)
I flipped out again in September because I decided to cast only 16 dancers in this year’s production number and spent the next week and a half fielding nasty emails from disgruntled parents.
I flipped out in October because my grandmother asked me three times in the span of ten minutes what I was making for dinner. When I told The Wedding Date to kill me if I ever reach that point, he agreed to do so and promised to meet me in the afterlife at the foot of the steps on The Enchantment of the Seas, just like Leonardo DiCaprio did in Titantic. He was trying to be funny but when I caught the reference, I burst into tears. (What can I say? I was in 8th grade when that film came out. It had a rather large impact on my emotional development.)
I flipped out again in November because I realized I’d been flipping out a lot and with my grandparents moving in, I was afraid that the flipping out was only going to get worse. For the first time in the history of my entire dating career, I started to worry that my behavior was going to cause the man I loved to leave me.
Most recently, I flipped out the day before Thanksgiving because I realized that making dinner was beyond my capabilities with everything else I had to do. When TWD called to see if I wanted take out, I thought he was calling to gloat over my lack of domestic prowess so I lost it right there in the middle of the grocery store.
When I got to his house, I saw one of his pillows lying on the floor next to his bed. “That’s funny,” I thought. “Where is its pillowcase and why isn’t on the bed with the others?” It took me all of two seconds to realize that his pillowcase was at my house and had been since August when I offered to fix one of the seams. This realization prompted another “I’m such a horrible girlfriend!” meltdown and I’d probably still be standing there crying my eyes out if it hadn’t been for the box-o-sangria in TWD’s fridge and My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding.
(Thankfully, the remote controls were in the mood to cooperate.)
In my defense, I was getting my period at the time but still, TWD puts up with a lot.
That’s not to say that I don’t put up with a lot too. Sometimes I wish he was a bit more creative, a bit more willing to indulge my half-baked ideas and think outside the box but at the end of the day, he is my rock.
Which is why it’s scary when your rock crumbles.
- Of Cheesecake and Toll Booths (Thanksgiving Part 2) (fieldworkinstilettos.com)
- Things I Never Thought I Would Do (fieldworkinstilettos.com)
- A Tale of Two Thanksgivings, Part 1 (fieldworkinstilettos.com)