Summer. I get to sleep in a wee bit later and it’s fantastic. I snoozed until 7:20 this morning and noticed when I was getting up that my hubby was stirring a bit as well. I took my time in the shower, lost in the lather of the moment, trying to wake up and face the day. (You know how you get into the shower and the white noise keeps you lost in your thoughts? Sometimes I can’t even remember if I shampooed already or not.) Today, though, I was busy lathering and planning my world domination when I was pulled out of my thoughts by my husband’s voice in the next room.
I paused. I listened. I heard . . . . Shakespeare?
Yes, Shakespeare. Oberon. Or possibly Theseus. From A Midsummer Night’s Dream (hereafter known simply as “Midsummer”). It is the soundtrack of my days. I hear “dost thee,” “hast thou,” “couldst” and “fare thee” every hour of my time with my husband. In the kitchen, in the car, while grilling, and doing laundry, doing the dishes, during commercial breaks on TV, and in the bloody bathroom. The boys are asked, “Hast thou gone pee?” and I’m told, “Fare thee well, nymph,” when I leave the room. It certainly makes things interesting.
Have I told you about my husband? He’s an actor, you see. Well, really he’s a writer for hire. (HIRE HIM, por favor). But about five years ago when he started acting in community theater it TOOK OVER HIS SOUL. I may be exaggerating just a teensy, weensy bit. Maybe not. When he’s in a role it is his life until the show is over. No lie. For reals.
For about three years he participated primarily in a somewhat traditional musical theater company where he played in well known shows like Miss Saigon, Cinderella, A Christmas Carol and, his favorite, Jesus Christ Superstar. He was Jesus. He loved it.
He loves being on stage and performing in front of an audience. He loves the applause and kudos he receives when he does it. He LOVES singing and he does it quite well – and quite loudly. My husband and performing for people were MFEO. (If you don’t know that reference then go watch Sleepless in Seattle right now. I’ll wait here.)
Then he branched out. He started working for a company that provides entertainment on an old train that runs up the mountain and back. He does dinner theater murder mysteries and wild west type shows, primarily, and some seasonal trains around Christmas. He has participated for two years in a short film festival where, one year, the movie short he was in won first place and he won Best Actor. Awesome. (I’d post a link to the full movie if I could find it. Which I can’t. Fail.)
WAIT! It’s been found! Hallelujah! It’s 13 minutes long but really ridiculously funny: Beneath a Western Skyscraper
The train show thing – with a few other things that pop up once in a while – is so much better for us as a family. He’s not gone every day to rehearsal. We can plan things and do them together. Novel concept. I like it.
BUT . . . a few weeks ago he was presented with an opportunity to do Shakespeare for the first time. SHAKESPEARE. The Bard. The Man. The Legend. (Did I mention that my husband and I were both English Lit majors in school? Yeah, that).
The problem? It’s a traditional theater show again.This time, though, with a different company. He emailed me the schedule. He said, “Honey, it’s SHAKESPEARE.” He waited. He emailed again and said, “I told them I won’t do it if it’s not okay with you. But, honey, it’s SHAKESPEARE. And the rehearsal schedule isn’t that bad. We can still go on vacation.” Good, because I’ve got non-refundable tickets and my name is already on a pool lounger.
So what’s a wife to do? I said yes. Of course I said yes. What I have always told him was simply this, “Who am I to stand in the way of your dreams?” I may be his wife and life partner, but I’m not going to hurt, hamper or detract from his personal growth if I can help it. Provided that fulfilling his dreams don’t negatively impact the well-being of our family, of course. In this case, his dream is to play Oberon and Theseus in Midsummer. So be it.
Which brings us back to today. I was in the shower and I heard Shakespeare.
So, first it was this:
O, methinks, how slow
This old moon wanes! she lingers my desires,
Like to a step-dame or a dowager
Long withering out a young man revenue.
That’s Theseus – the king. I hear this line all the time now. That poor old moon is blamed for so much. Tragic.
Then it was Oberon, the Fairy King, speaking to Puck:
That very time I saw, but thou couldst not,
Flying between the cold moon and the earth,
Cupid all arm’d: a certain aim he took
At a fair vestal throned by the west,
And loosed his love-shaft smartly from his bow,
As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts;
To which I said, “that’s some love-shaft!” *giggle, snort* My apologies. Poor taste. Still funny though.
Life could be boring. Thank goodness it’s not.
Fare thee well, my dear friends. Time is apace and my thoughts are much in the bosom of my home. I leave you with dear Puck’s parting words:
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.