ROSEMARY: A week or so ago Hank wrote that she'd gone gliding once with a former boyfriend. Actually she said beau, but I'm not sure I'm cool enough to use the word beau without it being something in French or about Jeff Bridges' brother.
She did it for love.
My husband has frequently described this or that woman as a "pre-nuptial sports fan. "No, honey, I'd really love to see the mixed martial arts championships with you and your friends this Saturday!" Sure you would.
There's a fun scene in an old Bette Midler movie (Outrageous Fortune) in which she and Shelley Long compare notes on what uncharacteristic things they've done to stay connected to the relatively new beau - one baked cookies, the other sewed Halloween costumes for an imaginary class of underprivileged students the man created just to get both women in the sack.
I'm usually pretty good at saying what I like or don't like - those of you who know me well feel free to guffaw here - but I've occasionally sucked it up for the good of the relationship. There were a few operas where I wished I'd brought toothpicks to keep my eyes open. And there was the eight course Paul Bocuse meal I pretended to enjoy because it was so hard to get a reservation and it cost a small fortune.
I'm not looking for any "oh baby, you're a god" moments, but what (else) have you faked for a partner or a friend?
ROBERTA: snort, giggle--we are laughing Ro! Okay, I picked up both tennis and golf for the good of a guy. Luckily, both turned out to be things I enjoyed just fine on my own. In fact, were it not for John and his obsession with golf, I probably wouldn't have started writing!
But skiing, that's a different story. :)."
Vermont skiing: I'm talking ice and whistling winds and fighting kids. In the early days, I went gamely along to be a good sport (you can all laugh here), but it was never my favorite activity. I was always worse than everyone else, by far. And the equipment adds up to more than your body weight. And the boots absolutely kill. And those romantic versions of crackling fires in the ski lodge? Forget about it--jammed with screaming children and loud teenagers. Unfortunately, my birthday usually falls on or about Martin Luther King weekend. So we would head up north with the kids and about 6 million other families. One year it was fifty degrees below zero. Get the picture?
Now when skiing comes up, I say "have a nice time honey
JULIA: I dated a much older man toward the end of my college days. He adored foreign films (old black and white ones, especially) and opera, neither of which I had much exposure to. The movies - oh, my God, I can't tell you how boring they were. But I went. The only takeaway I got from them was the ability to BS with the best of them about Jacques Tati and Michelangelo Antonioni. Hint: sex = capitalist oppression. Or Citroen = capitalist oppression.
HANK: SO funny.
JULIA: Opera was another story. He took me to see Cosi Fan Tutti and Abduction from the Seraglio and I was hooked. Opera has remained one of the great pleasures of my life. I don't get the chance to see a live performance very often (we have no resident or even seasonal opera company in Maine) but I'm on the radio every Saturday, listening to Live From the Metropolitan. Someday - someday! - I'll go there in person.
ROSEMARY: I've grown to love opera..especially the Italian ones. You should let me know the next time you're in NYC.
HANK: Me, too.
HALLIE: Oh, Julia, I'd forgotten about the movies! A guy I dated in college was into martial arts movies. Yawn. Fortunately he was also into Chinese food and knew some of the best places in New York's Chinatown to eat. And then there was the boyfriend with the motorcycle--NOT my preferred method of transport. I had to meet him down the block because my mother would have had a fit if she'd known I was riding around on the back of one. We're talking pre-helmet era. Scary to even think about it.
Fortunately my husband and I have most of the same interests. Art. Birds. Nature. Food. Wine. And of course yard sales. Though he takes everything to extremes.
DEBS: Oh, Hallie, the boyfriend with the motorcycle . . . Maybe it was the same one? I had to meet him around the block because my parents would have KILLED me for getting on it, and just to prove them right, I got a huge burn on the inside of my calf from the exhaust pipe. Still have the scar. Can't remember what story I made up to explain it.
As for my DH, although his idea of fun is generally more outdoorsy than mine, we've liked many of the same things for years. BUT. Isn't there always a BUT? There was the time he convinced me to go on a snorkling boat out of Cozumel. I love swimming but am not a particularly good swimmer. I'd never snorkled. The swell was heavy and I am not comfortable in deep water. They dumped us off the boat and DH swam happily off, saying, "Oh, don't worry. It's salt water. You won't drown." Need I say more?
HANK: Yeah, Roberta. One little word. Skiing. SURE, I LOVE skiing, that's what I told...hmmm..what was his name? (SURE. I love to be freezing cold, and in constant danger, and have wet feet, and attempt to ride on those lift things where there's not only no way to to get on gracefully, but certainly no way to get off without facing certain death.)
One of my favorite photos is me at Alta, standing by a sign pointing to "easiest way" and me getting ready to go the other way. You can imagine what happened.
Yes. I know skiing is great, but I am too clumsy, I fear. I remember one moment of thinking--wow, fun! And then I splatted.
Also, in another life, to prove my worth and devotion I gritted my teeth though many Tai Chi lessons. Although the impetus for that is long gone, as it turned out I eventually..liked it.
ROSEMARY: So...for you Broadway musical fans out there "can't regret, won't forget, what I did for ...loooove..!" What have you done for love? (First to guess what musical that lyric is from wins a signed copy of Dead Head.)