When I first started dating my wife I made a conscious decision that I would try things that I never would have tried before. Let me warn you, when you make that sort of conscious decision, you will be put to the test.
We had been dating for over a year. Long distance. I lived north of Nashville, TN and she lived in Winchester, KY. Three short hours away. Our dating consisted of talking. A lot. Our days started at about the same time. We’d get our children ready for school or the baby sitter and out the door we’d go. Each child dropped off at their perspective locations. And we’d call one another. We’d talk for an hour on the way to work. We’d talk for an hour at lunch. We’d talk for an hour on the drive home. We’d eat dinner, get the kids down for the night and call. We saw each other every other weekend.
It was no surprise when the phone rang, the surprise came with what she had to tell me. She said that she had agreed to be part of the “Murder Mystery Weekend” at Shaker Village in Harrodsburg, KY. She was to play the part of the Inn Keeper’s wife. There was a loaded pause in the air as I waited for the next bit of information to pour forth with her next exhale. ”I did say I volunteered us right”. Uh,no, you didn’t. I closed me eyes and held my breath as she continued. ”I know you don’t like crowds, if I over stepped my bounds I’m sorry. I was just so excited by the idea of a weekend away together, and it’s free…” and she went on.
As she continued talking I tuned her out. My gut reaction was to tell her “NO”. For some reason I asked myself “why not?” The only thing that I could think of was that it’s outside of my comfort zone. So would it hurt? I could still hear her in the background. I thought about the torch that I had carried for this woman for over 20 years. I thought of our relationship and how it had progressed. I thought of our talks of marriage and planning to move her down to Tennessee in just a few short months. Was this a test? A trap? If I said no would she rethink the entire relationship? I didn’t want to find out.
I came back to reality and realized that I didn’t hear her charming alto voice on the other end, then she said “Honey, are you there? Did I mess up? Are we ok?” Before I knew it I heard a voice saying “No you didn’t, yes we are, and yes we can do it” Yes, who said yes? Me? Yes, me. Mr. Conservative who does not like crowds, whose military experience has him fading into the shadows and assessing every individual and situation told a 5′-1″ and a little bit blonde “yes”. To say that she was thrilled would be an understatement.
It was one of the most challenging things that I have ever done. We were in costume and character whenever we were in public. The fun was that the only script that we had were the scenes which took place at four meals, the rest we were free to add lib. We had the poor attendees so confused that they did not know which way was up.
At the first breakfast scene I found that cowboy boots, stone floors, and butter balls do not mix well. It was hilarious. One character, “The Professor” was to die of poisoning during the meal and I was tush to his table, kneel down grab his wrist and exclaim “He’s dead!” All was going as planned. The Professor keeled over as per the script. I ran from the door of the entrance to the dining area towards the murder scene. Suddenly I realized that I was no longer running but was sliding and looking up at the ceiling. I was headed right towards the back of the chair of one of the lady attendees.
I am 6′-0″ and at the time weighted somewhere around 245. Not huge, but not small either. All I could picture was chair shattering into pieces the lady flying into the air and me sliding all the way under the table. Luckily none of the above happened. My slide started to slow just before I hit the chair. I came to a complete halt. Rolled over, scrambled to the “convulsing corpse” The poor professor had witnessed the entire scene and could not help but belly laugh. I managed to grab his wrist and pronounced him dead before, or so I thought, anyone was the wiser. I could barely contain myself when the man at the other end of the table that I had hit stood up and in one of the best umpire voices that I have ever heard, complete with hand motions, loudly pronounced me “SAFE!”
I had fun. I found out that saying yes to something that you normally wouldn’t do is not the end of the world, in fact it can be rather enjoyable. It was a test, I passed, and it changed the way that she looked at me. I learned that she will keep me young.
Nonsense can be fun.
“A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men”