39-شوهرکتاب: زندگی در چند بخش / فصل 39
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متن انگلیسی فصل
Outwardly, I am measured. Inside, because of my childhood, a key can turn, and I can get emotional. I wasn’t really allowed to express my feelings as a kid. Boys weren’t supposed to cry. Also, I was losing my mother emotionally, I’d lost my father physically, and I was too busy figuring out how to survive to cry.
So I have a lot of tears stored up, along with anger and resentment—you know, the good stuff. I didn’t quite know how to activate the healing process in my personal life just yet, but anytime I was working I gave myself permission to tap into that store.
And then sometimes that key involuntarily turned on its own.
I knew I wanted to propose to Robin, but I had the overwhelming fear that I wouldn’t be able to face her without that key turning, without getting blubbery. I thought I couldn’t get through it. I wanted to tell her how I felt, how much I loved her, how I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, have a family. I’d passed through the gauntlet of a marriage that was not right and relationships that were not right, and now it was time to nurture one that was. If you don’t nurture a relationship, it will die. I wanted to nurture ours, but I didn’t want to water it with my tears.
One day, it dawned on me: What if I wasn’t facing her? What if we could be close and intimate but not be looking at each other? How could I accomplish that?
I thought about it for a while, and then I was in the shower and I had it. A bath! What if we took a bath together? She couldn’t face me because the spigot would be jammed into her back. She’d have to sit between my legs, facing away from me. I’d bought a cabin in the mountains with my dear friend from Loving, John O’Hurley, and we had a tiny tub there. Perfect!
I brought Robin there just after Christmas. I didn’t want to do it on Christmas. The proposal wasn’t a Christmas present. But a holiday would be good cover, an occasion to celebrate. So I decided on New Year’s Day.
“Let’s take a bubble bath,” I said.
It’s not like we made a habit of hopping into the tub together in the middle of the day. But it was New Year’s. I made it an occasion. I got candles. Music. Champagne.
I had the ring. But then—oh shit—I had to hide it. But I had to put it within reach—I couldn’t jump out of the bathtub midproposal, sopping wet and stark naked, to go searching for the ring. The only thing I could think to do was put it on a digit. I decided on my baby toe.
We got in the tub and listened to music and talked for a while, all as she was facing away from me. It took half an hour to get my courage up before I finally said, “Are you happy, Robin?”
“Yes, I’m happy.”
“It’s been a great year. You make me so happy. I love you so much. I want to be with you for the rest of my life.” I was whispering into her ear. And as she started to realize what was happening, she kept trying to turn around to look at me, and I kept turning her face back around. I needed to get to the question first! I finally asked if she would marry me. It was an instantaneous yes. And then she twisted to face me and we kissed.
Oh, the ring! I hoisted my leg out of the water, and it was covered in bubbles, and at first she didn’t see the ring. I shook my leg and some suds floated off, then I bent my knee so my foot was near her. Look! Oh my God! She was now charged with taking her ring off my toe, and she gave it to me and I put it on her finger. It was glorious. We called her parents and they were overjoyed, though her dad did give me some ribbing for not asking his permission first.
Robin came from a stable family, so that’s what she was familiar with, and I lacked a stable family, so that’s what I wanted. We were perfectly matched, and we didn’t want to waste time, so we got married six months later on a beautiful Saturday, July 8, 1989, at the Hotel Bel-Air. Reverend Bob, the pontiff of Catalina Island, married us. Robin looked stunning in an off-the-shoulder white dress. She wore white flowers in her hair. I looked as if I was ripped out of a 1980s JC Penney catalog. But damn, we were happy. Both my parents came, and we had to do separate pictures for each of them. They couldn’t sit together. There was some tension between them. But nothing could put a damper on our day.
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