Friday, April 4, 2008
I met K back in 1985. We were auditioning for a show together. I thought he was incredibly hot! He talked to me a little, but I was too nervous at the time. Later, he told me he thought I was stuck-up and cold...which only made him like me more :).
We lived on opposite sides of the city (a true east vs west story...made even more difficult by the fact that neither of us was old enough to drive yet) so our relationship, once the show was over, was phone calls and letters. He wrote a great letter!
Eventually, we gave up on trying to be boyfriend/girlfriend, but still remained close friends. We enjoyed each other's company so much, and never ran out of topics for conversation. We always respected each other's space and own lives, but by this time, had made a commitment to each other to always be close friends. It's a commitment that still holds true today.
When I was 18, I was out on my own, living in a studio dump (which I loved) just off of Hollywood Boulevard. K and I still talked often, and saw each other sometimes. We'd made plans for him to come over and hang out on a Saturday night; this was on a Tuesday.
On Wednesday, I learned that I was getting on a plane to Miami on Friday to begin rehearsals for my cruise ship gig. I was so excited, called K (who also had good news; he'd left a message for me that he'd gotten the part of the Wolf in Into the Woods - a performance I'm still sorry I missed), and canceled our "date." Which was sort of a date. We'd already talked about the idea of trying again as a couple. But there was so much to be done. I had to get a passport, pack, close up the apartment, talk my parents into keeping my cat, and go go go.
I spent the next 5 weeks living in a hotel room in Miami. I wrote K a 7-page letter while I was there. We were going back to our letter-writing days.
About a month after being on the cruise ship, I started a cruise ship romance. What was supposed to be a cruise ship romance anyway. Had I not been young and stupid, that's all it would've been.
The day after I started this new relationship, I got a letter from K, where he told me he'd planned to propose to me on that Saturday night. I literally hit my head on the wall behind me.
When I came back from the cruise ship, I was happily in love, waiting for my man to join me. K and I saw each other from time to time. He was one of the few men I've known who only truly wished me happiness, and if that meant someone else, he was not going to stop being my friend.
Needless to say, the cruise ship romance did not last. Of course, by that time, K had moved on to his own long-term relationship. We remained friends through it all.
Then came the father of my children. And the moves. And the children. K and I would go months without talking to each other, and then one of us would pick up the phone and the other would say, "I was just thinking about you." And we'd catch each other up, and laugh about anything and everything and nothing. I'd call him and cry...he'd listen, never judge, never criticize - but occasionally give me a much-needed kick in the rear. I lost count years ago of the times I uttered, "what would I do without you?"
Whenever I was in town, he'd be there. When I moved back permanently 5 years ago, he was there. He took me out for my first much-needed night of drinking. And took care of me when I lost control! He's spent evenings with me and the girls, helping them with homework, watching them sing and dance, and then keep me up WAY too late talking! There are still occasions when I call him with tears in my eyes, and he's still there for me every time. He even baby-sat a few times when I was in school and my parents were out of town. When I moved back into the condo, he was there helping to move a fridge, and going to the grocery store with us, and we all watched "High School Musical" (1 and 2) together.
When he broke up with his long-time girlfriend, of course everyone wanted to know why we weren't now together (even my own daughters). We'd made jokes for years about timing and Destiny hating us, and all sorts of excuses. We talked about it a few months ago, and came up with a list of about 5 reasons why we're not together. The last is really the most important, though. We just don't want to be! We're perfectly content with our relationship as is.
(Although, he did scare the heck out of me the other day. He was talking about his plans for himself over the next year and added at the end, "and then I'm going to marry you." My response, "oh, really?" had him busting up laughing, and I joined in. We agreed, we both needed that!)
We've never had a fight. Not in 22 years. Disagreements? Sure. But we've never been angry with each other, nor have either of us ever doubted our commitment and our love for one another.
Neither of us have made out too well in the marriage-type relationship aspect of life, but we've always had each other's love, respect, and friendship. And we always will.
Posted by April at 8:30 AM