Sunday, March 11, 2012

Angelina Jolie's got Nothing Over Me

I was scanning through the T.V. channels and I paused for a minute on Dr. Phil. I've always been amazed at how honest Dr. Phil is with people and that he just doesn't care what they think because they came to him. He lays it out and says take it or leave it. I love that. I've been accused of needing to learn how to "shine the apple." I'm not very good at that.

I've never seen him interview famous people, but that day he was interviewing Susan Sarandon. I paused on the channel because I heard him asked her what the repercussions were from being an oldest child of such a big family...she is the oldest of 9 siblings....and she said it took her a long time to stop mothering the men she dated/married.

Then a choir of angels started singing inside my house and the light got very bright.....

Just kidding.

But for three minutes after that, I was in "Ah hah" land. You know that land. When you pause because three or four puzzle pieces of your life just snapped together and suddenly make sense. It resonates so deeply with you that it causes you to take a deep breath and think..."oh my heck...that's so true or that's so...me." Thank you Susan. I would never date someone younger again in my life.

Until 2005.

When I made the move to St. George, it was in the middle of the school year. I was not unhappy at Lehi High School. I had created a huge monster that was eating itself, and in order to keep that monster happy, I was living like a stoker on the Titanic. We all know what happened to the Titanic.

I was recruited to work at Tuacahn and I didn't know a thing about it, but I felt like it was the right thing to do. I wasn't sure why I felt so good about it. I was on the top of my game, stoking the fire 24/7, I was 40 (maybe that was it) and still single and had finally been working for a district long enough to make payments on a house, and I had just purchased two beautiful dachshund puppies. But never-the-less, I felt like I should move for some reason. I've ignored feelings like that before to my detriment, so I decided to sell my little, fabulous house AND the puppies, pack up my scripts and move four hours South. But the reception I got at Tuacahn was less than hospitable. That wasn't their fault. From my perspective, it appeared as if I was being dumped on a faculty and staff that had no idea they even needed me. I would have to prove my worth to them somehow. Point me to the stoker room. Problem is, I'm a little too much like Dr. Phil.

So, for the first few months that I worked there, I cried every night. My phone bill was ridiculous. I was a stranger in a strange land. There were so many fancy people there. I mean, I rarely wear mascara for pete's sake and my jeans were definitely under $20 from Che Walmart. Except for my two sisters, who were raising their own families, the only friends I had lived an hour North in Cedar City, home of my beloved SUU and the Shakespeare Festival.

I think I always knew Andy Hunsaker. It's a small theatre world. When he was 15, I was the makeup lady for a play he was in. Years later, he was filling is as a long-term substitute at American Fork Junior High. The teacher before him left suddenly trailing sadness and sorrow behind her. It was a terrible situation to land in. He was only 22 then...I was 36. Do the math. I'll wait.... ;-)

I was teaching just a mile north of him. He was trying to pull his kids out of quicksand and he had decided to direct our favorite play. He called me to ask if I had some props he could borrow. I felt so sorry for him, taking over in that situation, that I offered him the world. I remember him walking into my classroom and we loaded him up with the things he needed. "Poor sucker," I thought, "he's so brave." That was sometime in October of 2000.

I was in the dark "no men" period of my life because I had been dumped a few years earlier by a younger man. I was fully committed to that darkness. I was directing about 8 shows a year around the county and had been hired to direct a play at one of my favorite community theatre venues - The SCERA, in Orem. Andy happened to be in a play upstairs there while I was holding auditions for the next show downstairs. He showed up at intermission to audition in his costume as Granny from Into The Woods. He is 6'4" tall. He was so funny. I cast him. He ended up quitting the show because of his job. I will always have that blackmail. Never-the-less, because we were both working at the same place, we became great friends and you know the rest of that story. I moved South, he moved South...(Blog August 9th)

On December 12th, 2005 I realized WHY I had been inspired to uproot my life and move. I went to see Andy in the USF production of "A Christmas Carol: On the Air." Our BFF status had officially "turned" just three months earlier in Arizona. I really must start writing these blogs in order. We had been in our first official fight earlier in the day. The "make outs" were fun, but we just had to stop. He was *! years younger than me and eventually he would realize that he had lost all those years. Was he prepared to change my diapers and scrub my false teeth? That fight. All you cougars out there know that fight.

After his show, we met in front of the Randall Jones Theatre and he said "I parked on the other side of campus, let's walk over there." I was mad. It was snowing. Why did he park so far away? We crossed the street and cut behind the auditorium toward the Adams Theatre. You know that one? It's a replica of the original Globe Theatre. It houses some of the greatest Shakespearean theatre in the world. When you are a theatre student at SUU, you dream of acting on that stage. It's an outdoor theatre and usually during the winter it's locked up, but as we started toward it, I noticed that it was lit up with candles. I said "Someones having a seance in the Adams. Those idiots. We go in there and scare them." Andy said "okay." He was being unusually quiet. Something was up with him. But we started walking over to the wrought iron gates and it was open. So we went in to "scare off the stupid college kids."

Andy dragged me up on the stage despite me saying "Andy! We are going to get caught by the devil worshippers!" Why did the devil worshippers put all these roses all over the stage? And when I looked up Andy was getting down on one knee and I clued in. Finally. D.U.H.

It was snowing. And there were roses, candles and we were in a sacred place to the both of us. Then a ring came out - but I was crying so hard I didn't care about the ring at all. That's the truth of it... when you are 41 years old and your best friend throws caution to the wind, over and over again for you... you finally believe that someone might actually love you despite your age. You get a dose of faith in humanity, in yourself, in God.

Andy helped me put my faith in fifth gear and said yes. The darkness was over.

Mormons are taught to remain celibate until they marry. So we had a short engagement. Hehehe...
You have to stay celibate, or renew your commitment to your covenants through repentance and control your natural man, in order to be worthy to be married in a holy temple. I was 41. He was 27. We'd sowed some oats in our younger years so keeping ourselves worthy through this oasis in the desert was incredibly tricky. The stories are funny - but not appropriate for a blog. Anyway, when we finally walked into the temple it was a rush of relief. We had M.A.D.E. I.T. to the altar. By the skin of our teeth. Just outside the door of the sealing room where we would be married, we paused before going in and started laughing. We have always laughed so much. We ran down the hall to an open meeting room and had a prayer. One last time to back out I told him. We were interrupted by people that needed the room, but that was a special moment for me. I'm really glad we did it.

On March 11, 2006, just 6 years ago today.... we walked through the doors of a sacred room in the Timpanogos LDS Temple and we knelt across an altar and were sealed for time and all eternity infront of 60 of our closest friends and relatives. Everyone was sobbing. People that never thought that day would come for me were so happy, so relieved. They knew how badly I was looking forward to that day, even though, years before, I had written the opportunity off. There just aren't that many men in the world, that will put off the natural man to take a girl through the temple. I had waited four decades for mine. W.O.R.T.H. the wait. Worth every lonely cry in the dark, worth every single Friday night, worth the tears, the wondering, the heartache. W.O.R.T.H. it.

Let me tell you about Andy Hunsaker, even though many of you know him...you may not know what kind of faith he has. He is a tower of faith. He didn't know he was getting into eight miscarriages when he married me. Still he stood by me and held my hand and said "We have lots of kids." You may not know how much he loves his students. Almost as much as I do. He loves the theatre, almost as much as I do, even though when he was in high school, he took a lot of crap for not trying out for the football team. They wouldn't have been able to use him. I'm sure he couldn't tackle someone without saying "I'm so sorry!" after it was done and helping the guy up.

He is a professional card-carrying Equity actor, which means he's never acted since he got the card. Hahahahaha....meh...not really funny. He is an incredible actor and recently his students got to see him in action when he volunteered to raise money for the school by producing and acting in A Tuna Christmas. He had 11 characters, some were women and he subjugated himself to wearing several dresses in the show...he didn't care. He was doing it for a good cause. He's like that.

Andy was adopted by Max Hunsaker after a childhood full of wondering whether of not his biological dad loved him. Max came in and gave Andy stability and unconditional love. That's why we named our son Noah Max Hunsaker. Max made Andy laugh again. Andy loves sitting around with friends and making people laugh. I once told God that I didn't care what he gave me, all I wanted in a man was someone that would make me laugh. I got so much more.

Whenever he sees Brad Pitt or Hugh Jackman in a movie he says "there's your man." And I laugh. Angelina Jolie's got nothing over me. There have been more roses, more candles, and kisses in the great times and the yucky ones. I cannot imagine another person that is more perfect for me and I thank God every day for his existence. I thank God for his good mother who kept him focused, and then gave him away. I thank God that he had more faith in me than I did. I thank God that he doesn't care how old I am...it makes him mad when I remind him.

Most of all, I thank God for our awesome life and the sure knowledge that I get to be with him forever. Even if I leave him first, which is highly possible, ;-)  I know in the next life, I will be 29 again and bikini ready.

So today is our sixth Anniversary and since it's the Sabbath, it's been pretty low key. Because that's how Andy is... it was God's day today, not his. The number is only a number and when you're 14 years younger than your wife, you may spend you life convincing her of the value of numbers. Which he does. Every day.

Doubt thou the stars are fire
Doubt that the sun doth move
Doubt truth to be a liar
But never doubt I love.

P.