I Can’t Get No Satisfaction

But the Show Must Go On

I can't get no satisfaction

So sang the Rolling Stones. I know how they feel. For sadly, I can’t get no satisfaction. My husband no longer satisfies my needs the way he did in the glory days of our courtship and first years of wedded bliss.

“Oh, God, not again,” he moaned just the other day as I gently nudged him awake. “We just did it,” he lamented.

“Come on,” I demurred sweetly. “That was hours ago. Come on. Get up.”

“You’re killing me,” he protested. “I just cannot do this seven-nights-a-week and twice on weekends. I’m not young anymore.”

“Come on,” I repeated. This time in a firmer voice.

“You’re insatiable,” he muttered weakly.

Now, I suppose you think I’m talking about sex … I’m not. I’m talking about shows. Broadway shows, to be specific. We had seen a matinee, napped, and now it was time to get up and get going. We had an evening show to catch.

This conversation plays out every time Handsome Hubby (HH) and I return to my hometown New York City. For me, the Big Apple means five things: family, shows, museums, walking, and deli.

A Theatre-a-holic Meets Her Match

While HH is 100 percent “in” for the family, museums, the walking, and the deli, he is less committed to the Great White Way. And that is a problem. For you see, I am a theatre-a-holic. Get me to NYC and I cannot stop. I want to cram in as many shows as possible. Nighttime, matinee, non-stop.

HH is decidedly not a theatre-a-holic. He subscribes to a simple show-going philosophy. He’s a serious guy and works hard on serious matters. So, when he goes to a show, he wants to relax and laugh. He doesn’t want sad. He doesn’t want dark. He doesn’t want deep. And he doesn’t want to see shows every night.

Alas, poor Yorick, HH thinks a post-theatre discussion begins and ends with a simple “yes” or “no” to the question “Did you like the show?” He has zero interest in discussing nuances of script, artistic interpretation, set design, lighting, and costume. He doesn’t even enjoy a devoted theatre lover’s favorite pre- and post-game amusement—scanning the aisles for celebrities in the house. I mean I love the guy, but really!

My Museum Man

Now don’t get me wrong – HH is quite sophisticated. The way I feel about theatre is the way he feels about art (and action films—more on that later). Go to an art museum or a gallery with him and be prepared for the long stay.

Case in point: We just saw the amazing Michelangelo show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As usual, I lost sight of HH. After zipping the exhibit, I waited outside. I waited … and waited … and waited. I waited so long, I started to worry. Maybe HH had gotten sick. After all, the exhibit was very crowded; the rooms very warm. I went back in and found him intently staring at a tiny drawing. He still had three big rooms to go through and he insisted on back-tracking to show me his favorite pieces. We were there for hours! I thought my feet would fall off.

Marital Misgivings

But regarding this Broadway show issue: I knew from the very start of our marriage I had a problem. For our honeymoon, I scored eighth-row center orchestra seats for the US debut of Les Miserables at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. All through the first act, HH squirmed and fidgeted and looked uncomfortable.

“Was my beloved sweetie ill?” I worried selflessly.

“Would I have to miss the second act?” I worried selfishly.

“I’m OK,” he said as the curtain fell at the end of Act I. “It’s just all the characters are so …. Well, they’re all so sad, so miserable.”

“What?! Didn’t the title give you a clue?” I asked aghast.

“Well, yes, but it’s a musical. I thought it would be different.”

“Yeah, I thought it would be different too,” I muttered under my breath.

All through Act II, I thought of annulment. But we were young and in love. Before we left the theatre, HH bought me the Les Mis CD and the night ended in tender embraces.

Love and Die Hard Forever

Even though Handsome Hubby didn’t share my love of Broadway, he used to keep up with the whirlwind pace of seeing shows on trips home to NYC. But now unless it’s a rip-roaring great show, my middle-aged man complains about the narrow seats and limited leg space.

“Why don’t you go with friends? he suggests/begs.

What does HH expect of me? To spend my NYC nights in over-heated hotel rooms, watching reruns of Die Hard and The Terminator on TV? I already do that with him at home.

True Satisfaction Nonetheless

So, I ask you? What’s a middle-aged gal supposed to do? Find a new guy to show-hop with? No, I guess not. After all, we have made it through 31 years of Sondheim and Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Kurt Weill, Michelangelo and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Yes, we’re entertainment incompatible, but as they say, the show—and the marriage (happily)— must go on!

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