Many stages of a marriage
A marriage goes through many stages. Early on, Orllyene and I came to an understanding. She would be the homemaker, raise the kids, be a wonderful wife, and be loyal and true. I would dance, and see the world. Then we had another meeting. I would dance, see the world, be a good husband, and daddy, and scramble around and make lots of money. What we soon learned is, make the best decisions you can, and be frugal, and extravagant in equal amounts.
During the second stage of our marriage, we did a lot of growing up. Sometimes the air was filled with fire and brimstone, but making up was extraordinarily satisfactory. Also, having a guaranteed income, seemed like a good idea, so instead of scrounging around for shows to choreograph, I hooked up with a fledgling theatrical company. Good idea. Soon, I’d be in Montreal 3 times a year to do a new show, and I even flew to Sydney, Australia twice to set the dances for traveling groups. When we got a show at the Cabaret Theatre on Paradise Island, Bahamas, the Producer made it possible for our whole family to spend the summer there. Orllyene and the kids had the run of a long, empty beach, swam in water so clear it looked like drinking water, and after rehearsals, I joined them.
While I was off traveling, Orllyene ran things at home. She always said, “as soon as you leave, the washer or the dryer, or something will break down.” She wrote the checks, took the kids shopping for back to school clothes, and kept a steady flow of letters coming in my direction. She was the disciplinarian of the family. I on the other hand, had more of a talent for taking the kids to Winchell’s for donuts, or perhaps to the dairy, to see the cows, or down to the park to feed the ducks.
When it was time for me to leave, Orllyene would dress the kids up, and they’d all come to the airport to see me off. I suppose it was selfish, but I needed the reassurance. I counted the days until the show opened, and I could come home. The perks in show business are considerable, but living in a hotel, no matter how luxurious, is lonely. I did an awful lot of walking, and sightseeing, to keep my mind from wandering off to where it hadn’t outta be.
Occasionally, the kids stayed with their grandparents, and Orllyene and I would hit the road. We stayed in a tiny room overlooking the Mediterranean along the Amalfi Drive, discovered chateaubriand in a quaint café in Paris, and marveled at Lake Como at sunset. The richness of those times, made up for all the budget crunching days.
Spectacular is too mild a word to describe my life. I feel loved, can still dance up a storm, and can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.
Rob Walker lives in Smith Valley.