To Perchance to Dream…and Fight

“You can’t be serious.”  R looked at me with an expression I hadn’t ever really seen on his face before.  Derision lived there in the lines of his face, or maybe it was contempt. I couldn’t be sure.  Certainly condescension.

“Of course I am serious.  Why would you think I’m not serious?”

I honestly didn’t understand R’s reaction at all.

Last night, in the Springfield Fans chat that I attended every so often, Vivian had reminded all of us about the Tucson Tennis Classics event that Rick Springfield was appearing at this spring.  It was a charity event that happened every year in Tucson, Arizona to benefit various charities including the Ronald McDonald House there.  Various celebrities would come and play tennis and golf and engage in all manner of silliness, all to raise money for the greater good.  Rick was supposed to be the host this year, which meant lots of great visibility for him.  The fan club had worked with the Classics to create a fan club package which would include tickets to the events, food, hotel, etc.  It was expensive, but sounded like a lot of fun.  I hadn’t really thought of going; the distance was great, even though the timing was actually quite good; the dates fell on my spring break at work.

However, last night, Vivian had been talking about the package and how few people had signed up to go.  It sounded all very fun and intimate, and then she started talking about how Rick might do this or that with the group.

My heart had skipped a beat looking at the screen.  I quickly sent a private instant message to Vivian, asking her if going to this event meant that you’d probably meet Rick Springfield.  Her answer:  “I could nearly guarantee it.”

In that moment, I knew I had to go.  Fourteen years of pent up teenage fandom combined with spending power and I was sold; I had to be there.  I couldn’t miss this chance to finally, finally meet Rick Springfield.   I couldn’t imagine it; what would it be like?  What would I say?   Would he be as nice as I’d always imagined him?  Or a jerk, as I assumed he must be later on?  Everyone who had met him in the group talked about how nice he was, especially the ones who had met him in the last five years.  Certainly the bits I could ascertain from Vivian’s newsletters all sounded wonderful.

So all I had to do was get myself an airplane ticket and arrange for Z’s childcare, and I would be all set.  I was, therefore, unprepared for R’s reaction to my news that I was finally going to fulfill my teenage dream.

“That’s an awful lot of money to spend,” R said, arms folded.

It was.  I knew it was.  “I have some money left from my mother,” I reasoned.  “I wouldn’t ask you to help me pay for something like this.”

“I still don’t agree with you doing this.  That’s money you could be spending on something important, like a downpayment for a house or something. Would your mother really want you wasting her money on something this…frivolous?”

I gasped, a little.  How dare he question what my mother would have wanted or not wanted?  He’d never even met her!  But instead of throwing out the angry words that jumped into my head, I said this:  “My mother understood how important this is to me.  She would have wanted me to spend her money on this, absolutely.   She knew that I’d always dreamt of meeting Rick; she saw how his music helped me through some of the bad things that happened when I was a teen.  Maybe you can’t understand because I haven’t even told you all of how bad it was for us as a family back then.  But please trust me on this.  She would have wanted this.”

“I still think this is a foolish thing to do, and I don’t agree with it at all.  That’s a lot of money to spend on a whim.”

His reticence only caused me to dig my heels in further.  “Don’t you understand?  This isn’t a little thing for me, I thought you would have understood that by now.  This is a big, big thing.” I paused, trying to find the words that would help him understand what this meant to me.  “This is a chance for me to realize a dream I’ve had since as long as I can remember.”

But R was unconvinced.  “I don’t think this qualifies as a dream.”

I was stunned.  The words were like a physical blow.  This was the man I married?  Had I made a huge mistake?

“Well, I do.  And I am going.   I’m going to end this discussion now before you say anything else that hurts me as much as that last comment did.”  And with that, I turned on my heel and walked away.  The honeymoon was, indeed over.

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