Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Becoming President of Her Fan Club (Reprised)

Are you the president of your wife’s fan club? Is she the radiant center of your universe? Does she leave you star-struck, blinded by her luminescence? Do you, like ardent Curly in Oklahoma! collect treasured keepsakes from your beloved? (“Give me back my rose and my glove.”)

If this sounds romantically retarded, give it another think. Didn’t you once feel that way about her? Star-struck and lovestruck? When you were courting? So, in keeping with the perpetual courtship marriage, the kind of FLR I advocate in my book, why not act that way again?

A co-worker once told me about this sexy new temp in his office, a Latina bombshell who turned him into Jello. When she agreed to go out with him, he went binge-shopping–for chocolates (Godiva), roses (two-dozen red). When he’d called to ask her out, he’d even asked what her favorite perfume was and bought some of that, at like $40 an ounce (this was twenty years ago). The guy just couldn’t help himself.

“I don’t care if I go overboard,” he told me. “You know what Alicia told me on the phone? She gives this incredible throaty chuckle and tells me, ‘Oh, you’re going to be wonderful for my ego!’”

What higher compliment could a girl give her fan club president?

This story reminds me of another, this one a reminiscence by the famous Hollywood actor, Robert Taylor. He wasn’t famous, though, when he was cast opposite the great Greta Garbo in Camille. Handsome, yes, but almost unknown, and not much of an actor, to be candid. But Garbo liked his princely looks and got him the part. Then proceeded to cast her spell over him, exactly as her character, Marguerite Gautier, does to his character, Armand Duval, in the film.

During the course of filming, Taylor spent hours in her dressing room as her enchanted captive, listening to her husky voice, looking at the memorabilia of her fabulous career, hopelessly drunk with her. And Garbo not only seduced Taylor, but induced from the too-laid-back actor a compelling performance. It comes across on screen—but, of course, he wasn’t acting. He was madly in love.

Alas, when filming wrapped, Garbo dismissed him completely. But, he had been, at least for magical moment in time, the president of her fan club.

My turn to confide. I was a ninth grader in a high school art class, seated by blessed fate in the back row next to a glamorous senior girl, a regal beauty whom I will call LaDonna Dillon. She had, like that, a camera-ready name. She starred in school plays—in sophisticated, decadent Tennessee Williams’ plays, believe it or not. Like Orpheus Descending. In high school! She spoke in a theatrical whisper. She was magnificent. And I guess she thought I was… well, kind of cute, with my goggle glasses and crewcut and obvious puppypdog adoration of her.

One morning I arrived early at the art bungalow and found LaDonna there, alone, working on a project. I took my place right next to hers, and opened a book on Renoir, the artist I’d chosen for my book report. Next thing I knew, LaDonna had scooted her stool closer, was right there, a perfumed erotically charged presence, looking over my shoulder at Renoir’s succulent nudes. In fact, at one point LaDonna reached over my shoulder and began turning pages, asking me which ones I liked best. My head was spinning, and that was the least of my organic reactions!

I was ready to establish the LaDonna Dillon Fan Club and Goddess Worship Society right then and there. (As it was, she went on to have a minor Hollywood career without me, mostly in episodic TV.)

Let me exit from this overlong post with a quote from one of my wife-worship role models, Au876, who posted for several years on Lady Misato’s original Wife Worship forum. Here’s his encouraging advice on becoming your wife’s number-one fan:

“Never miss a chance to tell her how beautiful she is, how smart she is and how much you cherish her. Rub her feet at night. Give her pedicures, fold her night gown, clean her hair brush (daily), rub her back, tend her bath (for example a simple thing like bringing her a hot towel to dry off with is little trouble and yet very sweet)… Let your adoration spill over.”

Amen, Au. Rah! Rah! Rah!

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