She or The Reason I Could Give This All Up

Chris Peterson

  • OnStage Founder & Editor-in-Chief

She's giving me a look that makes me want to hide my head in the sand.

She’s hurt and I know it. 

You’re doing another show? You just wrapped one up? I haven’t seen you at all. We haven’t spent any quality time together in months. And now you’re going to do another show?

She didn’t say this, but I could see she wanted to with a simple exhale and an “Okay…”

She gets up and starts to do the dishes. My wife never does the dishes, that’s my job. But I haven't been there to do it. 


She got there before me, I know because I saw her from my car. She didn’t have to be there at all. She could have continued to see that teacher who had asked her out before I did. But she was there waiting for me. She was wearing a black dress that hugged every one of her beautiful curves. He hair was down, blowing in the breeze. She looked like a Greek statue. 

I was wearing shorts, flip flops and a baseball hat..... 

In my defense it was because I had given up trying to come up with the perfect hair style....not much of an excuse, I know.  

She forgave me for that but I’m sure it was strike one. I walked up to her and we shook hands for the first and last time. 

We ordered our coffee and sat down outside. We began a conversation that would last the next few hours covering everything from theatre to Christopher Guest. I had to see more of her, I asked if she wanted to come with me to a birthday party that night.

She told me she had plans. So I asked what she was doing the next night and we had a second date set. 

She would later tell me she did a little dance in her car after we parted, which is funny because I was doing the same thing. 


"Look, it's a really great part and I've always wanted to do this show."

I say this, fully believing that it will change her mind and she'll agree that spending most of my nights away from her, so I can play a "dream role", which I'm not getting paid for, is the right thing to do. 

I said okay

That's all she says. 

"Do you want to talk about this at all??!?!", I plead. 

No, I'm going upstairs, are you coming?

"In a minute." I respond. 

She nods her head at me as she walks upstairs to bed. 


We're lying on a baseball field together. I'm on my back and her head's on my chest. We had been a couple for about a month and I had just gotten back from a trip to New Hampshire for a friend's wedding. 

I missed her every day I was there. The three days seemed like an eternity. But now I was back and she was right here with me. 

We kissed and kissed. She laughed, a high pitch cackle that usually turns into a squeal. I told her I missed her a lot, she missed me too. 

"I think I'm falling in love with you", I said. 

.......Thank you?....., she responds with a polite awkwardness. 

My heart sinks. I said it way too early. I just blew this. I quickly apologize, trying to salvage whatever good there is before she thinks I'm clingy. 

No, it's not that. It's just I've never had a guy say that to me before and I believed him. I think I feel the same way too.

At this point, I'm head over heels. I'm about to say it again and I stop myself, once is enough for tonight. 


"I just don't get it. You know that this was a huge part of my life when we got together," I say as I enter the room. 

It would just be nice to spend more time with you. 

"But I'm home every night, it's not like I'm sleeping at the theatre."

"So I only get a couple of hours with you awake a day?"

"I just feel like you're not supporting the things I want to do."

That did it. I might have as well stuck a knife in her heart. She doesn't say a word. What can she say? 

How dare you? What about all the other shows you've done? The nights you were gone? How it feels like your theatre friends are more important than me? 

But she doesn't say any of this. She just lies down and shuts off her light. I can't sleep yet, I'm too foolishly riled up. I turn to go back downstairs. As I close the bedroom door, I think I hear her sniffle. 


A little over a year after I told her I loved her, we're back on that baseball field. Only this time, I've got a ring in my pocket. 

I'm freaking out at this point. Nervous doesn't begin to cover it. She's not happy with me at the moment. I told her that we were going bowling with our friends...she hates bowling. She doesn't know that they are actually waiting for us at a nearby restaurant. 

As we walk towards the outfield, I ask her why this field is so important to me. 

It's the place where you first said you loved me. 

She's right as always. I stop. Take a breathe and get down on one knee. 


It's been about an hour after I left her crying upstairs. I think I've played enough Madden for the night. I quietly go upstairs and into the bedroom. She looks asleep. Maybe she is, maybe she isn't. Either way she's looks asleep. I want to wake her up to talk. But I don't. I just get under the covers. 

The next morning I'm leaving for work. I turn and see her in the kitchen. 

"Hey....about last night," I say. 

It's okay. I love you too. Have a great day today. 

Later that day I withdrew from the show. 


There are very few people during your life who will believe in you when you don't believe in yourself. People who will celebrate every single one of your triumphs and are ready to support you in your lowest moments. People who love you in a way no one else ever will. 

I could play every dream role, in every theatre and win every award, but if I didn't have someone like this to share it with, none of it would ever really matter.

I love theatre and I love my wife. I love them both with every fiber of my being. The only difference is, theatre will never tell me that she loves me too. So if theatre ever jeopardizes by relationship with my wife, it's been fun but I'll stick with my wife.

It's been two years since I've spent nights at a tech rehearsal rather than with her. It's been two years since my weekends were spent performing instead of going on date nights with her. It's been two years since I almost lost her.

I'm not in a show but I'm playing the most important role I'll ever have. I've got the most perfect costar I could ever ask for.