It turned out that Renee was going through a divorce. She is very charming and quite attractive. She grew up throughout the Midwest and even lived in
and has a slight “Minnasewta” accent (you bet). She is about 5’5”, long dark hair, green eyes, and in great shape. A bit “earthy,” but in a good way and a hockey mom. Jennifer Connelly has been my #1 celebrity crush since playing David Bowie’s foil in Labyrinth and Renee looks a bit like her. We really connected from the start. I purposefully acted inept at tying my flouncy Victorian ruffle that was part of the costume at each dress rehearsal so that she would do it for me. I remember how intoxicating it was to have a beautiful woman simply fuss over me; the smell of her perfume up close, and her soft touch as she patted down the ruffle against my chest and adjusted my collar. And for her I think I came across as very charming. I did meet her husband and he was very gruff and seemed perpetually angry and was apparently an absentee father. As you find on AM there are a lot of guys who have no clue as to what they have at home. I think for her I, in my Nutcracker role, was the antithesis of what she had experienced in her marriage. Renee is also a bit of a foodie so we had a lot to talk about. She is also very passionate about “green” issues and I am a good listener. I think having someone interested in listening to her was a boost to her. Alaska
After the performances I was very disappointed that I might not see her as often. Fortunately it was the holiday season and I took the opportunity to be charming and gave her a miniature herb Christmas tree as a present. Just enough of a present to be sweet but not so much as to cross a boundary. She was very happy at the gesture and we exchanged e-mail and phone numbers and agreed to stay in touch. Over the holidays we did exchange e-mails, e cards, funny YouTube attachments, etc. When she sent me a text on New Years Eve around midnight wishing me “Happy New Year,” I definitely felt a vibe. But what to do?
Over the next few weeks we met a few times for coffee. I went on a business trip to
New England and was compelled to bring her back some Organic chocolate and a book I thought she would enjoy, again sweet but not too far. If felt so good to spend time trying to find something for someone special when I knew the simple thought would be appreciated. When I returned I dropped the gifts off to the townhouse she was moving into. Again, I can’t describe the intoxicating feeling of having someone truly delighted by something you do. My wife (Shannon) tends to be all about the merchandise and is not often impressed by the thought. She always seems so image conscious and I rarely get it right with her.
So we settled into a routine. We talked on the phone at least once per week and e-mailed often occasionally sharing a joke or YouTube link we thought was interesting. I would say we met for lunch or coffee about once per month. She often did talk about her soon to be X. I can’t tell you how many times I was on the brink of just saying “how do you know when its time to leave your spouse.” But I just couldn’t pull the trigger. Down deep I knew that a relationship with Renee couldn’t just be casual and I was not ready to make a big move in my life. I think to my credit I didn’t want to add any stress to her life and I didn’t think I needed the stress in mine. And of course there is always the chance that I was misreading the vibe. Over my life I believe I have been the perpetual “nice guy.” A female friend once told me “I was the guy she would date if she was not with the guy she was with.” That’s me, too often second place – on the PGA tour that would make you a millionaire but with love just out in the cold. L Fortunately, my luck would soon change but that is a different story.
The following summer I did see Renee at a festival with a date and I was struck by the intense jealousy I felt. I knew then I needed to do something soon.