It was my birthday the other day. Before you wonder, I'm not afraid to reveal it; 36. A year the wrong side of the demographic I'd really rather be in on surveys (why is it always 35-54? Can't they just leave us alone to eke out our 30s?) , but on the plus side, I am still younger than Kylie and only a few months older than Kate Moss......
The Doctor bought tickets for us to go and see Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge, starring the brilliant Ken Stott and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (Maid Marian to Kevin Costner's Robin Hood, if you can remember that far back and hum the Bryan Adams song). He claims he picked it for its Brooklyn setting, as well as the rave reviews, as we'll be staying in Brooklyn initially when we get to the States. Let's just hope the storyline is not as relevant as the setting; if our arrival in the US sparks incestuous desire, marital breakdown, betrayal and violence as it does for the Italian immigrants in the play, this blog may get altogether more exciting.
Anyway, it was a fabulous production. And on a subconscious level, I'd like to think he chose it because Arthur Miller played a pivotal part in our relationship.
The year: 1991. The drink of choice at the Union bar: Diamond White cider, the song of the moment: Kylie's Better the Devil you know or REM's Losing My Religion. The Doctor and I were on the same corridor in a University hall of residence. We moved vaguely in the same crowd, but had barely spoken. But for some reason I was strangely taken with this good-looking, slightly dishevelled, aloof medical student in a black leather jacket, who managed to combine hanging out with a crowd of rowdy lads with artistic pursuits such as playing the violin (always a winner, boys).
Apart from the usual studenty exchanges - 'Diamond White for me please,' 'God, I was sooooo hammered' - etc, practically the only conversation we had had was about Arthur Miller. I, fresh from my thesp stage at school, had studied The Crucible for A level drama and even directed it, my sister's GCSE drama class helpfully providing the teenage hysterics. He had studied guess what? A View from the Bridge.
So when I noticed that the University drama society was putting on The Crucible about half way through the first term, I made my move. I snapped up tickets for a group of friends, and made sure there was one going spare. I casually mentioned it to The Doctor in the corridor one day, and he agreed to come.
I don't remember much about the evening, other than that I failed to sit next to The Doctor - some other girl got in the way - and although he was grateful for the ticket seemed completely oblivious to my ulterior motives. I spent the rest of the term fending off the attentions of a motley group of other admirers, all of whom declared their undying love but none of whom I actually fancied (except for one Vet student, who provided some useful snogging practice). He spent the rest of the term ignoring me.
But something about the evening must have struck a chord. Because, when we returned from the Christmas holidays, everything had changed. The very first evening, The Doctor pounced, The Vet was history, and we have been together ever since.
So, eighteen years on and after nearly 11 years of marriage I guess I should say a big posthumous thank you to Arthur Miller for bringing us together. And now for the next Act....