My Funny Valentine

My Funny Valentine

Dearest of all Valentines – my own dear Max,

I have another month before I can see your smile again. I hope it doesn’t fade in my absence. Okay, selfishly I probably hope that it fades a tiny bit. I mean, how can you live without me, really? But I insist that our time apart is making us stronger. I look forward to the day when we don’t have to be apart from each other – neither on Valentine’s nor any other day.

But even though I’m miles away, my heart is right there beside you.

We have been through amazing things together. I mean, really – just look at what we have accomplished!

Sharing a Chocolate Malt

I hated your guts in high school. You were a pompous ass. You made me so mad because you were so stubborn. I tried to knock your ego down a few pegs, but no use – so instead of fighting it I tried to just ignore you. Yeah right. And then we did Taming of the Shrew together. Our first kiss was on that stage. There’s no denying we had chemistry. I was embarrassed of my hormone-crazed infatuation of you. I blamed Shakespeare (my kryptonite!) and my ‘woman’s heart grossly grew captive to [your] honey words.’ Damn the Bard.

You graduated and I thought I would forget you. I very nearly did. Fast forward two years.

It was a very difficult day for me. I had been toying with the idea of going, but was actually more content to sit at home. However, Martin was being difficult and Mom gave me the keys so I drove the Honda Passport away. I wanted to just escape, but I didn’t know where else to go – so I went to Edison’s graduation. Jessie was the salutatorian and I wanted to hear her speech. I ran into Carly too, but she didn’t have any empty seats near her so I choose instead to cross the arena and sit by my lonesome. I was sitting there for a few minutes before you started ascending the stairs toward me. It looked like you were alone too, so I called your name and waved. You saw me then joined me. We small-talked about God-knows-what and then screamed for Jessie when she approached the podium. Afterwards we made plans to hang out. When I got back into the Honda Passport, I had the dumbest grin on my face and I said your name aloud and hit my head on the steering-wheel, making sure that it wasn’t a dream.

I came over to your apartment the next night. We played Rock Band and you offered me Franzia (come on, Max – really? Franzia?!) Gareth joined us (seriously Max, what were you thinking?) and we watched the entire first season of How I Met Your Mother on DVD (I have to hand it to you – smooth move on that choice). I was kinda smitten, but cautious. I had never… You suggested a dinner date, I agreed, and slept that night on your couch.  (Don’t look at me like that kids – it was innocent.)

A staged B&N shot

I was so nervous. I probably changed fifteen times. When I was doing my makeup in the front bathroom, Dad walked by and stared at me for a bit. I was dancing around to Christina Aguilera’s Candy Man and putting on tacky lip glass. “Uh Oh” he said, and I got embarrassed and yelled at him to leave me alone. Mom chased him into the next room. You picked me up. We went to P.F. Changs, which was my first time to the restaurant. You were suave and handsome. You made me feel beautiful. It helped that you worked there; everyone knew you and went out of their way to make things glamorous. I felt like Julia Robert’s in Pretty Woman. Only I wasn’t being paid. But in my mind you were Richard Gere. I know how ridiculous this all sounds on paper, but I thought it was the most romantic night ever.


It’s been a crazy roller-coaster of a ride since then. Here are some highlights:

  • Sneaking you into the dorms and spending weekends together.
  • Listening to music together – more specifically the first time you played me “Sunday” by Maroon Five. It was on the drive from your apartment to my parent’s house.
  • “There Is”
  • Suiting up for a date at McDonalds.
  • An admittedly drunken phone call by the bonfire when I asked you to move in
  • Our first night in that apartment on 4th and Beech. The sink was full of black guck and I was so upset that everything was ruined, but somehow you turned it around and made everything okay.
  • Playing video games together (Rock Band, Army of Two, Assassins Creed, and Little Big Planet). Even though I would be so mad when you would win.
  • Picking up Penny. Thanks for humoring me on that. I know she’s not always the kindest cat, but I’m happy she came into our lives – she taught us a lot.
  • A lunch in the Union Hall at Pipeliners when we walked about our future. Later, at Shades of Brown. They were difficult talks – but one that defined us.
  • Defending our love in method class.
  • The break-up. In hindsight it was a good thing, don’t you agree? It allowed for us to reevaluate what was important to each of us independently.
  • Returning to Tulsa and realizing we were still best friends, even if we tried to deny it.
  • A dance at Sound Pony months later – it was the moment I realized I really wasn’t over you.
  • Disney World.
  • When you asked me to move in with you in August.
  • Every moment in between.

I’m still amazed how giddy I get when I think about you. Every day with you is a new and exciting journey. I don’t even know what else to say. I love you. I wish the English language had words enough to express it. It’s overwhelming. Thank you for everything you’ve given me – confidence, support, and most of all – love. Every day is Valentine’s Day.


Finale, Act One.

Dear Twenty Eleven,

You’ve been very strange and all over the place. We started out wonderfully. A sweet kiss from Mark Trotter at the Boese residence. Perhaps my desperation to find a fellow to kiss when the clock struck was unattractive. I had someone else in mind, but they turned down my advances. That could have been my first hint, but I wouldn’t allow it to rain on my parade. I pursued that boy all the way into March when he kissed another in front of me. A ginger at that! Oh, Twenty Eleven, I was furious – but had no one but myself to blame.Photo by American Theatre Company

In February I traveled to Memphis, TN to audition at UPTAs. While the entire city of Tulsa was snowed in, I was tap dancing across a Marley floor in a hotel ballroom and doing my best Carol Burnett impersonation in callbacks. When I came back to Tulsa from my auditions, I discovered that I was laid off from my day job. Where one door closes, another opens – so I just had to find it. I didn’t find that door until May, but it was on the stage at American Theatre Company’s Taming of the Shrew, directed by the ever-wise Dan McGeehan. I was very proud of my work.

When spring was sprung, I found myself back where I was happy most – with Max. We kept insisting we were just friends in public, but I’m pretty sure it was obvious. Tragedy struck in May. I helped as much as I could. It was awful. I don’t know what else to say here.

I was contracted for work in September for the National Theatre for Children. Leaving Tulsa was a difficult decision, but one I couldn’t pass up. I don’t regret it – touring made me feel alive. My parents had a new addition to the house - our very own fire!I missed Max with every beat of my heart, but touring is another world. I met so many wonderful people. I’m thrilled to join NTC for another tour next week – this time we’re coming for Ohio and North Carolina!

The holidays were hard, but we made it through for the better with our bellies full and our stockings stuffed. I’m just thankful for every day you gave me Twenty Eleven. You did alright by me, even when I didn’t realize it. Twenty Twelve should have more surprises in store. I’m just happy to tag along for the ride. Thanks for having me.