Recently my husband has been visiting the video store quite regularly. At this time of year there’s never anything decent to watch on TV. Amongst the usual collection of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis movies, he’s been watching quite a few Westerns and the last two have had me reminiscing again.
When I first met my husband, I introduced him to my younger sister. It turned out she had met him before, as he was a friend of a guy who was sweet on her in college. She never made much comment about my choice of boyfriend until we got engaged, when she suddenly said, ‘You can’t marry him!’ In horror, I imagined all the terrible things she might know about him that she’d never been brave enough to tell me. Was he a gigolo? An axe murderer? I was much relieved when she added, ‘He doesn’t look anything like Tom Selleck!’
Poor girl. As a teenager I’d had a huge crush on Tom Selleck. Every other crush I had bore a remarkable resemblance to Tom Selleck – tall, dark, big moustache, incredibly gorgeous… And here I now was, marrying a man with light hair (what was left of it), blue eyes, tall but thin, definitely not the sort you’d imagine pelting across the desert on his trusty steed, shooting the baddies and saving the day. My sister was very disappointed. She’d always imagined that when I fell in love, it would be with a Tom Selleck clone.
So had I settled for second best? No way! After nineteen years of marriage, if Tom Selleck knocked on the door and offered to whisk me away on his trusty steed, I’d politely decline and shut the door (though I do admit, I still think he’s gorgeous). The truth is, sometimes reality can be better than our dreams. I remind myself of that often. When I was young I dreamed of marrying that tall, dark handsome man and having a large family. Instead I married a man who became my dream and we struggled through years of infertility to have one child and adopt two more. I ended up with the best man in the world and the three most beautiful children. I wouldn’t change them for anything I ever dreamed about.
Though I might dream of being a rich and famous writer and illustrator I’ll keep my feet on the ground. I love writing, I love illustrating. I can’t live without them. Riches and fame might be nice, but reality’s pretty good too!