ASK REX: #4 (Valentine’s Day Edition)

How do you know it's true love?

Rex Carleton, TPS technical director and Seattle Theatre Wikipedia himself answers monthly questions in this new feature of our Newsletter. Program Assistant Libby Barnard sits down with the man himself to ask him one of your many questions.

4. How do you know if it’s true love?

REX: YUCK!

(laughter)

LIBBY: Do you believe in true love?

REX: Oh, sure. But I’m certainly not a master on the subject — like yikes. 

LIBBY: How did you and your wife meet?

REX: In theatre, of course. Well, she was a single mom, trying to make her way in seattle and she had come up from California originally from Massachusetts — we grew up not 40 minutes away from each other — of course, we didn’t know.

LIBBY: I love when those things work out.

REX: And she was just trying to get her bearings in the city — you know, she had been here for a while, so. She just happened to walk into the Group Theatre and liked what we were doing. And around the same time, we were trying — not the first time, certainly not the last time — trying to put together some sort of volunteer program that made sense and one of the things we came up with was these gatherings that were kind of half get-to-know-you cocktail parties, and half seminars on some subjects. And I did a series of them on tech stuff including lighting design, and she happened to come to the lighting design one. You know, and so that’s how it started. I don’t remember exactly the sequence after that but you know, she was volunteering around the organization. And she ended up volunteering and then eventually working as the Development Director because she had some experience in that realm. She actually cones from a science background.  

She has a Doctorate in Physical Chemistry and yada yada yada, but she certainly had the chops to do advanced admin work, so that’s how we met, and we kind of just went from there.

So how do you know it’s true love…? Honestly, wait 30 years. And if you’ve still got a working thing in 30 years, you can look back on it and say, “yeah, this is true love.”

You know, maybe it’s just the way things are these days with everyone wanting instant, immediate gratification, but I sometimes wonder — and I see it with our children — whether they have the patience to let a relationship evolve. That’s not a criticism because god knows there are plenty of ways to have a relationship. I think ultimately, the real answer to having a solid, sustained relationship — call it love, call it whatever — is in part a willingness to give yourself up, but far more important: a willingness to listen and to be sensitive and responsive to who the other person is. To accept them for who they are, instead of trying to fit them into some kind of pigeonhole that you designed. 

We’ve been married now for 34 years, which is no small feat, and you know, it works. Ultimately, true love = best friend in the long run. And everything else kind of falls in place.

HAVE A QUESTION FOR REX?
E-mail Keiko at keiko@tpsonline.org with the subject heading “ASK REX” to have your question featured in an upcoming newsletter!

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