Neil and I are very passionate people – we love our hobbies and love telling people about how much we love our hobbies. We have often been considered walking encyclopedias for our subjects of choice. One of the things we like to do for each other is learn about (and take part in) each other’s passions.
Haley Loves Broadway
Most people know about my mad, intense love for the performing arts, specifically musical theatre. I grew up doing theater and have spent years memorizing show tunes and belting them in my car. I can’t wait to get my hands on the latest original cast recording. But I don’t stop there. I also learn about all the people involved. Who is doing what show and which stage actors are dating/married and which shows will be making their way to the Great White Way in the next 1, 3, or 5 years. I love everything about it. So it was mega important to me that my future spouse could at least tolerate my intense passion. Little did I know my husband would not only support my addiction, but engage in it himself…
Neil Loves Sports
I’ve always enjoyed sports. It actually started with basketball trading cards. Growing up in Norway there was limited access to American sports. Most of what I knew about the NBA was from trading cards. When we moved back the States, I was able to fully immerse myself in sports. NBA on TV. Baseball little leagues. Dad watching his Kansas State football games. It was my prime form of entertainment. I love the competition, but I also love the drama. Sports are kind of like a soap opera for guys. Why is Dennis Rodman wearing that dress? Will Kobe and Shaq ever speak to each other again? What’s wrong with Sammy Sosa’s face? It’s amazing drama. I love it all: watching, playing, debating, participating in fantasy sports leagues. All the sports things. I don’t think Haley knows quite how easy I could ingest sports 24/7 and not get bored. Like eating pizza. You can never have too much pizza.
Haley Learns Sports
Something I get to do as Neil’s wife is accompany him to live sports events. This year, we’ve been to both a pro basketball game and soccer game. Normally, these sorts of events leave me utterly bored. But watching them with Neil is so fascinating. Or rather, watching Neil watch sports is fascinating. Neil is truly a walking sports almanac. He knows all the dudes’ names, where they went to college, what they make annually, and what’s happening in their personal lives. He regales me with juicy details of locker room fights and financial woes. It may not be Broadway, but it’s definitely got an equal amount of drama. My favorite thing to do is to ask him to explain sports to me and watch him go. It’s like spinning a top – he just keeps going and going and going. And, for some reason, I love it.
This year I have taken a mad dive into the world of Fantasy Football. My Nana asked Neil to teach her how to play and BOOM. We have a league. At first, I could have cared less, but then my competitive side kicked in. Suddenly I understand why people get so into this! Now I play mother hen to my gaggle of assorted sportsmen. I have given them all fun nicknames (usually because I don’t know who they are) and cheer or scold them frequently. One of my dudes broke his ribs and I became very irritated with his lack of self-care, especially because I lost that round. I may not have become a true sports fan, but I can definitely understand the appeal. Also, what is it with the majority of my fantasy team having the same bye weeks? GET IT TOGETHER, GUYS. Seriously.
Neil Learns Broadway
I’ve always enjoyed going to the ‘theatre” (as the Europeans would spell it). It wasn’t like a super regular thing for my family, but every once in a while there would be a trip to the symphony or a play or a musical, and I would always enjoy it. I don’t think kids who grew up in the 90s know it, but they love musicals, too. That’s thanks to Disney. Aladdin, Lion King, Hercules, The Nightmare before Christmas. All musicals and you didn’t even know it! I didn’t. Haley had to point it out to me.
Me: “That movie is just filled with songs that move the plot along. It’s just a movie.”
Haley: “No Neil, that is a musical.”
A lot of people have a bias towards theatre, mostly plays and musicals, as a lesser form of entertainment. For me, I enjoy good stories. And good stories can be told by many means, and I think that’s why I dig theatre.
I like to think meeting Haley blossomed a love of theatre that was always there. I was but a seed waiting for water. If you know Haley, you know she eats Broadway for breakfast. At first, plays and musicals served as great date night ideas, knowing we would both enjoy the shows. Haley soon introduced me to classic musical movies one at a time. Fiddler on the Roof. Singing in the Rain. Oklahoma! Then came Broadway. Soon, we were going to see Book of Mormon, Wicked, Newsies, and more on tour (we even made it up to NYC a couple times). The On Broadway! Sirius radio station became our road trip go-to. Before you knew it I was in the thick of Seth Rudesky and Tyler Mount YouTube videos. And it wasn’t Haley asking me to watch this. I was seeking these things out! I think it was back in September when Haley had her proudest moment as my wife, when I correctly answered her 42nd Street trivia question. I’m pretty much a Broadway genius now. I can distinguish Brian Darcy James from a Brian Stokes Mitchell simply by hearing their voices.
At the end of the day, whether it’s show tunes or the sidelines, we are grateful that each of us not only is willing to share our passions but also enjoys doing so. What are your passions? How do you share them? Let us know in the comments below!