Marrying ‘Hollywood’ comes with perks

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Categorized as 04/11/11 Goshen News column

In my opinion, there really is a striking resemblance between my husband and the movie star, though the similarities pretty much end at the neck.  Mr. Travolta, for instance, flies.  Mr. Schrock doesn’t.  Mr. Travolta lives in a gated community in Florida.  Mr. Schrock lives in a farmhouse on three acres which aren’t gated, but probably should be, considering his offspring.  Travolta the actor married a striking blond actress.  The other Travolta married a curly-headed brunette who’s so short, he says, that she has to run around in the shower to get wet.  (Very funny, “John.”)

My Travolta shuns the spotlight.  The other one pays an agent to find one for him.  Then there’s this – the real Travolta can dance like nobody’s business.  Mine?  Well, he’ll tell you himself that he can’t sing and clap at the same time.  It’s one or the other.   Fame and fortune and dancing prowess of the Hollywood star notwithstanding, I’d take my “ungated” Travolta any day of the week.  I don’t know about the real one, but mine isn’t afraid to change a diaper, change the oil, scrub a toilet, or squash bugs.  He washes my van, scratches my back, and rubs the kinks out of my neck after hours of typing.  For a guy who values his peace and quiet, he gracefully endures all the kaboom that you get when you marry a girl with an inner cheerleader and some red in her hair.  When I catch him praying that the Good Lord would let him be bored “just this once,” I remind him that I’m doing all I can to help him prevent Alzheimer’s and can’t he just give thanks?  I can’t help thinking, though, that the other John’s New Year’s celebration was a little smoother than ours.  I doubt that he – um, dropped the ball out there in his Florida mansion.  After spending nearly a week in the Smokies over Christmas, we’d decided to hunker down and spend New Year’s Eve at home with the boys.  We’d watch movies until almost midnight, and then we’d join millions of our fellow citizens to usher in the new year in that fine American tradition, by watching the dropping of the ball in Times Square.  Here it came.  Breathless, we sat, hunched on the edge of the couch, raising our voices as one with the crowd gathered there in the square.  “Ten, nine, eight,” we chanted.  “Seven, six, five.”  We tensed, eyes glued to the crystal ball hovering in air.  “Four, three, two.”  The excitement was palpable.  And then it happened.  The screen went black.  Wha…?   “Parental controls!” someone, likely a minor, hollered.  Sure enough.  Back in November when we’d left for the weekend, someone else who looks suspiciously like a certain movie star had set the TV to go off at midnight.  That way, he’d figured, there’d be no 24-hour TV marathon in our absence.  Well, he was right.  There was no TV marathon.  There was no gracefully dropping ball, either.  What there was, was a different kind of marathon held outdoors in pajamas and slippers with the runner being “encouraged” to set records by his somewhat disgruntled family who followed in the van, honking loudly.  Okay, so we didn’t make him run, and we actually got a good laugh out of it.  The new year came anyway, and meanwhile, I continue to shop with Mr. Travolta.  I just hope there’ll be more ice cream involved soon.         

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