32 A Driving Surprise


I love surprises, but I really love surprising other people.

The year I decided to go back to Cumberland County Playhouse to play Vera in Sanders Family Christmas, I had only been dating Andy for 4 months. It didn’t seem like a lot of time, but I had a feeling that our relationship was going somewhere.

Our show had a 5 day hiatus, and I thought, “I should drive the 596 miles to Allenberry and surprise Andy!”

The sales guy at the theater got me a discount at the local car rental place. I used one of my cast members as a cover, by telling Andy that I was going with him to visit his family in Alabama. If I can remember correctly, Andy was suspicious of my wanting to go with this guy, but I needed an excuse to be out of touch as I drove through spotty cell reception areas.

Then I packed up the car and drove the 596 miles to see him. I was so nervous the entire drive, hoping the surprise would end up being a good thing. Some people don’t take too well to surprises.

I pulled into the parking lot of cast housing, and he was sitting in a lawn chair on the concrete slab porch. He looked up, and it didn’t occur to him that it was me, so he looked down again.

I said, “Hi Hunny!”, and he immediately had a look of complete disbelief on his face.

The look on his face made the trip worth it. I don’t think I have been able to top that surprise since.

Well maybe I topped it when I said “yes” to marrying him…


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