September 20, 2013 by T. Gregory Argall
I met a nice couple last night.
Through work I’m going to be spending a lot of time with them over the next couple of days. They are somewhat famous due to his job and while I was looking forward to meeting them, I also wrestled with that little voice that pipes up whenever one has the opportunity to meet someone they admire.
“What if he’s an asshole?” said the voice.
I needn’t have worried. Nothing couple be further from the truth. They are both very friendly, intelligent, open, chatty people. We had a wonderful conversation and I was immediately comfortable just talking with them.
The degree to which he is a nice guy is even more notable considering that his public persona is so extreme, almost to the point of being a caricature of itself.
They’ve been married for 37 years. That’s a rarity among marriages in a public spotlight. He used to have a serious drinking problem – technically he still does but he’s winning the battle – but he’s been sober for nearly thirty years. They got married during a period when he was almost perpetually drunk every waking minute.
When he was in rehab drying out one of his main fears, he has said, was similar to the little voice I heard when meeting them. “What if I’m an asshole?” He was terrified that she would not love him as a sober man after seeing the drunk man for so many years.
Addiction can really mess up your perspective sometimes.
So, as I said, that was nearly thirty years ago. They are still married.
In the short time I spent with them last evening, one thing was very apparent from the way they talk to each other, the honest way they laugh at each other’s jokes, their closeness when they’re just standing together.
These two people are still very much in love.
They are inspiring. I’m glad I met them.