Friday, April 13, 2012

Theater Connoisseurs: Pat and Jim

After a long day of running around working, going to the city and coming back; we were looking for potential people to interview. We were tired and not in the mood to talk to people. We were waiting to transfer trains at Howard, and there were clusters of people everywhere up and down the station, but no one in particular stuck out - that is, until we ran into Pat and Jim.  
Pat and Jim were heading back from a Cubs game, going north on the Purple Line when we met them. They're both retired, but they still haven't hit their primes. They didn't say it explicitly, but they had this magical connection between them, you knew they were married from the way they looked at each other, and spoke to each other, and the statement made sitting quietly content together. I felt presumptuous assuming they were married, but the unspoken silence between them said so much! So Mariam just asked, "So, how long have you been married?" It took them a minute to answer. They both kind of shrugged and said, "Forever!" And then Pat quickly did the math and said 33 years!
Given that they're both retired and have time on their hands, we asked Jim and Pat about their dreams (the ones you have when you're asleep - this was just a runoff from an earlier conversation about the insight dreams provide about people).  Jim told us about a nightmare he has, that is probably one of the most prolific and common ones ever - especially amongst north-side Chicagoans. He said that he has this terrible, recurring nightmare about the Cubs never winning the World Series!  
In their free time, Pat and Jim are theater connoisseurs. They volunteer at a handful of theaters around Chicago. They've visited and watched performances at a lot of the bigger theaters, but they have a soft spot for smaller, more intimate theater groups. They volunteer at the theaters, ushering, and working behind the scenes several times a week! They really like the intimacy and the creativity of smaller theaters, where the creativity is really given a chance to fully bloom, without the pressure of selling a bigger show. This dynamic theater duo probably watches around 30 shows a year, and they can never get enough of the creativity and the inspiring bravery that it takes to stand on a stage and successfully perform in front of an audience. 
Because Pat and Jim seemed so wise, we asked them one more question: If you could go back in time and tell the young you one thing, what would it be?! 
Pat said the she would tell her younger self to save more money and to never under value learning other languages, travel a lot while you can, to get everything she can out of a good education. Jim said, he had no regrets. He thought he knew what he wanted going into college at the University of Alabama (Woo, Crimson Tide!). He picked his major, and graduated, but a few months after he was out of college he never used his degree. He didn't mind, and made the most of everything he could!
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us, Pat and Jim. We hope you have many wonderful more years together, and look forward to meeting you again, whether on the train or in the theater. 

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