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    I Wouldn’t Be Single Again!—Mario Lanza

    Without Berry, where would I be? I shudder at the answer. 

    We are enjoying our eighth year of marriage now because she felt exactly the same about love as I did. It is the most important thing in the world. We never viewed it as a game. To me love means marriage and a lasting union of two sweethearts who continually grow more devoted. A flirtation in which the other | person is humbled, or an infatuation that ignores all reason, never should be confused with the real thing.

    All the partying and so-called pleasure and popularity you get from tearing around with a cynical crowd never fooled Betty or me. Neither of us wanted to rush after the illusion of love, and said so.

    I wasn’t worried about never falling in love, I didn’t think much about it—until I met Betty. She wasn’t interested in any of the boys she was dating. Neither of us could have fallen in love with someone we didn’t respect as well as we respected our own conception of marriage.

    We met when Betty was twenty-two and I was twenty-three. If a script writer were presenting this, he would have had me sing my head off to win her. Do you know that I didn’t? Much as music has done for me, I am glad that Betty and I didn’t rely on it. We didn’t depend on any props. We still don’t because it is one another, the actual Betty and Mario, that is enough for us. When eventually I did sing to Betty she said it was the added surprise she never expected in love. I didn’t burst into song when first we met 4 because I wanted her to love me if I couldn’t sing a note. I certainly had no money with which to impress her, only the pay of an enlisted man in the Army. The hie os War made my future as vague the fate of any soldier in the forces.

    Our faith in what we wanted led us to each other, at the right moment. So we dared to plan. During the eight months until I could get out of uniform and we could marry, we grew more positive each passing day that we wanted to spend our lives side by side. We didn’t have quarrels. Betty and I have a passion for harmony. It is a basic want for us. We are miserable when faced with dissension. When I have been upset in Hollywood, she has been the one to smooth things over. I want to be tactful, but she can be.

    We’ve never talked about a fifty-fifty marriage. With us it is one hundred per cent on both sides. We’ve never discussed how modern a husband or wife should be. We are old-fashioned in our wish for a big house where our children and friends always will be welcome.

    Beauty in our surroundings is important in our kind of living. Betty has a genius for home-making, for besides the warmth she expresses she has an artistic sense, and I react to it as strongly as any of our friends. (Incidentally, if we hadn’t been drawn to the same type of friends we would have accepted that as a warning signal to stay apart.) I don’t understand the husband who can be indifferent to the charm a wife can painstakingly give to a house. I know Betty has searched for the most attractive, comfortable things for us, and I am awed by her discernment. I am aware of how she quietly organizes the mechanics of the household so she can be relaxed enough to be gracious. I want to share the final decision with her on everything that goes into our home, for I prefer to be at home practically all the time I’m not working. I even do all my rehearsing at home.

    In my kind of marriage my wife never is separated from me. Betty has gone with me on all my concert tours. And she always will. Soon, we will begin taking the children along, too. Much has been said about how a Hollywood career separates a performer from his mate. I don’t know anything about that. It never has been a problem to us. When Im at the studio all day I telephone Betty a dozen times, literally. ’m that eager to share what has just been happening to me—and to her.

    Every day we start off together with coffee in our bedroom. Whatever the day demands, we will take it on together in good spirit, and nothing can break that up.

    The big deals can be postponed—and are—if they keep us from being considerate of one another. Applause or money add up to nothing if in achieving them you hurt the one you love. There is always time to be the husband or wife you long to be, if you put this wish above everything else. Betty and I do.

    I want Betty to be in on every phase of my work. I don’t believe there are exclusive portions of life that are solely masculine or feminine. We want to share and help each other in everything. My work doesn’t stop at six o’clock every night. It has to carry over into our evenings. But I enjoy this, and so does Betty. She doesn’t resent my asking business associates to the house for long conferences. Sometimes we don’t remember we are hungry until we ask her for dinner at 11 P.M.! Since Betty is in on everything she takes such things in her stride. And because she is so flexible to my ways, she is. never angry at the complexity of my career.

    In our scheme we have no urge to make the other over. If we had wanted to marry someone who had other traits, we would have done that. We are tolerant of idiosyncrasies. Some of mine have been gigantic, I’m quick to confess. But Betty saw that my intentions always were good and knew the root of my faults. They seem to be fewer because she has regarded them lovingly rather than critically. Her completely kind sense of humor is always in evidence.

    I like to combine plans with taking a chance, and Betty is a fabulous woman on this score. We have to plan what we’re going to do and when—because we have only so many hours to devote to leisure, But if Betty hadn’t been as adaptable hadn’t wanted to go along with me whatever challenges I’ve had to tackle, we wouldn’t have progressed. I listen to her suggestions, her sound logic, and then her confidence in me cinches my impulse to do my best.

    No one appreciates the spell of moonlight more than I do. Unless it’s Betty! We’ve watched a big moon rise in the desert, when there wasn’t a soul in sight for a hundred miles, and we’ve strolled hand-in-hand on the moonlit beach at Waikiki. We’ve travelled over nearly all of America, and part of Canada. We have so much to see in Europe, South America, and in the South Seas. We want all the vivid adventures that belong to a couple in their adulthood.

    Betty dresses to please me, not other women. For this I’m grateful. I like woman feminine in appearance, not an artificial, high-styled clothes-horse. I react to purely feminine fashions, furs, and perfume, as she selects them. And how!

    Her sincerity and intelligence have enchanted me from the beginning, and always will because they are qualities she has cultivated purposely. Betty never supposes she is owed a lot of attention merely because she is a woman. She none of that shallow vanity. She expects to earn every prize she can receive, and she is as alert mentally as she is emotionally. No one is bored around her, least of all me. She shuns self-pity like the worst case of virus, tries to solve all problems. And a husband whose wife that she can lick on her own is an exceedingly fortunate fellow.

    Our children are a vital part of my kind of marriage. I do not leave Colleen and Elisa entirely up to Betty. I feel every child deserves an affectionate, sympathetic father as much as a mother. I don’t ever want to become too busy for my little girls.

    I am their most loyal audience. I won’ spoil them, because that is foolish. But I’ll always praise them ten times as much as I correct them. You make a child dumb by condemnation, inspire by suggesting often that he or she has an in power to be called upon for every test.

    They will only be as good as the example Betty and I can set for them Proper training cannot be pushed off onto their schools or onto our church. Fundamentally, it’s up to us to be whatever we prescribe to them as worthwhile. This seems a mighty tough order. It keeps us on our toes, for we’re conscious of hoy impressionable Colleen and Elisa are. We never break a promise to them, or to each other. We are as courteous to them as to grown-ups. Their possessions have a place, and so do their ideas. We want them to know that there is no need to be envious, since every human being is born with individuality and wonderful potentialities.

    If I sing about love, it’s because I couldn’t live without it!





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