| "Couldn't we just put it on a table someplace?" Steve Lawrence asked hopefully, looking down at the clown-decorated tray reposing on the floor.
"Nope," his bride Eydie Gorme said firmly. "The dining room wall is where it's supposed to go on and the dining room wall is where it's going to go!"
"Oke, General," sighed Steve, "but let's have some teamwork this time. Just as I attach my stickum tape to the wall, you put yours on the back of the tray. Then when I yell 'now' you hoist the tray to me and I'll plaster it to the wall."
"That's what I call strategy!" mused Eydie as she got to work.
"Now!!" yelled Steve, whereupon Eydie tossed the tray and with a quick movement he attached it to the wall. It stuck. "Victory!" he yelled and jumped off the chair. The tray suddenly went "zoomph" and with a bang crashed to the floor.
Eydie began to giggle, tried to repress the giggle, couldn't. With a glassy look in his eyes, Steve gently picked the tray up and struck his wife neatly on top of the head.
|The First Year is the Wackiest|
by Dorothy Day
| At this, his bride burst into a full-throated laugh which ended with each collapsing into the other's arms, muttering something about "Let's try it for the thirty-second time."
Such is life with Steve and Eydie at their Fifty-Seventh Street apartment in New York City in this, the first wonderful, wacky year of their marriage.
To say that Mr. and Mrs. Steve Lawrence are in love is an understatement. An afternoon with them is like a day in the country. Visit them and you'll find they're as stimulating as a bottle of vitamin tablets - and much nicer to take.
Steve ushers us into the living room, leaping over a huge white hassock which stands in the way. Landing on all fours, he emits a Tarzan-like cry. Then he invites his mate to join him on the hassock. She does. It is ample for two and very cosy for people in love.
"It's fun to be a little crazy," Steve begins, "and we take it as a good luck sign that our marriage got off to a real crazy start. What happened? Well, it was to take place in a Las Vegas hotel at noon. I got there, Eydie got there, and so did the flowers, the cake, the champagne and most of the guests. The rabbi was about to begin the ceremony when who should burst in but Joe E. Lewis wearing a night shirt and a Jewish skull cap. The cap was appropriate for the wedding ceremony - but that night shirt! Joe E. was breathless from running. 'This is the earliest I ever got up in my life,' he said to Eydie and me. 'It just goes to show how much I like you kids.' We loved him for it but the rabbi said he couldn't go on with the ceremony until we did something with the man in the night shirt. Well, we sent Joe E. home, he changed, rushed back - and so we were married. "
There is some byplay at this point wherein Eydie pushes her mate off the hassock and he plays dead on the floor until she says affectionately, "Good doggie, good doggie!"
Steve rolls over on his back and Eydie scratches his stomach. Then he says, "I wouldn't claim that Eydie fell in love with me right away, but...
"Indeed not," interrupts Eydie, "it was five minutes after I met him."
"But," Steve continues, "I do recall we said something original to each other like 'hello.' She was wearing a little blue dress trimmed with blue and white stripes..."
Eydie claps her hands. "Imagine him remembering that!" she cries delightedly.
"And I thought she was cute, real cute," Steve goes on. "It was, you understand, a professional meeting and I was thinking of her solely in terms of a singer. It was for a forty-minute local show, and I thought she'd be nice to be with for forty minutes at a time. As for love, it sort of crept up on us later."
"A creepy love affair," Eydie puts in. Then more seriously, she continues: "You may say you fall in love at first sight, it sounds romantic, but real love isn't that simple. It's impossible to fall in love all at once. You have to get to know a person, gradually, over a period of time."
This is the answer to a question that has been asked a number of times by many admirers of these two: "Why didn't you marry sooner?" They were together on the Steve Allen show for a long time; they performed their duet numbers in a manner that made the onlooker feel they were really in love, not just play acting. "So what are they waiting for?" was the question.
From watching and listening to Steve and Eydie you guess the answer: their good common sense, their sensible rearing with family life a dominating force in their formative years. They just knew that marriage is a serious step, not to be rushed. Besides, they were separated a good deal of the time with individual night club engagements all over the country.
"Those phone bills!" Steve holds his head. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder - and the phone bills larger."
"It's because you talked too much," Eydie puts in. "I used to say, 'How about hanging up?' - but no, you always had something more to tell me."
Steve looks appropriately squelched. "I only wanted to tell her I loved her. Is that bad?"
Eydie cocks her pert little head: "No, it's just repetitious - and expensive. I always heard him the first time." Then as an aside she whispers: "But it was always darn nice to hear it again and again. But now we figure there is no sense for people who want to be together to be separated. So I'm booked when Steve will be free so he can go with me, and he's arranged his bookings when I'm free so I can go with him. We won't make as much money that way, as if we both took continuous engagements, but we need to be together. We want the happiness of sharing our lives.
| "We complement each other," says Eydie. "Steve is very easygoing, relaxed. I'm inclined to be more tense. I've learned the joy of relaxation since I married Steve."
"I rub off on people," Steve comments.
"He dominates, of course," says Eydie.
"No, she does," says Steve.
Eydie considers seriously for a moment. "I guess maybe he's right. He asks me what I'd like to do - with his mind already made up!"
"Not so, not so!" cries Steve, grinning. "She means like if I ask her would she like me to make breakfast and bring it to her in bed. She would, and I do."
"And he makes a neat ham and egg dish," smiles Eydie. "And he's very good for me. I'm stronger now - more able to make decisions. I used to be wishy-washy. Now, faced with a problem, I face it, and I'm able to size up a situation more quickly. I used to be shy with strangers. I felt inferior. So many silly little things that I'm so much better about since I have Steve.
"Your turn." Eydie addresses Steve. He looks quite serious. Then slowly he says: "Eydie gives me a confidence I never had before. It's a feeling of security that comes when somebody loves you. It's great." Then almost as if he were shy of being so sentimentally honest, he reaches down and picks up a slip cover. "Pardon me, lady," he says, addressing the couch. "I don't mean to be fresh, but I want to show what's under you." The couch-material under the slip cover is of beautiful buff velvet and the huge accompanying chair is a soft pearl gray. "Eydie decorated the whole place," Steve says. "Look at the drapes."
They are indeed unusual - off-white silk, with small black tassels ornamenting the tops, like a valance.
"She does the shopping too," Steve adds proudly.
Suddenly Eydie jumps up, goes into the bedroom, and returns with her wedding dress. She's very proud of it, and she keeps it wrapped in layers of protective materials: first a wrapping of Saran, over which drapes a cellophane bag. The dress is an off-white peau de soie, cocktail length, with a sweep of back panel and a short lace jacket.
Eydie starts to put the dress back in its mummy-like wrappings. Wistfully she says, "I thought at the time of how practical it might prove to be - to wear to parties, for instance. But - I sort of just want to - keep it, always." If there is a little catch in her voice, she brushes it away quickly by adding, "It's well made. It wouldn't wear out."