"Peace on the earth, good will to men,

from heaven's all-gracious King."

The world in solemn stillness lay,

to hear the angels sing.

GK: Do you remember that night we heard that on the radio?

HM: We hear it every year.

GK: It was Christmas, 1989. We were parked down by the river.

Snow falling. The moon was out. The song came on and I asked you to marry me.

HM: Why don't I remember?

GK: That's where it all started. And you had a bag of ginger cookies you baked ---- just like these. Whenever I taste ginger, I think of you.

HM: Oh, thank you.

GK: I'm not just saying that, I mean it --- they bring back incredible memories of Christmases past, when we were young----- and we were crazy about each other, before the kids came along-----

HM: It seems so long ago.

GK: I'm still crazy about you, all it takes is one ginger cookie, and it's 1989 again and----- I don't know how to say this but I want to quit my job, sell the house, and run away with you and go to Paris, New York, London, I donno, Los Angeles, and live a passionate life, no schedule, no commitments, live freely, day by day, write that screenplay, and finally lead the life I've been thinking about for years, and now---- hey----

HM: The kids are gone.

GK: Sarah, our baby, graduated from the U last week and got a job offer in Philadelphia.

HM: How can you want to live in Paris? We don't speak French.

GK:I just tossed that out as one possibility. A place where we could live the passionate life. That's all. There's also New York, London.... I just want to live that life while we're young enough to enjoy it and I want to write that screenplay---- I'm tired of being a vice-president, sitting in meetings, writing memos that nobody reads, glad-handing, raising money ---- I'm an artist, sweetheart----

HM: Is this that romantic comedy you told me about? The one where the two lovers go visit her sister who's married with kids and they decide not to get married and to live on a sailboat instead?

GK: Yeah.

HM: Right.

GK: I think it could be a terrific movie.

HM: Uh huh.

GK: You don't think so?

HM: Well---- it's an interesting idea.

GK: Anyway I'd like to take the big leap. The way to do it is to do it. Live boldly. With abandon. Forget about the career. Find delight. How much delight do we have in our life? Not much. But it's out there. Laughter, wine, dance, song. I want to give you all of that. All of it.

HM: The problem is our health insurance ---- we're in a network and none of the providers are in New York or London.

GK: Well, I'm sure we could find something else-----

HM: There are a few providers in Wisconsin.

GK: Fine, we'll go to Wisconsin then, all I want is to live boldly, get free of this house, the job, the commute-----

HM: I think we have a provider in Oshkosh.

GK: Uh huh.

HM: I could check if you want me to.

GK: No, that's okay. My sister lives in Oshkosh. I could never live a life of wine and laughter and song with her watching me with her beady little eyes. Skip it. It's a crazy idea.

HM: It's not a crazy idea, Frank. Just listening to you talk about it makes me excited. I love the kids, I really do, but ---- now I'm done with being a mother and I can have something else---- and you're right---- if we don't do it now, then we never will ----- why wait for retirement? Let's live. Now. You excite me, even after 25 years of marriage, there's a sort of animal intensity about you, like a leopard, and so many times I've wanted to say, "Take me in your arms, let's dance" but it was hard to do that with kids around asking about their laundry and stuff in the oven.

GK: I had no idea you felt that way.

HM: What about Canada? They have national health insurance.

GK: I don't want to be Canadian, honey. I just don't. They're fine people but it's not me.

HM: Then London. They have the National Health Service.

GK: Oh. Right. I hear there's a long waiting list for some stuff though....

HM: Like what?

GK: You know--- like colonoscopies.

HM: How can you think about colonoscopies when we're talking about living passionately?

GK: Just saying, it might be tough to get in for something you need---

HM: Frank, we're talking about freedom, freedom of feeling, of loving, how to express the longing ---- the hunger we felt that night listening to that song on a cold winter night, we're talking about how to get back to experiencing joy, experiencing life in a way that was impossible for us when we had little kids running around---- Frank, I want to take you to heights you never dreamed possible in this life.

GK: And what if I have colon problems?

HM: Oh please.

GK: So New York is out? I thought we had the health plan with open access. Thousands of providers across the country.

HM: It was more expensive so we went local.

GK: We could change it to open access.

HM: Frank, I spent three whole days online figuring out how to get health insurance and not pay an arm and a leg ---- I'm not going to go through that again.

GK: Sweetheart, we both want the same thing, we want to take life in our two hands and squeeze the juice out of it, to be able to feel and to say how we feel instead of talking about who is taking the kids to play practice and who forgot to unload the dishwasher, we want to take each other to heights of ecstasy we never dreamed possible in this life----

HM: I am not going to spend three days online dealing with health insurance. I can't do it. -----What day is today?

GK: Saturday.

HM: I just got a text message. "Dinner, Al and Betsy. Eight o'clock."

GK: Who are they?

HM: Al and Betsy are neighbors, across the alley. It's on my calendar.

GK: Do we know them?

HM: That's why we invited them. To get to know them.

GK: "We"?

HM: You said something about "Wouldn't it be nice to invite some neighbors over"----

GK: They're the ones with the vicious dog who came after me when I took out the garbage.

HM: Well, they're coming over.

GK: There's a non-stop flight to London leaving at nine o'clock.

HM: They're coming at eight.

GK: Well, Sunday then.

HM: I'm singing in church on Sunday.

GK: In choir. You could skip that.

HM: And tell them what?

GK: Tell them we decided to live a free and passionate life----

HM: These are Lutherans, Frank ---- how do you think that's going to go over?

GK: Well, January.

HM: Let's talk about it.

GK: We are talking about it.

HM: I don't think I can change the dental plan so it'll cover us in New York.

GK: We have excellent teeth. We don't need dental care.

HM: Well, we'll see.

GK: I can get us cheap airfare to London if I do it now. What do you say? Huh?

And ye, beneath life's crushing load,

whose forms are bending low,

who toil along the climbing way

with painful steps and slow,

"Peace on the earth, good will to men,

from heaven's all-gracious King."

The world in solemn stillness lay,

to hear the angels sing.