Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The One Cosmos Innerview: A Shocking True-to-Wife Story!

WILL: For our very first One Cosmos Interview, I'd like to welcome none other than Mrs. Leslie Godwin, spouse of and life-partner to Bob, creator of the One Cosmos blog. Welcome, Leslie!

LESLIE: Thank you, Will.

WILL: For those O.C. readers who may not know, Leslie is the author of the book From Burned Out To Fired Up: A Woman's Guide to Rekindling the Passion and Meaning In Life and Work. She is also a therapist and a life-transition coach. I encourage everyone to check out Leslie's web page. As a disclaimer, I should let everyone know that Leslie gave me some invaluable professional advice regarding a recent project of mine, so count me as an unabashed Leslie G. fan. Leslie, I'd like to discuss your book and your professional life, but first a few questions about which everyone is probably curious - when and how did you first meet Bob?

LESLIE: Bob and I met in school in 1983, California Graduate School in Westwood, CA -- a private psychology graduate school near UCLA that focuses on those going into private practice as opposed to research or teaching. He was studying for his Ph.D. and I was in the Master's program.

WILL: Are you originally from southern California?

LESLIE: No, I'm from New York -- Forest Hills, Queens then Dobbs Ferry in Westchester County. When I met Bob, I had just moved out to Los Angeles from New College in Sarasota, Florida, via Davidson College in North Carolina and auto mechanic school in Pennsylvania. I had done quite a bit of traveling, unlike --

WILL: Wait, could we back up for just a moment? You were in auto mechanic school? You were considering being a car mechanic?

LESLIE: I had no idea what I wanted to do when I fled Davidson College after a little over a year of being the token Yankee. My dad suggested learning about repairing planes. I guess that gave me the idea to investigate fixing cars. But it's hard to say how it all worked out to get my degree from tech school. But I absolutely loved it. After feeling lost and homesick at a very challenging liberal arts program, learning how to fix things and being around non-Ivy League types was just what I needed. I even wrote a manual for my friends' Mustang once I got to New College. Nowadays, it would have been a "Dummies' Guide" sort of thing.

WILL: Well, I had no idea you had that kind of talent. That's impressive and revealing. But okay, so you met Bob in graduate school . . .

LESLIE: We met in group therapy actually.

WILL: Group therapy? Not exactly the White Cliffs of Dover, but...

LESLIE: Well, the school had a good scam going. The two owners ran group therapy sessions that were mandatory for every student for a full year. They were slightly less than professional as group leaders, and if you missed a "class" you had to make it up in a private psychotherapy session ... and pay their full fee for that! It was borderline unethical, but thanks to Dr. Packer, Bob and I met.

WILL: So... was it, you know... love at first sight?

LESLIE: Not unless you think of revulsion being the flip side of the same coin as love.

WILL: (laughing) Yes, please go on...

LESLIE: Well, on the first day of the new term, Bob walked in to group therapy with his earpiece on, listening to a Dodger game on the radio...

WILL: Yeah, he's big on the baseball metaphors...

LESLIE: ... and I thought he was incredibly arrogant that and he was setting himself apart from the group I had already bonded with for one trimester before he strolled in... After group, I went out to dinner with my fiance, Ricardo. He couldn't believe how agitated I was. Poor Ricardo...

WILL: "Ricardo". One doesn't meet a lot of Ricardos . . .

LESLIE: He was my Ricardo. I was his Lucy... I must have bored him to death venting about this new guy in group who I just couldn't stand. I remember doing a lot of -- what's the word for audible, irritated exhaling? I went on for a while about how aggravating the whole group was going to be now that Bob was in it for the next seven months.

WILL: So what happened with you and Ricardo?

LESLIE: He didn't pay enough attention to me. Of course, that's not what I told HIM.

WILL: So splitsville?

LESLIE: Wasn't easy. I suffered from middle-of-the-night panic attacks after I broke up with Ricardo.

WILL: Understood.

LESLIE: Bob was very sympathetic at this time. He gave me his phone number at work -- he worked the graveyard shift at a grocery store so I wouldn't be waking him -- and said I could call if I needed to talk to someone. It sounds like a pickup line as I talk about it now... if you want to pick up a neurotic, panicky 23 year old. But looking back, I can see that this is when I saw the other side of Bob. Isn't that a Dylan album?

WILL: Yeah, it's titled Another Side Of -

LESLIE: I know what it's titled, Will. Anyway, Bob was sensitive, empathic, and genuinely wanted to help --

WILL: ... I think "Chimes of Freedom Flashing" is on it...

LESLIE: -- and I didn't see the potential for romance until a crisis occurred.

WILL: What was that?

LESLIE: My best friend from college had just been killed while bicycling at night after class.

WILL: That's awful.

LESLIE: Mauricio was so unusual. I have never met someone so comfortable with himself. He exuded joy. A good counterpoint for me, exuding angst. Well, Bob and I walked around Westwood for over an hour talking. It really helped. Shortly after that, he invited me to hang out at the beach one evening before he had to work and we talked some more. It was as if his spirit was hidden at first, then he opened up a bit. And finally, I got to experience the real Bob.

WILL: And the Fateful First Date?

LESLIE: Bob invited me to a Big Joe Turner show at a nearby club, Madame Wong's West.

WILL: Yeah, that works.

LESLIE: As soon as we got there and parked, I locked the keys in my car.

WILL: That's something I'd do!

LESLIE: Really?

WILL: Bank on it.

LESLIE: Well, I was very impressed that Bob didn't get irritated or think I was a knucklehead. After the show, we sat out by the pool at my aunt's guesthouse where I was living and talked til 2 am? 4 am?

WILL: Definitely an am.

LESLIE: Let's just say It was very magical and I've been hypnotized ever since.

WILL: I think that under questioning, Bob would confess to the same. In fact, I can recall some One Cosmos posts that were Shakespeare sonnet-like in their profession of love and the holiness of the marital union, and I believe your name came up in conjunction with them --

LESLIE: Well, never has a husband put up with a messy house, a lack of homecooked meals, and a wife who needs to sleep late every morning because the puppy and toddler conspire to keep her up off and on every night with more grace and kindness...

WILL: ... You were going to say?

LESLIE: Well... I am sure Bob didn't know what he was getting into.

WILL: Well, what husband does? Or wife for that matter?

LESLIE: Or parent, now that you mention it. You should know I refer to the time that followed the honeymoon period as the "Taming of the Shrew."

WILL: Just how shrew-ish was Bob?

LESLIE: Will, I'm sure you realized I was referring to myself as the shrew.

(to be con't)


aussie in milwaukee said...

Dammit, I go trollin' in the morn and this tender bit comes up.

Well, I can't resist it...I have to point out that Leslie's first impression of Bob was arrogance...

Does this complaint sound familiar?

And, Bob has blown the illusion that Will is a separate person. He turns out to be another splinter personality like Petey or Dupree.

So we're still talking to that same amorphous cloud of being that usually writes this blog, whoever BoWilDupety is in reality.

No worries...'sall good.

Lisa said...

"This is a man's world
But it wouldn't be nothing, nothing
Without a woman or a girl"

Nice interview, Will. Can't wait for the next interview with Future Leader! ;0) Aussie you couldn't be more wrong if you tried. Unless you are just Bob too, pulling our leg.

Robin Starfish said...

The Reward of Unlooking
the rarest flower
blooms under bay blown marshland
lovers walk on by

Thank you, Will, for introducing us to the mechanic in the house. ;-)

juliec said...

I second Lisa - nice interview, Will and Mrs. G! I look forward to the next installment :)

cdogni - what's the world coming to when a dog can "Ni" a blog in broad daylight? tsk.

Susannah said...

It's so nice to meet you, Mrs. G.! Your love story makes me go "awwwww."

hoarhey said...

I for one am looking forward to the "Admissions of a former underground Soricomorpha" installment and the instructions for taming such. ;)

will said...

The weird thing, Aussie, is that I even look a bit like Bob. Same kind of semi-professorial look, but on close examination, something's not quite right . . . some kind of dancing madness in the eyes . . .

Magnus Itland said...

Clearly we are all lesser emanations of the One True Bob.


River Cocytus said...

A function of the Maximum I'mbobability machine that they installed back when the Cosmos was built.

The rule is, "The least likely Bob is the Bob that will happen!"

River Cocytus said...

By the way, Mrs. G, Auto mechanics school? Mad props on that.

Although, plane mechanic would have been quite more 't3h r0xx0r' as they youngin's like to say.

Oop! Work calls.

Van said...

That was fun!

I'd say 'Nice interview Will & Mrs. G'... but I won't be fooled... you're Both Gagdad in disguise!

BTW Bob, Nice disguise on the Mrs. G getup... a really... really good job on the... um... makeup... I haven't quite figured out how you pulled off producing FL... but I'll figure it out!

In fact, I'll just bet that there isn't really a BOB at all! It's All Gagdad! It's all just a spontaneous wwweb generation singularity!


Can't fool me! TO that I say NU! NU! N...(no, that's not quite right, not 'nu', it's 'ne')
ah. NEW! NE..[what now?]
(sorry, no, it's not nu or new, it's 'NE!', like 'KNEE')
[ah... thank you. where was I? Ah! Oh no! Maybe I'm not me either, but another Gagdadian e-manation! - no wait, that can't be... where was I? oh yes]
(how about a shrubbery?)

Mrs. G said...

You guys can't imagine how clever Will is to make me sound entertaining enough for One Cosmos' discerning readers. And the most amazing part was that he used my very own words to make me sound like I have two brain cells to rub together.

Will now just needs to accompany me to dinner and cocktail parties ... I can put a bluetooth device in my ear and he can tell me what to say ;)

Thanks for the kind remarks.

By the way, Will, we should have called this, "Married to the Bob" in honor of the end of Sopranos ;)

Late Convert said...

And, Bob has blown the illusion that Will is a separate person. He turns out to be another splinter personality like Petey or Dupree.

Boy, you can't hardly put anything past the Aussie from Milwaukee can you? He's easily one of the sharpest spoons in the drawer.

walt said...

Shocking, indeed! But "revelations" such as these are the sort I can understand!

Will, I'm waiting for the parts where you get Mrs. G. to tell how she was able to save Bob from himself - you know, the juicy stuff.

And Van - we named our first nursery The Shrubbery; reckon you know where we got the name!

Anonymous said...

Big Joe Turner for a first date? Bob, you're even cooler than I thought.

dilys said...

Great "Leslie in words-o-will" interview. Real Life Rocks! Sometimes with a Ring.

My favorite vignette is Bob, in the dead&witching hours at Ralph's Pretty-Good Grocery, clutching the black bakelite listening and consoling handset, cut to phone line coiling toward the future Fearless Wife.

Just personally, it helps explain his momumental uninterest in rapid cognitive therapies that Feel Better Fast(^.^*)

Incidentally, pursuant to an argument too long, dull, and cranky to explain here, The Taming of The Shrew shapes itself as the journey of the Soul, being alchemically domesticated to The Kingdom with the aid of an adept. This is best illustrated (with one exception) by the BBC version with John Cleese, brilliantly directed by Jonathan Miller.

Love, freedom, and order are fruitful.

Peace it bodes, and love and quiet life,
And aweful rule and right supremacy;
And, to be short, what not, that's sweet and happy?

Right, Future Leader? Leggo tha' patent Manolo, you upstart pup!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Wow! That was a cool interview!
I can barely contain my anticipation for the next episode!

Actually, I failed to contain my anticipation and it's now following me around everywhere (as if I could possibly forget).

Who knows what it will do next (anticipation wants attention all the time)?

You would bring some much-needed humor to the boring interviews on the news if you ever decided to be a pro interviewer/pundit guy.

Mrs. G- That's a funny line you coined, "Married to the Bob!" Ha ha!
Thanks for giving a super interview!

GLASR said...

PennCo Tech? ;~)

will said...

Thanks, all.

Well, it's not hard to get a good interview from someone as interesting, intelligent, and vibrant as mrs G.

More coming. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be re-thinking the conclusion of the Sopranos . .

juliec said...

Conclusion?! There was no conclusion. I want that hour back - I could have been doing something interesting!

(Okay, sorry, just had to get that out of my system - I was a wee bit disappointed with how it all didn't end)

Smoov said...

What I can't figure out is... 23 in 1983? Mrs. G. looks to be about 33 or 34 in the pictures (which have to be recent since FL is in them). What gives? Time machine?

Van said...

Smoov said "Mrs. G. looks to be about 33 or 34 in the pictures ... What gives? Time machine?"

hmm... could be eating right, exercising... maybe even spouse & child... could be thinking sensibly (from her books table of contents ""The Dangers of Not Planning: Ignorance Can Be Agony 226)... mmm could be enjoying life - that's definitely not a detached from it all smile... but I'm guessing it's something more fundamental...

(she's pretty)


Gagdad Bob said...

Well... I have to admit, when I met my future mother-in-law, I couldn't help noticing that she was in her mid-50s but looked 40... Not that I needed the extra incentive or anything... Yeah, I guess I'm shallow. But deeply so.

geckofeeder said...

Deeply shallow, that's us as well. What beautiful and accomplishedl babe Mrs. G is. Of course she has to get her sleep. Darling picture of barefoot boy with cheek of tan speading joy. Great interview, Will.

jwm said...

I'll add my kudos as well, on the interview, and second Ben- I look forward to part two tomorrow.

It's interesting to read everyone's reactions to the End of The Soprano's thing. I've never seen an episode. Like Seinfeld. Never saw that one either. I don't believe in these television shows. I don't think that they're real, and you can't prove to me that they exist.


NoMo said...

JWM - Haven't you heard? This is no movie, this is real. Which real? The last reel of the vintage motion picture "OC Madness". (FST, sort of)

What fun! What an innerview! Thanks Will 'n Leslie.

Sorry, JulieC. I didn't want it to end either - and it didn't - perfectly (IMNSHO).

Or, as wv says - dpmepy!


could be bob said...

The anonymity of the blog comment distorts the trust that the reader has in the information he is seeing.

I'm not convinced the real Mrs. G was consulted at all...

Does anyone know Godwin and live close enough to check this out?

He could be pulling an outrageous stunt. Have of the commentators on this blog could be Bob himself. He could be trolling his own blog, playing both sides of the fence, tremendously amused.

I'm leery of the whole thing now. Technology..not always better.

Magnus Itland said...

He could also be up all night. I don't see any proof that can satisfy my stringent requirements that I am not Bob.


NoMo said...

Could Be... - Just as long as the B'ob is "tremendously amused", that's what really counts anyway.

Van said...

could be bob said "...He could be pulling an outrageous stunt. Have of the commentators on this blog could be Bob himself."

Welcome to One Cosmos! Ya see what I mean! I am you, and you are me and we are all toBobthere!

Oh! Wait a minute, what am I thinking... if I'm not me, who's this thinking I'm you? and... Ahh!

Ni! Nu! Ne! Shrubbery! no that's not it -- AHH! I said it! AHH I said IT again! Ah I said IT....


(On second thought, lets not go there, tis a silly place....)

wv:vurgstax - gov't just doesn't know where to stop

River Cocytus said...

The trolls miss the obvious conclusion about the identity of Will. The pieces fit for me, but I'm mum.

Or, the more obvious conclusion, we're all Bob. Some of us are just more sophisticated mechanical turks!

Anonymous said...

Bob, the Lab picture makes the whole post worthwhile.

Here are mine, minus the yellow, unfortunately.

Mark said...

Leslie - I still miss Mauricio and think of how he would appreciate that the tragedy of his untimely death on DeSoto Road (biking home from a discussion about nuclear war, I think)would have set in motion your union and the course of your life. He was so extraordinarily smart, kind, unpretentious, and poetic. I often think about what might have been had we not lost him that night.

Gagdad Bob said...


Bob just showed me your comment. Please get in touch at lesliegodwin@dslextreme.com

Thanks and I also often think about Mauricio and what he would be now. And I am so sad for his family. What a gem of a human he was. I was so privileged to be his friend.
Leslie G