Alan Alda, a veteran of Hollywood, was so sure of himself in his wooing when he was trying to woo the woman who would become his wife, but his mother almost derailed all of his hard work and left him with a raging fury for a long time.
Alan Alda, an award-winning actor who is most known for his legendary performance as Hawkeye Pierce in the television series “M*A*S*H,” had to employ his courting talents in order to win the heart of Arlene Alda, the woman who would later become his wife.
Alan shared the story of how he found his one and only wife in his book “Never Have Your Dog Stuffed And Other Things I’ve Learned,” which was published in 2005.
The two people ran into one other at a friend’s party, and they shared a piece of rum cake while sitting on the floor. He disclosed that their common friend Bea had cooked cake for dinner and placed it on top of the refrigerator so that it could cool down.
Nevertheless, when they were eating supper, the cake dropped to the ground, and Alan walked back to the kitchen with a fork. Arlene used her fork to mimic what was being done:
“We sat down together and made a show of our hunger while eating rum cake off of the linoleum floor. Have men ever pursued women in such a manner?”
After that, the two went for a stroll around Central Park, where the snow had fallen only moments before. “She had recently returned from a year in Germany on Fulbright, and we got lost in conversation about travel, history, and art, and before long, we were lost in the park as well,” Alan remembered. “We had gotten lost in talk about travel, history, and art, and before long, we were lost in the park.”
Despite this, they were successful in retracing their steps and returning. The comic emphasized that before to Arlene’s trip to Europe, she had never considered the possibility that conversing with “nonmusicians may be entertaining.” Arlene plays the clarinet.
During this time, he discovered that having conversations with people was a lot of fun just as he was “fresh from Paris.” Both sides shared their knowledge and taught one another new things.
Even though Arlene lived with her parents, Alan went to their house at three in the morning and asked for some rye bread to take with him on the way back home. Since they had finished off the rum cake, they hadn’t had anything to eat in quite some time:
“I slept off on the train, and when I woke up, I was in Brooklyn, which is where the line terminates. I boarded the train back to Manhattan, and when I arrived there at five in the evening, I pulled a piece of her bread out of my pocket and used it to open a can of beer for breakfast. “Her name was Arlene,” Alan recalled, “and she lived in…”
After their conversation, Alana had no doubt in her mind that the other person, Arlene, had completely captured his heart. In spite of this, he was unable to bring himself to inform her. He had entertained the idea of asking her out on a date, but he had anticipated that she would decline. In addition to this, he worried that he was “not good enough” for her:
“I was over heels in love with her, but I just couldn’t bring myself to pick up the phone and contact her. Due to the fact that I was really reserved and naive, I was under the impression that I needed to ask her out on the ideal date or else she could decline. Nothing satisfied my needs, and even if anything did, I lacked the financial resources to purchase it.
After waiting for a total of three weeks, Alan worked up the nerve to make the first move and ask Arlene to a performance of the opera “Four Saints in Three Acts” written by Gertrude Stein.
The couple spent the whole two hours sitting in the very last row of the balcony and taking in all of the acts. Alan questioned his own sanity once more:
“I wonder whether there was ever a lady who was wooed in such a manner.”
According to him, ever since that day, the two of them have been “inseparable.” He was able to learn more about Arlene, and during this time he found out that in addition to her intelligence, she had a wide range of talents as well.
She was very accomplished on the piano and studied the cello, in addition to playing the clarinet. In addition, Arlene received her master’s degree in music education after completing her studies.
Alan shared with his friend that every time they got together, he would find Arlene standing next to a cello that was “nearly as large as she was.” It caused him to develop deeper feelings for her.
After that point, the two began to spend as much time as possible together, getting together in the breaks between lectures and going for extended walks along the Bronx River.
The winner of six Emmy Awards said that Arlene had spent her whole youth studying the botanical gardens and had memorized the names of every flower they passed while doing so. Arlene had spent her entire childhood learning about the botanical gardens.
Alan maintained his composure by naming the flowers in Latin, which resulted in “gibberish discourse” and made her giggle. This allowed him to keep up with her. In response, he had what he described as an “enormous attraction” to her.
“She was my inspiration as well as my savior.”
After some time had passed, he decided that it would be appropriate to introduce Arlene to his mother, Joan Browne. Alan emphasized to Arlene that he was not anticipating a response from his mother to her comments about him, but he did want to make sure that she was aware of the potential repercussions of being associated with him.
He had no idea that things were about to take a turn for the worst. On a fateful day in question, Alan’s mother prepared his all-time favorite Swedish pancakes, and the three of them joined her in the kitchen to watch as she did so.
During the conversation that was taking on between the three of them, Brown became silent and “gazed at Arlene through strained eyes.” She said that Arlene was examining the meal in a suspicious manner, but she reassured Arlene that “it appeared as if it were going to be excellent,” as described in Alan’s writing.
Browne accused Arlene of planning to steal her formula, but Arlene vehemently rejected the accusation. But Alan’s mother was certain that Arlene was observing her every move and that Arlene would ultimately sell her formula for being wealthy:
“I am aware of what you are attempting to achieve. This belongs to me. This was an idea of mine.”
On the other hand, her son claims that millions of people in Sweden are capable of cooking traditional Swedish pancakes. After changing the topic, he led the other two people in the conversation to the dining room so they could eat.
The star of “Marriage Story” claimed that after just a few minutes in the room, tensions began to rise to a high level, and his mother was unable to halt the anger against Arlene. At that same moment, Alan disclosed that at that very minute, he had pushed back his chair, gotten up, and asked that his mother cease what she was doing in the previous moment.
He yelled out, “Stop it!” Browne inquired as to what exactly he was talking about. “You are quite competent in this area. Put a halt to it, “Alan answered. The situation escalated into a full-blown argument between the mother and the boy. Browne pointed out that she had the ability to advocate for herself and her needs:
“Nothing can persuade me to change my mind. How dare you? You invite individuals into this space who want to take from me. I am allowed to speak out in my own defense. You have no right to treat me that way. I have a strong mental capacity.”
After Alan fell into a rage, his mother left the room quietly, and he and Arlene departed with the meal that she had prepared for them. In an interview with The Guardian that took place in November 2019, the New York native revealed that his mother suffered from paranoid schizophrenia:
“I was irritated for a considerable amount of time because I had no idea why she acted in such a manner, and I had the impression that I didn’t have a true mother.”
After the birth of her son, Browne was evaluated and given a diagnosis of the illness. Alan said that looking back, he was able to see how much his mother loved him, despite the fact that she expressed that love in unusual ways.
“When I look back, I understand that even with her sickness, she loved me very, very much and conveyed it in the only ways she could,” he added. “When I look back, I realize that even though she was sick, she loved me very, very much.”
Alan reflected on the fact that he was able to have a deeper understanding of his mother just before she passed away. He took care of all of her needs so that she could spend her last days in peace.
In the meanwhile, he and Arlene began their life together in spite of the sad occurrence that occurred during her first encounter with his mother.
The year 1957 marked the beginning of the couple’s marriage, which has already lasted for sixty years. Beatrice, Eve, and Elizabeth were the couple’s three daughters, and they also had eight grandchildren between them.
When questioned about the key to a successful marriage, Alan said that his wife had told him that remembering the good times is the most important thing:
“The key to a happy marriage is a short memory,” as the old saying goes.
Alan pointed out that when individuals are having passionate arguments with their partners, they need to keep in mind that they are arguing with the people they love more than anything else, since this may have a huge impact on how the argument is carried out.
In his biography published in 1983, the “Star of “Tower Heist” revealed that he and Arlene had arguments sometimes, but said that they “take turns being strong.” We also take it in turns to be intelligent.”
Alan noted that in the event that he and the photographer have different opinions on a choice, they often reach a resolution to the conflict by compromise. He said that at the end of the day, they “care” about one another.
The recipient of the Golden Globe Award and the author of children’s books both keep a grounded lifestyle, and they have been married for a combined total of 65 years.