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ClayManiacs.com  |  Archive  |  Media & Appearance Archive  |  Writer's Corner - Fan Essays  |  7/20/04 Dianne Austin: Two Austins and an Aiken
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Author Topic: 7/20/04 Dianne Austin: Two Austins and an Aiken  (Read 1523 times)

Marilyn

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7/20/04 Dianne Austin: Two Austins and an Aiken
« on: April 28, 2010, 08:20:00 AM »
Pamela
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 Dianne Austin: Two Austins and an Aiken
« on: July 20, 2004, 06:19:35 PM »   

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Two Austins and an Aiken—The Three Men in my Life
By Dianne Austin

That’s right, I know it seems like a lot. But I do have, count ’em, THREE men in my life. There’s my husband Charles Austin, known as “Chuck”, and my son, also Charles Austin, known as “Chas” (not Chase, as he is so often called by people that don’t know him). Then there’s the other one, Clayton Aiken, known to most in America and beyond, simply as “Clay”. And, what do you know, would you look at that? They have the same first and last initials! So, I often like to call them “the three CA’s”.

Of course, the third guy listed there doesn’t know he’s one of the men in my life, but that doesn’t matter, because as far as the other two are concerned, he definitely hangs around our house a lot.

Now if you were to ask any of the three WOMEN in this family to give a review of this other CA with the last name that doesn’t match, you wouldn’t get much of a verbal description, but rather, more of a physical kind of reaction from each one: a kind of distant look that melts into a tiny smile, the hand going up to the breast, covering the heart; and then, a sigh. That’s probably what you’d get. And whenever people ask us girls about Clay and bring up his name, or if we see him on TV or hear him on our stereo, that’s usually what we do. Because 90% of Clay’s fans know that it’s just useless to try to describe him with words. It can’t really be done.

And, if you were to ask the Austin men about Clay, you’ll get one of two reactions. Oh and this is funny—they can’t seem to use words either. Tell me if the men in your household have similar reactions. . . sometimes, the head goes up just a little, accompanied by an eye roll and a sigh; or, if they’ve really had a little too much Clay for the day, the head bows somewhat, begins to turn back and forth as if to say “no”, the hands get shoved in the pockets, and they start to walk away. It’s not that they don’t like him; actually, they think he’s very talented. They just sometimes seem to get involved in a small version of the jealous husband/rival sibling routine. Not often, just once in a while.

Of course, this is perfectly understandable. It must be pretty rough on these guys when all of their chief, familial softer sex members focus their eyes, ears and thoughts on this other CA so much so that they sometimes wonder if they’ll ever get our full attention again in their natural, adult male lives.

So—one day, when I was feeling particularly guilty about diverting that attention away from my Austin boys because I was watching a download of Aiken’s latest endeavor, I looked over at the other two CA’s, who were sitting together on the couch watching a race or a game or some documentary thing. They would comment back and forth from time to time to each other, crack jokes in that wry style of theirs, but basically just watch the TV. I studied them for quite a few minutes, unbeknownst to them, and thought about how adorable (or “adorkable” as my daughter Chelsea would say, which we’ll talk about later) they were and how much I loved them. And then it came to me! The things that endeared me to them, the elements that made me love them so much, were the same things that had endeared me to Clay!

Now, if you got the three of them in a room and met them all for the first time, you might not see the similarities. But since they’re all there right now, all in the same room in my mind, I’ll tell you what those points of comparison are.

First of all, they are comparable in appearance. They’re all six feet one inch tall. I believe they are all within approximately 10-15 pounds of one another. Chas is about 155 lbs. but he gives a pretty skinny appearance—he’s nineteen years old. Clay, tell me you’ve gained a few, because the last time I heard reference made to your weight, they said you were 145 lbs. Way too skinny! And of course, he’s 25 years old. My husband is about 160 lbs. And I won’t tell you how old he is.

Next point in their physical likeness is complexion and coloration. My hubby is closer to Clay than my son is. We’ve got a redhead here, although he will deny it until the end. His hair, at this time in his life, is a sandy color, somewhat of a blondish brown with red highlights. Oh, and I must mention that there is some gray at the temple area. Chuck has had a beard for the last 30 years of his life, and that beard grows in pretty reddish/auburn. And as you may have guessed now, there’s a lot of white whiskers goin’ on in there too. As a very young child, he was a towhead, with freckles everywhere. That is why we know we’ve got one of those true redheads because I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of them without freckles. There’s a way to test for a true redhead, but I won’t talk about it here. Since Clay is one, he will know what I’m talking about and maybe he’ll tell you.

Chuck’s eyes, although an unusual hazel brown/green, are not the blue green color of the sea we imagine when looking into Clay’s eyes. Sigh. Too bad . They’re still pretty though. And when Chuck gets mad, watch out—they change color. Kind of alluring. Do yours do that Mr. Aiken? I think they might.

No comparison to son Chas in this department. Chas may be built like Clay, and although he had golden blonde hair as a boy, he takes after my Italian father’s side of the family now that he’s a man. Brown hair, large dark eyes, dark brown eyebrows and skin that appears fair at first, but doesn’t burn easily in the sun. He tans quite nicely. Nothing at all like Clayton, who if you ask him how he fares with the sun, will tell you “Ah (I) burn”.

Let’s move away from the physical aspect—how shallow are we anyway? What else between these three is the same? Well, one selling point about them is their huge sense of self—their ego. When a man has that certain strong sense of self, that center, that no other man or woman can take away from him, then we notice them, we remember it, and they make an impression on us that isn’t something we soon forget. All three of my men have this incredible quality, each in his own way.

Please don’t get me wrong when I talk about their “ego” or sense of self to interpret that I’m thinking it’s anything resembling a “macho” image. All I can say to that is EWW and ICK. No, the traditional macho, me-tarzan-you-jane garbage is not what I’m referring to at all. As far as I’m concerned, the male of the species need not bother with such nonsense anymore to get me to notice them. All they have to be is honest, forthright, strong in conviction and have a good heart for them to stand out as men among men—all three CA’s have those qualities.

Clay’s centered ego is the most obvious. He wears it on his sleeve. He exudes it, but it never comes off as arrogance; rather, he sometimes shows up as the humble, unsuspecting guy who doesn’t “get it” when told that women want him and can’t get enough of him. And that’s what makes him all the more desirable. He knows what he’s about, he expresses himself well and is able to tell us easily what he believes in. Then, he continues down his path achieving his goals by using his talent and maintaining a lifestyle that he and his family, friends, and fans can always be proud of.

My husband Chuck is also such a man. He’s worked for years in an industry that requires brains, creativity, business savvy and people skills . . . electronics. He went to a college that accepted and produced the best in each field, UC Berkeley, and when he was done, he too went with a vision down a road that he mapped out for himself to be the best he could be. Along the way, although he has never claimed to be the ultimate “people person” when it comes to the casual social situation, he still has attained the highest respect from the many people he’s worked with, and his friends love and revere him too. When he’s with old and new friends he’s the most interesting conversationalist, the best humorist and always the “devil’s advocate”, so watch out if you’re introducing a subject worthy of a debate.

Chas is a bit of a paradox when it comes to the image he projects, but that strong sense of self with ever growing portions of a belief system are definitely in place. You could say that my son is a bit of a rebel when it comes to ideas about the world. He’s very untraditional, as well as cerebral, so he spends a lot of time thinking about the world around him, trying to make sense of it all. I can see him searching and stretching and trying to forge that path, because, lord knows, he certainly isn’t one to walk where others have already gone. And I like that about him.

He still needs to find his way socially. This is what gives him the most trouble, I think. Clay has always said that he himself was never that comfortable in casual, new, social situations; not much for small talk at parties, etc., and this is exactly how you will find my son. Chas is more an example of the strong, silent type, but there’s a sweet gentleness about him that comes through. And when he’s with people he knows, and is comfortable with, he lets loose with the conversation. He’s got a lot to say when it’s a subject he feels he knows something about. And I think the other young CA is like that too.

What else about them is similar? Their adorkableness! You must have heard this term somewhere along the line if you are a Clay Aiken fan. It was the teen portion of the fanbase that coined it. My daughter Chelsea has sketched many a picture of Clay Aiken and labeled it “adorkable”. I’ve got to say, I know what she means, and it pertains also to my other two CA’s.

Now, let me clarify. They are not, in my way of thinking, “dorks”. And I believe I discussed this in one of my previous articles about Clay. I have never thought of Clay, Chuck, or Chas as an actual dork. Dorks are not centered; they are not only physically awkward, but verbally awkward too, and they do not evolve. Some young people can start out as “dorks”, but every year there is an evolution, a coming of age, that takes place, and although all three of my men might have been looked upon as a dork at some time in their lives, they certainly aren’t now. However, they are “adorkable”, and I think you know what I mean. Well, you couldn’t know it about the two Austins, but certainly you get it about the Aiken.

And there is something else that links these three men: they all have a terrific sense of humor. My husband’s ability to find humor in a wide variety of life circumstances is one of the key qualities that attracted me to him when we first met. It’s what attracts me still, because I LOVE to laugh! And each one of them have that keen wit and quick, clever ability for spontaneous repartee. I so admire that—it’s definitely an alluring and intriguing trait.

So these are my men, and these are the characteristics they share. Quite a few, I’d say. Chas was able to inherit and role model these qualities. Clay just happens to have them. All three men quite similar in not just the physical sense, but also in some areas of their personality and their strength of character. And that’s why I appreciate each of them and hold them close to my heart.

I’m lucky to be living with and loving two of them.

The other one, I admire very much. He sings for me, and I write for him. Just my way of saying “Thank You”.
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Dianne lives with two of these men and a young lady (her daughter). Her mother spends a lot of time with the family too, so that often, the men are outnumbered. Since all three ladies are huge Clay Aiken fans, the men sometimes feel a little neglected by the ladies of the household. This was written not just for Clay , but also with love and devotion to the Austin men too.

Copyright 2004 by Dianne Austin.  Printed with the permission of the writer.
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

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