So, you guys. THIS lady . . . Victoria Moran. One of my heroes. We all know and love her, but now we get to peek into the life behind the amazing work she does, and get to know her sweet hubby, William.
I first "met" Victoria a few years back, via a phone conversation in which I realized that this powerhouse of a woman was also a soul sister. We just clicked on every level, and I have been so grateful to know her since. She even wrote the foreword for my new book, FOOD LOVE. That's the kind of person she is - always willing to take the time to support things that speak to her heart. So sit back and enjoy my interview with Victoria and William, and please leave a comment telling us what you think!
Tess: How and when did you two meet?
William: We met in 1996 through a personals ad in a newspaper.
Victoria Moran: He ran the ad – it was a few years before Internet dating – and after we talked, we met in a bagel shop in Kansas City while my daughter was at her ballet class.
Tess: When did you know it was true love?
William: Four or five weeks later.
Victoria: Right away. I’d been widowed for nine years and was already in my forties; I didn’t think I’d get married again, but after that bagel and our initial chat, I called a friend and said, ‘I’ve met the man I’m going to marry.’
Tess: Who proposed and how did that take place? We want to hear all the gushy, romantic details!
William: Well, it was me and I think I kind of said, ‘We should get married.’
Victoria: That was the pre-proposal! The romantic part was when he gave me a ring before a touring performance of Phantom of the Opera. I was wearing a stunning vintage dress – black lace from the 1920's. What I didn’t realize was that it was old and the lace was ready to rot into dust, which it pretty much did right there in the theater. I went home in two-thirds of a dress, a long black slip, and an engagement ring.
Tess: Do you have pet names for each other? Care to share?
William: Victoria the Great!
Victoria: He doesn’t call me that: it’s just what programmed into his speed-dial to embarrass me. I don’t have a pet name for him. I like the name William.
Tess: What are your challenges as a couple? How do you work through them?
William: Living with Victoria is like living in an oven – she’s cold all the time and says it’s because we’re different Ayurvedic body types. And another thing: she’s really social and I’m not. We work through that by her going to lots and lots of events and I usually stay home with Forbes, our dog. She doesn’t pressure me to go to things I’d rather skip.
Victoria: It was a lot more challenging earlier on. We’d both been married before and had children, so the blended-family/blended-lifestyles thing was tough. William went vegetarian early on but vegan took several years, and that was harder than I thought it would be. Also, we deal with things differently: he wants to be alone to work things out internally, and I want to talk. And then talk some more. We finally figured it out that I have to wait for him to be ready to communicate, and in the meantime I can talk to other people. It’s really pretty simple. Our coping styles are both valid, just different.
Tess: Oh, I just love that. OK, now tell me - what do you love most about your spouse?
William Melton: Her sensitivity to other living beings.
Victoria: His integrity. He said to me once, ‘My values spell d-i- t-c-h: discretion, integrity, tolerance, civility, humility.’ I love that he thought enough about his values to make them an acronym. And now that he’s vegan, he’s so committed to the animals. That makes me fall in love with him all over again.
Tess: How do you keep your relationship fun and fresh? Do you have date nights or other fun things you do to stay connected?
William: Saturday Mornings with Forbes are pretty special. We go as a family of three – our kids are grown up – for a long walk in NYC, or we take the subway to the farmers’ market in Union Square or some dog-friendly store like Bed, Bath & Beyond. I’m convinced that Forbes can tell when it’s Saturday.
Victoria: Earlier in our relationship, William lived overseas and it was really romantic to have time apart and then meet in London or Frankfurt or Freiburg (Switzerland). These days, I travel a lot to speak so we still have those times apart and we reconnect in Manhattan, which is always an exciting backdrop for a date or a reunion.
Tess: What do you think the three most important things are in maintaining a loving relationship?
(1) Trusting each other
(2) Having empathy and understanding of each other’s problems
(1) Commitment, being in for the long haul
(2) Laughter and silliness and having fun to balance out the weightiness of life
(3) Sharing at least one deep, true belief; for us, this is veganism and animal rights. It didn’t start out that way, but it’s evolved into this and it’s really special.
Tess: Thank you both for being vegan rockstars! What are you currently working on? Where can we find out more about what you do?
William: The vegan project I’m most involved in is a feature film in pre-production about a cow who escapes from a slaughterhouse. It’s called Miss Liberty. I came up with the idea several years ago and took a month off to go to Upstate New York and write the first version of the screenplay. I chose a town near Farm Sanctuary (since I’d never been around cows before) and Gene Baur has been onboard as an executive producer ever since. There’s information (and the theme song by Dr. Daniel Redwood) HERE, and the Twitter page is @MissLibertyFilm – followers appreciated!
Victoria: I’m super-excited about Miss Liberty, too (I’m a co-screenwriter and co-executive producer). In the meantime, I’m also producing filmmaker Thomas Jackson’s in-the- works documentary, The Compassion Project, about people of faith and veganism, a topic close to my heart. Otherwise, I’m continuing with work that brings me joy – speaking, doing the weekly Main Street Vegan podcast, and being at the helm of Main Street Vegan Academy, an exciting in-person program here in NYC where people come from all over the world for a 6-day intensive that results in certification as a Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator. Every session is magical.
And OMG, since you talked about rockstars, we'll both be hanging out with some this fall, when I'm a speaker on the Melissa Etheridge Cruise to the Caribbean. The musical performers are all amazing, and at least one is a fellow vegan: Joan Jett!
Wow! I hope you guys enjoyed learning more about Victoria and William - I definitely did! It was pretty cool of them to share with us, and I just love what they're both working on! Be sure to follow Miss Liberty on Twitter, and connect with Victoria on her website, Facebook, and Twitter. Please join me next time, as I'll be sharing more VHM stories - and thanks SO much for joining us. Let us know what your favorite part of this interview was in the comments too! : )