The couple are warm, generous, and attentive, to others and each other. When one of them speaks, the other watches and listens intently. They finish each other’s sentences, not out of impatience but because they are deeply supportive of each other – each wants the other to feel and be understood. At one point, Deanna gently interrupts Ed to make a point, and she places her hand on his shoulder. He clasps his hand over hers, and they remain in this gesture of affection long after the topic has changed.
“We’re creatures of habit,” says Ed, who runs through a typical day Chez Templeton. They wake up around 10am, and he checks social media on his phone – a “slight doom scroll” – while she makes the smoothies they drink every morning. Then they go to their respective work spaces in the house until 2pm, when it’s time for tea. Deanna will make a soy chai or matcha, and the couple will sit out by the pool and tell the other about their day. Then it’s back to work till 6pm. Deanna makes them both a juice, and they cook dinner together. This is followed by a walk around the neighbourhood, maybe 40 minutes to an hour, “every single day,” says Ed.
Evenings are for watching a movie. The Templetons have recently been working their way through films from Hollywood’s pre-Code era, although they also enjoy watching hockey. “Some people use the word ‘claustrophobic’ to describe the way we are,” observes Deanna, “but it’s just kind of how it is.” Ed adds: “Compared to a lot of people, our relationship would be considered very claustrophobic.”
For as long as they’ve been together, Ed has been documenting their relationship – including, in the early years, moments of sexual intimacy. They’d eventually like to publish the images in a book that Ed, whose initial influences include Nan Goldin, playfully calls Suburban Domestic Monogamy. “I look forward to it,” says Deanna, “because I think it’s going to be beautiful, just to look at our love. No one else might care to see it, but I’m happy he documented it.”
Change is on the horizon, and the Templetons will soon have a new setting to explore. They’re taking steps to spend roughly half the year in Amsterdam, where they have friends. They still love HB, and it will always be their home, but there’s something about seeing themselves described as lifelong Huntington Beach residents that feels lacking, says Deanna. “I just want to have on our record that we had this other experience,” she says. “It would just be so sad if this was it.”