Was it love at first sight? No! Then again who can really say that? How we met and became married was a little bit messy and convoluted to say the least but here we are almost 24 years later.
I was 26 years old and working in a hospital in the Northwest as a night nurse in a CICU. That’s a Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit. At the time, the unit was specialized in recovering status post CABG (Coronary Arterial Bypass Graft or open heart) patients. They came directly from surgery and we (as nurses) would recover the patients until they were well enough to go to the step down unit about 24 hours later. It was the best job ever! I loved it!
I recently became divorced from my first husband. I got married for all the wrong reasons. The first clue should have been what happened on my wedding day. I was in the dressing room with all seven of my bridesmaids. My closest and oldest friend was helping me get into my wedding dress. As I’m stepping into my dress, these words came barreling into my head like a freight train, “I think I’m making a big mistake”. Apparently, I wasn’t using my inside voice because my girl friend then bursts out, “What are you going to do? You can’t marry him!” And instead of hearing her words of warning, I say “What can I do? There are two hundred people out in the church who flew here to see me get married. I’m probably just nervous” (I tell myself) but had I known where I was heading, I would have stopped and ran the other way. Needless to say, I continued to get dressed. Then as I entered the sanctuary and stood at the entry way into the church, when I finally looked up, my eyes immediately focused on a familiar face standing in the back pew. It was my “on and off again” summer fling. He and I had known each other since our freshman year in high school. Who, looking back now, I must have really liked because he comes back into my life several years later but that’s another story. At that moment, I thought “Well, there’s the icing on the cake. I should just stop this whole madness” but instead, as the music started and here’s another thing, I chose the song “Right Here Waiting” by Richard Marx to walk down the aisle. Which to do this day, my best friend says, that song was a preview of what happened in this marriage. So many signs that getting married to this man was a bad idea…and I ignored them all.
Anyway, after our divorce I became a traveling nurse and would find myself in another relationship. I ended up moving back to Washington to start another chapter of bad decisions. That’s when I met the man who would become my husband and life long best friend but as I said, getting to that point was a rough and tumbled journey.
When I met my husband, I was living with a young man who became my boyfriend while I was on assignment in Las Vegas. At that same time, I had a group of women that I worked with that became my good friends. We all worked in the same unit on the night shift. We were all about the same ages and we liked to do things like go out for breakfast at our favorite “greasy spoon” and have Mimosas after a long night shift before trying to sleep during the day. Girl’s night out was the highlight of our month. We usually chose a restaurant to start drinking wine, eating huge courses of food…staying until we closed the place and laughing uncontrollably the whole time. Although I’m sure we were the loudest and undoubtedly the most obnoxious group of girls, we always left whatever restaurant it was as the life of the party or night and the wait crew would end up loving us. We were young, funny, loud and a cute bunch of girls.
I’m telling you this story because one of the girls that was part of our crew liked this guy at work. She kept saying that he was so handsome. He was athletic, a pre-Med student going to the U of W and a male model. He supposedly worked the evening shift and would, on occasion, bring patients to us on the night shift because of being on call. One night, he was on call and they were about to bring up the last heart surgery patient for the night. We were all working that night so a bunch of us stood by the nursing station as the OR crew brought the patient up. Our one friend, who liked this guy, it was her patient so she had to be in the room to receive report. I remember when the man of her dreams walked out of the room, the girls around me saying “there he is.” I had built up an image of George Clooney or Brad Pitt in my mind that when he came out and took off his surgical cap and shook his hair, I remember thinking “he ain’t all that…he isn’t even that cute” but sometime that week this girl and I developed a plan for me to meet him, get to know him and then get them hooked up. After all, I was already living with someone and I could do that for her. Can you say, “bad idea.”
Later that week, he brought a patient to me. So, I took the opportunity to introduce myself by saying to him, in my usual sarcastic way…”better make sure you get those lines right because I don’t want to have to do your job again.” He looked at me with such a face that I had to apologize and tell him “I was just kidding.” That night he came back up to talk to me and he gave me his number. And that is how I met my husband to be…but the story gets even better and messed up from here.
(To be continued)
Okay…now that I’m married to him…maybe he does look like George Clooney. Just saying…