Thursday, September 21, 2006

How I Found A TrophyHusband, Part 3

Looking, looking for the sign that my running partner was thinking the same things about me that I was thinking about him ...

He asked me out to a movie—aha! A date!

Except he asked another friend along. Maybe not.

He asked if I would give him a ride home from a Halloween party—maybe we would make out in the car!

Except he slept the whole way home and hopped out at his place with a sleepy "Bye!" Maybe not.

Meanwhile, I was becoming more and more certain that this was something I really wanted to happen. He started an ICU rotation, which meant he was on call every third night, which meant he couldn't run on my every other day schedule. And for the first time in my life, I CHANGED MY SCHEDULE. I guess I had it bad.

Then one day I rang his doorbell to pick him up for our run, and instead of coming down, he buzzed me up. When I got into his apartment, I found him on the phone. He gestured that he'd be just a minute, so I wandered around trying to pretend I wasn't listening. Which of course I was, and what I was hearing sounded kind of odd.

"Just give me a call before you come to pick that stuff up," he was saying. "I don't think I have anything at your place I want, but if you see anything, I guess bring it over."

After he'd hung up, I gave up all pretense of not having listened in and said, "What was that all about?"

"Oh," he said, as he locked his door and we headed down the stairs, "Ex-girlfriend." And then (VERY uncharacteristically) clammed up.

I pondered this as we ran down the street toward the park. What ex-girlfriend could this possibly be? As far as I knew, he hadn't really had a girlfriend since we'd started residency, now nearly a year and a half ago.

Finally I couldn't stand it. "Um, how 'ex'?" I asked.

"Two weeks."

At first I thought I'd heard him wrong, but it's pretty hard to confuse the phrase "two weeks" with anything else.

Two weeks? Two weeks??!! He'd broken up with someone two weeks ago? But ... but ... we'd been running together and hanging out for months, and I had heard not a word about any girlfriend!

"How long were you, er, dating?"

"Four months."

Four months? Four months??!! But we'd been telling each other practically everything! Why on earth would he have hidden the fact that he was seeing someone from me?

Of course. He hadn't wanted me to know because he wanted in my pants. But now that they'd broken up, he could tell me. This was my sign.

I didn't press him on it that day, but eventually I found out that she was an undergraduate, and that they'd met when he went into the bar where she waited tables. She was five years younger than he was. Do the math: eleven years younger than me. Oy. But anyway, it was over, and all systems were go from my perspective.

The fateful day, I was post-call from my rotation, and I'd had only 2 or 3 hours of sleep. We'd agreed to go for a run after work (it was his one good day), but he got held up. Now, ordinarily I'd have just gone on my own. But this day, I waited. And waited. And waited. He kept calling me with updates every half hour or so; one of his patients was unstable and the unit was so busy he couldn't sign them out. The hours passed. Finally on his last call, he said, "It's pretty late—wanna just go get some dinner?"

Would I? I scampered over to his place (he lived closer to restaurants) with my whiskers aquiver. I was in the post-call buzz—there's something about sleep deprivation and hard work followed by freedom that makes everything seem a little brighter and happier. I got to his place, and he met me with a grin. "Let's go to the place around the corner," he said, and pulled a bottle of wine out of his coat pocket.

Well, all right.

So we sat in this little hole-in-the-wall place—a takeout joint, really, with just one tiny table—and drank wine and talked and talked and talked and drank and drank and drank. There was one moment when I got a little doubtful again when a friend of his showed up and he invited her to join us—??—but she sat for a few minutes and headed off again. It was pretty late by the time we lurched out of there and back around the corner to his place.

We paused at his stoop. We were joking about something, and he put his hands on my shoulders and gave me a fake neck rub. And I said the cheesiest come-on I have ever uttered:

"Do you give good backrubs?" Giggle. In my defense, I was now operating on no sleep and half a bottle of wine, but still.

"Oh, I give great backrubs .... want one?"

So up the stairs we went. I did redeem myself somewhat with what I said next, as he keyed the door:

"Am I really going to get a backrub?"

"Nope," he said.

"OK," I said, and went in.

[This is where we fade tastefully out for a few hours. I will say that I did get the backrub after all.]

The days following were heady, giddy times, where we marveled at what was happening, told each other the things we hadn't been able to say before ... including, from him, the statement that he'd had NO designs on me.

What the..? How?

That's right, he claimed that he'd had no ulterior motives for not mentioning his girlfriend, it just hadn't come up. And after all, I'd made it so very clear that we were Just Friends that he hadn't given the possibility of Us a thought. He'd been astounded that I suddenly jumped his bones. Very very happy once he'd gotten over the shock, but shocked nonetheless.

And he sticks to that story to this very day.


Anonymous said...

This is great - I have never met you but I have been reading for blog for a little while and I am loving reading how you and your hubby met. I have been with mu husband for 8 years and married for two - so we have been on A LOT of dates and the most memorable one is where we sat in a hot tub, got really drunk on Peppermint Schnapps and had the best time talking all night long!! I want to hear the rest of the story!


meno said...

"Am I really going to get a backrub?"

"Nope," he said.

That's brilliant! I wish i'd have said it. Fun story. Thank you for writing it.

Unknown said...

"Am I really going to get a backrub?" "Nope," is one of the best exchanges I've ever heard, and I am filing it away to be used at some later date because it is adorable, funny, and exactly the sort of thing everyone wishes they'd said.

Anonymous said...

He can stick to that story all he wants. We--your internet audience--know the real truth. Glad it had a happy ending.

From the lion's mouth said...

I'm glad you posted part III in time for me to read it on a slow Friday arvo.

You know, my niece has started calling my brother Doctor Daddy since he got his PhD (in Ancient Greek), and thinks cause he's a Doctor he can now fix cut fingers etc. It just struck me that you're Doctormama... I'm a bit slow.

Anonymous said...

Yay! We got the whole story. Great story too. I love it that your misconception pulled you forward--Er, I mean, I'm glad you saw through his attempt to conceal his adoration. And thank goodness for wine. How many of us might not have ended up with our spouses were it not for wine?

Come to think of it, if he had no designs on you then how'd you end up together so decisively. Huh? Answer that Mr. Doctormama.

Anonymous said...

And the hell he didn't have designs on you.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE IT!! I might have to steal this idea for my journal...

Orange said...

You know, it's hard to remember back that far, but I do think I had to do more of the pursuing with Mr. Tangerine. The first time we [tasteful fade-out], he came to visit me for a weekend at college, and he brought a sleeping bag. Might've been his mother's doing, making sure he brought it, but he's the one who took it out of the car. I, of course, was having none of that, so the dorm-room twin bed had plenty. And the rest is history...

If "When Harry Met Sally" speaks the truth, then TH's story elides the truth. Although...the movie non-date and the sleepy ride home from the party support his case. Either way, I assume he's grateful that you had enough sense to see the destiny even if he was being obtuse about it.

Anonymous said...

Awww. What a lovely story. I had been waiting for the thrilling conclusion--and of course he can't possibly be telling the truth. Surely he found you irresistable from the day you met...

Anonymous said...

all guys seem to stick to similar stories :)

doesn't it make you feel mushy and all that remembering this?

Anonymous said...

finally the whole story! very cute & sweet.
My husband sticks to a very similar story -- and he's wrong also ;)

Sherry said...

Awwww, that's lovely.

Mete said...

I love love love How We Met stories. Thanks for sharing yours. said...

Awww... I love it. Unbearably sweet (the dulce de leche of "how we met" stories?).

See, THAT'S what I want. *runs down to the BP to pick up charming, unexpected courtship... huh, they're all out. Will need to go with Slim Jim and hope.*

Orange said...

Good picture...and no, I don't think the picture outs him as the Trophy Husband of great repute.

Anonymous said...

Look at how the cats dig him. That says it all!

Lady Epiphany said...

I've been sitting at the edge of my seat for this 3-parter, which did not disappoint. What an awesome story :)

Anonymous said...

Yay! Part 3!

I've been waiting and waiting for Part Three and then I couldn't get online for 3 days, and oh, the lack of closure was keeeeeelling me.

Uh, anyway, delurking because, Hi, that was a great story!

Thank you for sharing with your faithful reading public!

E. said...

Ah, the backrub. A key element in so many tales of friends-turned-more.

Great story. I believe it's possible to have designs on someone (hence the no mention of girlfriend thing) and not fully realize it yourself. I think my man and I had designs on each other, but never allowed it to register consciously 'til we were snogging on the single bed at 3 AM.

Love the picture. A cute man communing with cats? Hot, hot, hot.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful story, but he did want you and only you all along. Sorry, TH/Mr. Dr. Mama, we've seen the bikini picture and know better.


Anonymous said...

Yay, the conclusion! I loved this story and I agree with the others, he had designs galore.

He is better looking than I imagined...I think the red jeans thing made me picture a truly 80s looking person, long hair and all, like a member of Night Ranger. In my defense, I don't get enough sleep.

Unknown said...

"Sister Christian"! Who doesn't love a Night Ranger reference?

chanceofbooks said...

Thanks so much for sharing this story--it was so much fun :) Sounds like you got a winner. I hope his grant comes through soon too :)

DoctorMama said...

Thanks for all the support, but I have to say, he seemed genuinely, mightily surprised for the next few weeks. He would stop and kind of shake his head, and say, "I'm just finding this hard to believe!"

"But in a good way, right?" I'd reply.

We've never looked back, so I guess it was pretty good.