Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How I Met My Husband (at the Insane Asylum)

I met my husband at a mental hospital. A branch of the VA that is a large teaching hospital affiliated with a University. We both worked in the psychiatry department which was a great job, once you got past the fact that some of the psychiatrists seemed a lot nuttier than the patients.

I was working as a psych tech, coordinating research protocols for an Alzheimer's Research Center. It was fascinating and I learned a lot about love and undying devotion from the caregivers who brought in their loved ones for testing. Alzheimer's research is still a cause very close to my heart.

My husband-to-be worked in another building on the hospital campus crunching statistics for studies on schizophrenics and agoraphobics.

The building he worked in had a number of audiology booths: rooms about 6 foot square with special deep padding on the walls. If you went in and shut the door you could hear your blood pulse. Those booths gave me claustrophobia. I'm not sure what they were really intended for. My husband used one to practice the trumpet. Close the door and voila! Nice silent practice room.

But what with the trumpeting and the enclosed space and the lack of air conditioning it would get pretty hot in there, so after practicing he'd go lie down on the lawn for some fresh air. I can only imagine what he looked like when one day an inpatient saw him stretched out flat on his back and asked him which ward he lived on. *snort*

I'd seen him around and thought he was cute, and we finally met at a party thrown by a mutual friend. I hadn't even wanted to go to the party and as I recall, I had just thrown on a sweatshirt and skipped the makeup to go kill an hour or two. There he was, that cute guy, standing by the chips. And I was hungry. Who can tell how the course of history would have been different if I hadn't craved salty greasy potato products that night?

We chatted for a while, and I left before he did. He walked me to my car. Cupid's work was done. I began my vigil by the phone.

He never called. Afer two weeks I shrugged off my crush and tried to forget him.

The psyciatry department personnel were all networked on Macs equipped with a primitive IM system that would pop a message on your screen in the middle of your work. We're talking 1989 here, so really, I mean primitive. Two weeks after that intriguing buffet table conversation a message popped up on my screen.

"Would you like to go to lunch on Thursday?"

Rats! Here I was, the girl with no social life, but I had already made arrangements to go out with some girlfriends on that day. I politely declined in a message back. Two seconds later, my screen lit up again.

"How about dinner on Friday?"

Double Rats!! I had a harp gig at a restaurant. I started to panic. This guy was going to think I didn't want to go out with him. I sent my excuse message back. This time the phone rang.

"How about a trip to the beach on Saturday?"

How could I not fall in love with this guy? He brought a backpack to the beach and after a fun afternoon that included finding a perfect abalone shell (I've never found one before or since), he pulled out champagne and strawberries as we watched the sunset. You don't find guys like that every day. At least, I don't.

That't how I met that cute guy who looked suspiciously like an inmate, and last Saturday was our 16th wedding anniversary. I love you honey. And I'm pretty sure the kids get their craziness from your DNA.

23 people stopped folding laundry to write:

Beth said...

What a sweet story! Funny how love finds you when you're least expecting it.

Kristen said...

What a great story. I would be using that line about meeting my hubby at an asylum all the time. I met mine at Bible College, which is strangely similar to an asylum. I kid not.

Cheryl Lage said...

LOVE that story! Didn't Brad Pitt star in 12 Monkeys? There are clearly hotties to be found in the asylum! ;)

Unknown said...

Awww, that's such a sweet story! :)What a great story to tell the grandkids!

Anonymous said...

Oh taht is too sweet!

Madge said...

Sweet story. Happy anniverary!

LauraC said...

Happy anniversary!

Your description of those audiology booths is dead on. I had to get an insane number of hearing tests during the whole lead up to getting my robo-ear. One time I had to lie down on a lawn chair they brought in with special headphones that tested my brainstem response.

I believe hearing the words "feel free to fall asleep, all we care about is your brainstem response" gave me my first case of heeby jeebies.

Jaime said...

What a sweet story! Very romantic!

Elizabeth said...

awwww. No, you don't meet guys like that every day. Glad you went to that party!
So, do you have one of those soundproof rooms in your house? That could come in handy!
Blessings, E

Michelle@Life with Three said...

I love his tenacity in not taking "no" for an answer -- and having the guts to ask a third time. That was obviously "meant to be!" Great story.

Beth said...

I realize this is in the wrong post but here is the recipe for my grandma's Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes. (A must for any holiday for me)

5lbs of potatoes
8oz cream cheese
16oz sour cream
4 tablespoons of butter

Peel, boil and mash potatoes. Add cream cheese, sour cream, butter and salt and pepper to taste. I use a hand mixer. I like my potatoes creamy. You may want to adjust the sour cream to taste. My family likes a lot of sour cream but others may like less.

They're really easy to make. I don't make them often thought because I COULD eat the whole 5lbs in just a few sittings. LOL

Anonymous said...

1989? how cool you're still together. and it was a good year... that's the year i got married. i just love me a good love story.

Anonymous said...

I love that story. Especially the abalone shell part!

Love it.

debi9kids said...

What an adorable story!
Love that he didn't give up trying!

Crazymamaof6 said...

AWWW! best story ever! love it! lame that he waited two weeks! but so glad it worked out AHHHHH! sweet!

Patty said...

Since I'm old, single and bitter, I usually skip over posts that have to do with anniversaries and husbands but I am so glad I read this. What a great story! (I'm really enjoying your blog!)


I LOVE this story!! How did I miss it?? Maybe I wasn't following you then. I know you don't post current pics, but what about a wedding pic?? Puh-leeeeeeaaaase? Pretty please?

Anonymous said...


And my friend you are FIRST to the blog proposal...

I am emailing you NOW

Norkio said...

What a nice story! There is something to be said for tenacity when it comes to love.

foolery said...

This was great. And the asylum thing would explain SO much in my marriage. If only it were true and I could lean on it as an excuse . . . ;)

Texasholly said...

OMG. That is great. And why am I not surprised - and I mean that in the sweetest way.

Anonymous said...

Oh, this is so uniquely crazy (HA!), I LOVE it!

Thank you SO much for playing a part in one of the absolute BEST, most romantic, days of my life!

I'm still stunned. STUNNED.

Big hugs!!

tracey.becker1@gmail.com said...

Thank goodness he kept on asking!

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