It was a cold but sunny February day in a cold area of the country, and I was skiing that day while on call because…I like to tempt fate. (Hey, at reckless speeds, I could go from the top of the mountain to the hospital in 25 minutes, so…close enough.)
As per usual, I got in the “Singles” line of the ski lift. You know, the line where you’re skiing alone? Fine. Also, the Singles line because, a few years earlier, I had gladly jettisoned Bad Decision from my life. And had no intention of attempting any more Decisions for a long, long time.
So, this guy also got on the lift with me because…singles line. He had a snowboard attached to his foot. Strike one. He was wearing a Hawaiian shirt over his thermal shirt. (It >was< a sunny day, but really? Hello, overkill.) Strike two. A helmet and reflective goggles completed the ensemble. Okay, I’d spot him those items, because…safety first.
I said my usual “hi, howerya” and settled in to ride the chair up the mountain.
Then this man started talking. And didn’t stop. He was hilarious. We >somehow< ended up at the next lift together, and rode to the other mountaintop. By this time, he figured out the whole medical thing, and God bless him, he worked in the words “uvula” and “medulla oblongata” into a casual conversation, thinking he would impress me. It was an obvious stretch, but as dating opening conversations go, I’ve heard worse.
Two hours later, we were still skiing/boarding together, having a blast of a time. My phone rang, it was the hospital. Patient needed an urgent procedure for complications of a miscarriage. I had to leave right away. Later, Hubs would tell me he thought that this was a ploy to extricate myself from the situation. We quickly exchanged digits and I left.
We chatted during the week and decided to meet up again at the ski park the next Sunday afternoon. I was to call him when I got to the parking lot and he’d meet me there. So that day, I pulled in, parked, and dialed his number. No answer. Huh. Left a quick message, geared up, waited a solid 10 minutes, then went skiing. A few checks on my phone confirmed he didn’t call back. Hey, no harm no foul – a gal can take a message. Loud and clear. Parenthetically, it was a great bluebird day, and I had a wonderful afternoon of turns, much to his later irritation.
That night, an email popped up. Something about him losing his phone on the ski lift. Yeah, right. All I could think was, that’s a pretty good excuse. I’d spot him a few points for sheer creativity, but if he didn’t want to hang out, he should just say so. Then the full truth came out when we chatted that night.
He had been on a lift when my call came in. In what he describes as “typical Costanza fashion” (he kind of >is< George Costanza – more on this in a few paragraphs). He went for his leg pocket, pulled out the phone, and fumbled it, dropping it about 50 feet down into the powdery snow. A string of creative phrases later, he got off the lift at the top of the mountain and boarded down to where he dropped the phone. There was no phone. (As it turned out, another skier had picked it up. Hubs later called his own number, someone answered, and he got the person to mail the phone back, but that’s a side story.)
He begged forgiveness, and I relented, mostly because if the story was false, that was one heck of a creative mind, and if the story was true, his luck flat-out stunk. He redeemed himself by taking me out for dinner the next weekend, and the rest, as they say, is history. Almost...
So, the George Costanza reference. Mind you, by the dinner date, I still hadn’t seen this guy without snowboard boots, helmet and goggles. Turns out, this was a smart play on his part. IRL, he wasn’t super tall and yes…Hubs was bald. I remind him periodically about the bait-and-switch move he did there, by wearing the tall boots and keeping the helmet firmly on his chrome dome that first “date”.
You know how they say fairy tales come true? Sometimes they don’t abide by those Disney tropes. And that’s okay…
PS: We were married 1 year after meeting on the ski lift. That was many years ago.
PPS: He still hasn’t stopped talking.