Under My Skin

How I met your mother


Maybe it’s because spring is here and the flowers are blooming. Or it may be because my wife and I are marrying off our daughter this summer. (Why, thank you.) Whatever the reason, I thought I would share some of the ways my married patients met each other. When I ask couples how they got together, they are usually happy to tell me. Even after many years, most of them have no trouble remembering the particular circumstances of their introduction. They smile, and tell me a tale they have probably told many times. (Remember that this is a selected group – these couples are still together!)

Some of the stories are conventional – a mutual friend or family member fixed them up, or they met in high school or college. Nowadays, more and more are technological, though sometimes with a twist. ("I had so many bad experiences on EBliss4Ever.com that I was ready to give up. But then I decided to give it one more try – and got Stanley!") Sometimes, however, people share tales that sound too cute to be true, ones that even Hollywood script committees – lovers of the "cute-meet" – would reject as too schmaltzy and improbable to work in a romantic comedy. And yet, out here in real life, they somehow did.

"I met Lars in a bar," says Bridget. "My friend Susie and I were having a beer, and I decided to stand up and move to another table. Lars is a large person, and he was walking by just when I got up. I turned to my left- – and hit him right in the chest with my glass. The beer splashed all over him and made a real mess. It took a long time to clean up."

"Oh come on. Did that really happen?"

"Absolutely! We were married a year ago."

Then there is Shane Walsh, who tells me not about himself but about his sister. "We’re a close-knit Irish family," he says. "Five boys and a girl. We were very protective of our sister and made sure that the guys she went out with were the right sort. Then she met the man who’s now her husband, and we all agree that he’s terrific. His name is also Walsh."

"In fact, that’s how they met," Shane says. "They were both at a party, when a guy across the room called out, ‘Hey, Walshie!’ "

"Both of them turned around at the same time and saw each other. The rest is history."

The luck of the Irish, I guess.

My last tale concerns an older pair, Gregory and Kate, married 39 years. They remember their first meeting very fondly.

"We both belonged to an apple-picking club," recalls Kate. "That fall weekend the whole group traveled by bus up to Maine. It was raining and miserable. When we got to the farm, the lady handing out the collecting baskets said, ‘You’re not from around here, are you?’ She meant that anybody local would have too much sense to pick apples in the driving rain."

"We were standing near each other under the same tree," said Gregory. "It was just like ..."

"Wait a minute," I interrupt, "you don’t mean ..."

"Yes indeed," says Greg, with a twinkle. "She handed me an apple." Kate laughs in agreement.

There you have it – life imitating Scripture. Although there’s nothing in the Good Book about Adam and Eve hiding under the Tree of Knowledge to keep from getting wet.

Here’s to happy endings, however they start out.

Dr. Rockoff practices dermatology in Brookline, Mass. To respond to this column, e-mail him at our editorial offices at sknews@frontlinemedcom.com.

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