An Argument, A Fainting Spell and a Journey Back to Each Other

Last night my husband and I argued. My words were unproductive and snippy, his were frustrated and a notch louder than necessary. We were the only two people in the car so I could hear him even though I was not listening. I pressed the right pedal past 80 mph hoping to drive away from this stupid conversation. We could not find common ground on anything. Not one thing.

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We gave up. We stopped talking and rode in silence for what seemed like forever. I’m uber stubborn and wasn’t about to give in and talk first. He was staring at his phone anyway and probably enjoying the quiet. I was playing a ridiculous childish game with myself— if I talk first I lose—but I think we both lost because we weren’t even trying.

We arrived at the venue and had to communicate about other things. Did you have the tickets, where should we park, do we have time to grab a bite before the event? Our conversation was practical and efficient and easier since we didn’t have to talk about our future past the next half hour.

Several of you know me personally but most of you know me based on what I post online. I try to be authentic and as close to real as possible. The next part of the story shames and embarrasses me but I’m not sure what to do about it since my brain has been wired this way since childhood. I’m not sure how to de-program what I’ve known since I was in elementary school.

The first time it happened I was watching a movie on the floor of the library with my third grade classmates. It was a story about a young girl who was thrown from a horse and her spine was damaged. The scene was a hospital room with this girl strapped to a bed, head, chin, shoulders, arms, waist, thighs, ankles anchored to the wiry, metal bed then flipped over so she was facing the floor and they could operate on her back. They never showed the surgery but the camera zoomed in on her terrified face just before the anesthesia set in.

That’s when it happened to me. I got hot so fast I started sweating. The room was spinning and I tried to stand to leave but my legs were unstable and wobbly. I collapsed but was determined to get out of the room and away from the disturbing medical sounds coming from the movie. I remember trying to crawl around the other kids, sweat dripping off my forehead and nose. I managed to stand and kept thinking I want to get out of the room and press something cold against my body. I was so hot. I remember falling outside the door of the library’s media room onto linoleum and that it was cool against my face. I woke up in the nurse’s office.

Over the years, I’ve fainted many times. My triggers are certain detailed medical situations. I’ve rallied through the birth of my children and successfully cared for my husband after his eye surgery and shoulder surgery but the less I know about specifics the better.

Back to last night.

We went to a book signing of one of my favorite authors Jodi Picoult She has a new book #aSparkofLight and it uncovers both sides of the controversial topic of abortion. You can keep reading, I’m not offering an opinion, I’m just explaining what happened.

During the course of the book’s discussion, the differences and specific explanation of what actually happens in a medical office during the procedure varied between something that looks like you blew your nose and see a little mucus and a bit of blood in your tissue to much more...

But that’s when I got hot.

I didn’t hear anymore. I was trapped in the center of the row and the exit door seemed a football field away. I fumbled in my purse for mints and rattled open the cinnamon Altoids. It didn’t help. The sweat was matting my hair to the side of my face and the lights were swaying. Danny looked at me and asked if I was okay but he knew the answer.

He cleared the aisle and started quietly whispering to our seat mates to make way. As soon as I hit the lobby I saw a sofa and fell onto it. I was hyperventilating and dizzy. My shirt was soaked. I knew I would blackout soon. The ushers came over and asked what I needed. My husband said, if you’ll get her a cup of water I’m going to wet some paper towels in the bathroom.

He looked at me and said I’ll be right back.

And that’s the point of this entire story. Danny comes back. Even when we disagree, he comes back and reminds me why I fell in love with the guy who knows me and loves me through all of my idiosyncrasies. Had I been alone or with anyone else, I would have been more anxious and distraught because I’d have to explain what was happening to me. Because he knew, I knew he was in control of my needs and I could focus on recovering quickly from my episode which lasted about 8 and half minutes.

I cooled off, drank the water, and pressed the wet paper towels to my head and neck. He sat beside me and searched my eyes for me to come back to him. And I did. And at that moment I didn’t give a damn about what we were arguing about earlier.

Love what matters.

A Love History of Guys - How Each One Helped Me Find What I Truly Wanted

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I thought I wanted the bad boy with the hot car. Or my God, the guy with the eyes – every time he looked at me my insides turned into lava. Or the smart guy who helped me pass 11th-grade Chemistry. (Side note, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the smart ones…His wife looks super happy on Facebook.) When I went to college I thought it was the good looking Italian guy from New Jersey, who charmed me and my roommates by singing outside our dorm room window. Later when I lived in Atlanta, I dated this guy who made me laugh so much I couldn’t breathe. I thought I wanted that guy - the funny guy.

But through all of my boyfriends and friends who were guys, life would offer little glimpses of what I really wanted in a guy. My heart would nudge me to pay attention to the traits that would matter in the future. The important attributes more than fast cars, dreamy eyes or the romance of a serenade.

*Like the time a guy mowed my parent’s yard because my dad hurt his back.
*Like the guy who brought magazines and egg drop soup when I had my wisdom teeth removed.
*Like the guy who drove all night to sit with me when my dad died.
*Like the guy who stopped something awful from happening to me at a party where I never should have been.
*Like the guy who bought my lunch when I was in college, working three jobs and still broke.
*Like the guy who helped me get back home after a snow storm.
*Like the guy who sat with me in the airport before my flight to L.A. when I was terrified to host my company’s presentation.
*Like the guy who came to meet me in the middle of rush hour traffic after a van hit my car.
*Like the guy who said, “You’re a writer – I believe in you.”

The things that curl your toes and turn your insides into Jell-O will not matter when life pushes you. Yesterday, my husband’s actions reminded me of why I fell in love with him. It wasn’t that it was a difficult event or that he handled some big struggle or issue, but it was a little moment in time that captured my heart again.

I had an appointment downtown that was taking longer than expected. I texted him and asked if he could feed my meter because I didn’t have any more change and I was stuck in the meeting. At the same time, unbeknownst to me, he was on the phone with our son who was having car trouble (locked steering wheel and couldn’t get the ignition to engage – rookie mistake.) He also just hung up the phone with his mother’s assisted living facility and finished a meeting and conference call that took longer than expected. He has a stream of people with varied problems in his office every single day but he handles it with a steady, calm that I respect so much.

That’s the guy I want.

The one, who patiently guides our son, loves and cares for his mother, values and respects his co-workers, and drives the four blocks to feed my meter. Danny is funny and he is cute and he does help me in tough situations. He’s honored my parents in so many ways and he’s driven miles and miles just to see me. So when life gives you glimpses of what your heart needs, pay attention – because it’s rarely what you “think” you need.