Everyone wants to have a meet-cute story, a romantic comedy in real life. At parties, couples will regale guests of the adorable, and funny, ways they met.
“He reached for the last can of soda just as I did, our fingers touched, and I knew.”
“We met at the new ‘Star Wars’ movie; he was Hans Solo, and I was Princess Leia, and I knew.”
“His great-grandmother’s daughter was my mother’s aunt, and I knew.”
“So, doesn’t that make you two related?”
You get the picture.
So, I want to tell you my meet-cute story, because you never know the moment that could change your life.
Back in the late eighties, at the complex that I worked, they built a workout facility. All you needed to join was to pass a basic physical. Basic or not, in my mid-twenties, I was not in good shape. I don’t mean to imply that I am in excellent shape now because I’m not.
Back then, I considered beer a very good friend. And I was good friends with pizza since I was a kid. The combination of beer and pizza is not good for your health. I spent weekends that summer down the shore, and my entire diet was mainly those two items, with the occasional introduction of tequila.
When the time came for my physical, I was a good forty pounds overweight. Outside of the nurse’s office, I sat and waited my turn. The office door remained open, and I could see those that went before me be weighed, measured for height, and have their blood pressure taken. A straight-forward physical, no heavy lifting or stress tests.
My turn came, the very pretty nurse motioned to me, and I stepped into the office. We exchanged pleasantries, then cringed a little as the black counter-weight crept up the scale, ten pounds at a time. Height didn’t diminish (that will come later, with age). Sat at the table, she attached the blood pressure cuff, and began to pump the air bulb, and watched my pressure rise.
When she stopped, she undid the cuff, stood up, walked over and closed the office door (calm down, this isn’t a letter to Penthouse).
She looked at me with big, blue, sparkling eyes and said, “I’m concerned about your blood pressure, it’s pretty high.”
I said, “How could it not be, sitting next to you?” (Ok, no, I didn’t say that)
We talked about my eating and drinking habits, and I confessed to my love of pizza and beer. She immediately told me to break up with them, lose some weight, and come back in a few weeks for a re-test.
She smiled, and I left determined to make changes in my life.
And, I did. Over the next few weeks, I stopped drinking, improved my diet, and ran every day (Just so you know, what I call running may not be what you call running).
My weight loss over the next few weeks was rapid; no beer and pizza will do that for you.
When I returned to her office, she greeted me warmly with, “Hello, Al.”
She remembered my name! I’m positive she remembered me, and not that it was written in her appointment book.
We repeated our dance of weight, height, blood pressure.
My weight was down, my height the same, and my blood pressure was…
“Very good, Al, this is so much better.”
After she un-cuffed me, she placed her hand on my arm.
“You have to keep up the good work, we want to keep you around for a while.”
She squeezed my arm, smiled, and leaned towards me.
“I still don’t want you to drink. It’s just not good for you.”
It was going to be tough, but if that’s what she wanted, I would give it a try.
“But,” she smiled again, “If you insist on continuing, I’m going to tell you what you should be drinking.”
And that, my friends, is how I met scotch.
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