Wednesday, January 23, 2008

every once in a while, the stars align and fate has a little fun

This weekend was all about family--Jesse's family, that is. We spent Saturday with his sister and her family as it was Jesse's nephew's birthday party. And Sunday was Jesse's dad's birthday dinner. And Monday was about errands (oh joy!).

Saturday was shaping up to be a typical family gathering, except with more children as all of Chauncey's friends were going to be at the party (Chauncey = Jesse's nephew). Before we got to the party location, Jesse and I made a quick stop to Best Buy to buy a present. Afterwards, we drove down Columbia Pike in search of a CVS in order to buy a Christmas card. Although Jesse and I have been living in Arlington for over a year now, neither of us had really ventured down Columbia Pike past Rte. 7. So as we kept driving, we had no idea where we were going, but a CVS had to be close. CVSes are about as abundant as Starbucks these days so we figured it was only a matter of time before we came across one.

Well, Jesse and I started getting antsy because we had driven for a while and hadn't seen a CVS. However, we did see a Harris Teeter. Grocery stores have to have birthday cards, right? So, we turned and headed into the Harris Teeter parking lot. We rushed into the store and picked out a card and left. On our way out the door, I saw someone I recognized. I didn't have my glasses on and it was night time so it was kinda dark. But I saw someone who resembled my shrink.

This older woman was approaching the Harris Teeter entrance with a shopping cart. She saw me and said, "Oh my goodness." Upon closer inspection (and hearing her voice), I recognized the older woman. It was my shrink. She looked so normal outside of her office. I responded, "Dr. W, oh my God. It's you." Jesse, who was a step ahead of me, stopped and turned. I motioned to hug Dr. W and she reciprocated so we embraced.

Hugging my shrink was strange yet comforting at the same time. I would never think to hug my primary care physician, but my shrink is different. She knows me, she knows things about me that even my family doesn't know. I've spent quite some time with her and we've built a camaraderie of sorts. She's not my friend, but she's not just an acquaintance. I was comforted by the fact that she was willing to hug me back, considering our patient/shrink relationship.

As I broke away from the hug, I looked at Jesse and introduced them. "Jesse, this is Dr. W. Dr. W, this is Jesse," I said, nervously. After all, Jesse had been the subject of many a visit to my shrink and, here they were, meeting for the first time. Naturally, Jesse didn't feel the slightest bit awkward. He shook her hand, saying, "Dr. W, it's nice to meet you. I've heard so much about you." Dr. W smiled graciously and didn't return the 'I've heard so much about you too' sentiment. After all, that would probably be a HIPAA violation. Dr. W and I made some small talk about my job and even scheduled our next visit. As we parted ways, this time Dr. W initiated the hug and we said our good byes.

As we walked away, Jesse was saying, "Wow. What are the odds that we would wind up lost in NoVA, looking for a CVS, end up at a Harris Teeter, and run into Dr. W?" Stunned about the whole situation, I quietly said, "Yeah." Jesse continued, "I mean, that's a really big coincidence, you know. We've never even been in this part of Virginia. She probably lives around here. Did you even know that she lives around here?" Still shocked, I replied, "No."

We got into the car and I was still thinking about the freakin' big coincidence of running into my shrink. I was quiet and Jesse noticed. He said, "I forgot to thank her." I snapped out of my shock. "Thank her for what?" I asked. He answered, "Thank her for all that she's done for you." For us, I thought. I said, "That's ok."

The truth is that Jesse and I are in a really good place right now. Our relationship is now progressing as I had hoped it would. The deadline is a thing of the past and that other thing never came to fruition. And yes, my shrink was a part of getting us there. But Jesse and I are the ones who did all the work.

We've learned a lot about each other and ourselves as a couple. And we've come away from the whole experience with a really strong foundation for something really good.


Anonymous said...

ok , it's unsolicited but here is my coincidential-running-into-someone story: about five years ago my dog, whom I adored, died of cancer. Six months later, almost to the day he died, I heard a weird thump in my house that sounded just like the noise he made when he jumped his 100 pounds off the sofa. I figured it was just my imagination and and then thought "I wish I could get a sign that he is ok wherever he is."

The very next day I ran into his vet (who had rescued him from an abusive home) in a part of town where I rarely go. THEN -the following day I ran into the vet again in a completely different part of the city! Believe it or not it took me a couple of days to figure out that that was my sign.

Anyway, I know that totallly unrelated but felt like sharing...:-) ~erika

Anonymous said...

What do you think about bush's plan to double aids spending, which he'll probably propose in the state of the union (there was an article about it in usa today)?