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For Instant Date... Dial 911?
By Cherie Burbach
A few years ago I slipped on the ice by my house and heard a snap... and when I looked down my foot was facing the wrong way. I had broken my ankle. Bad.
I tried to hold myself together enough to dial 911 from my cell phone... and I waited for the cops and emergency to come and help. I was scared, in tons of pain, and I started sobbing. Then I started going into shock.
When the cop pulled up I remember feeling grateful that I was finally getting some help but scared because I knew I would need emergency surgery. The cop held my hand until the ambulance came and spoke to me so comfortingly that I found myself looking up at him for the first time. Really looking at him.
Green eyes. Dark hair. Tall. Handsome. And gorgeous. Just... gorgeous.
I remember thinking at the time it was typical... that if I was going to meet a dreamy guy I would be at my absolute worst. I had makeup running down my face from where I'd been crying, I was talking crazy since the shock was setting in, and since I couldn't stand on my own he had to help hoist me up onto the stretcher. (I think I might have even heard a "umph" come out of his mouth as he helped lift. I cringed.)
In those (my pre-Internet dating days!) I felt like my dating life was haphazard at best. I worked a ton of hours at a thankless job and always felt as if I was running from one moment to the next. I had some dates back then but it seemed as if I also had my share of "near misses." The day after I had broken my ankle, for example, I was supposed to go on a blind date with someone a friend of mine had been trying to set me up with. I had to cancel once already because of work and he had canceled once because he was sick. And then... I broke my ankle and would have to cancel again. I never did go out with the guy. I started to believe perhaps I was just always going to miss it when the right guy came my way.
The night of my broken ankle, as the ambulance doors were just about to shut, I heard the cop say "I'm sorry this happened to you." He was genuinely concerned that I'd be okay. Not just doing his job, but sincerely a nice person.
For awhile, during my drug-laden recovery, I even wondered if there was some way I could have at least found out his name. He was just... so sweet.
As it turned out I met my true soul mate a few years later... online with an Internet dating service and then in person on a coffee date. Three years later I'm happy and married and haven't thought once about that cop.
When I read about the woman that dialed 911 to get "the cutest cop" she'd ever seen sent back to her home so she could meet him. Apparently it all started with a noise complaint called in last month by neighbors. The "cute" deputy was sent to check on the complaint, knocked on her door, then left. The woman then called to have the "cutie pie" deputy return. The woman told the dispatcher that she was 45 and just wanted to give the guy her phone number. The deputy was then sent back to her house... to arrest her for abusing the 911 system.
There are many people that will hear this story and think it's funny. They'll wonder what the woman was thinking, or even worse, perhaps think she was acting out of desperation.
But they are many others who have yet to meet the right person for them that will have sympathy for this woman. They won't think she's goofy, they'll understand how it feels sometimes to think that maybe the reason you haven't met Mr. or Mrs. Right is because you just weren't paying attention. After a steady stream of wrong dates you may just wonder if it's you that is the problem.
Without meaning to, at times our friends and family can make us feel this way too. When I was dating I had more excuses for why guys weren't right for me than I can list here. The people that knew and loved me were concerned for me... and exasperated. They'd ask me, "What's wrong with these guys? They can't all be bad."
That's just it - they weren't bad. They just weren't right for me.
That day I broke my ankle I wondered again if I had just missed a guy that could have been right for me. So many of us know people that have stories very similar to this woman's... that turn out much differently. Instead of getting in trouble with the law and having an embarrassing story run about them, they now tell their friends about the time they met and fell in love. For some people, it just flows the way it should. For some, it doesn't, and they believe they should be doing something... but all it looks like to others is that they are trying to force a situation that wasn't meant to be. When you're close to it, and in that position, it's a hard thing to see.
Now that I'm one of those people that has found my right guy, I think about all the times I thought I'd missed someone special and realize that it doesn't matter if we are looking the wrong way when our soul mate comes by, because eventually they'll find us. And in the meantime, those of us who are happy and in love should not become smug at those who have yet to find relationship bliss.
©2006 Cherie Burbach