My friend Rajesh is a doctor. And while most of his days are spent dealing with serious illness and injury, every now and then he comes across something a little different. Like his story that involved a man in the emergency room, some plaster of Paris . . . and his penis.
The patient told Raj that some plaster of paris had accidentally, somehow, sort of hardened in his rectum and in his urethra and he could not get it out.
“Is this a big problem? the man asked.
“Oh….ummm, yeah,” said Raj, “this could be a problem.”
Then, trying to dissolve the awkwardness of the doctors’ discussion on how to get his art project out of his bodily crevices, the man said, “I bet you guys see this all the time.”
“Well, no,” said Raj. “We really don’t.”
Raj fixed the guy and sent him on his way, and in doing so, realized something: On those stressful days, when work was about life and death and panicked family members pacing in the waiting room, Raj learned to appreciate those so-bad-they’re-good moments. And the more he talked about them with his co-workers and heard theirs, the lighter and more bearable work became. Some emergencies made him laugh as much as cry. The same is true with dating. Dating optimists don’t just see their dating glasses as half-full—they see them as full of really bubbly, fun stuff, one little taste of which can change your mood entirely.
The next time you show up on a blind date and realize he’s eight inches shorter than advertised (because, let’s be honest, everyone is shorter than advertised), or she has a laugh like Chandler Bing’s Janice, don’t write off the date. They may become a really great friend, a work colleague, or, at the very least, an in-the-dating-trenches story you’ll tell a friend to cheer up their crappy day.
I still tell the tale of the first date I had who leaned over the diner table after burgers and whispered, “Hey, want to do something really fun? Let’s dine and dash!” Apparently, he didn’t have enough money to pay for the bill. He didn’t get another date either after I covered it for him. Thank goodness for dates like this! They’re the emergency room stories of love, the ones you’ll laugh about for years, and tell your half-orange when you explain how grateful you are to have found each other through it all.