When I first moved to Orange County in 2001 I did a lot of internet dating. After all, I had spent the last eight years in Australia and this really seemed like the easiest way to meet people.
For the most part, it worked out fine. My profile was listed on a site called kiss.com (the link is to a very different service now). It’s true there were plenty of men on the site I had no interest in kissing, but I had no nightmare experiences – the men I met in person were pretty much who they said they were online. Even though I was awfully selective about choosing the few I would actually meet in person from the pool of hundreds of options online, I had no shortage of dates – usually several dinner or coffee dates each week. In short, it was a great way to become comfortable meeting men again after having been married for so long.
So it was no big deal when I agreed to meet a man from kiss.com for drinks at the Vertical Wine Bar (also no longer there) in Laguna Beach. The man and I had already spoken on the phone a fair amount, and his online profile and picture looked decent enough to make the date list.
The morning of our planned meeting I woke up with an annoying little cough. It wasn’t like a cold or infection, and I’ve never been a smoker so have never really been a person who coughs. This cough was unlike any I have ever experienced – throughout the day, every time I would open my mouth to speak all that came out was this dry, tickling cough. It wasn’t loud, mind you, but it was completely unstoppable. But since I’d never had a cough like this in the past and didn’t feel sick, I decided to ignore it and go on my date anyway.
As usual, I hadn’t decided what to wear on the date until the very last minute. (The only part of my outfit I did not debate was that I would wear my highest of high heels to see whether this guy would be tall enough for me.) By the time I did my hair, drove to the place, and found a parking spot I was at least 15 minutes late. (I later learned my date had been there 20 minutes early.) When I finally arrived, I looked around and didn’t recognize anyone in the restaurant who looked even remotely like my date’s internet photo.
But then I saw this very tall guy standing at the bar looking at me with a big grin on his face --
I don’t remember too many details about the rest of our date, but I do know that drinks turned into a long dinner. That in itself would not be all that unusual, but it was quite remarkable under the circumstances – you see, my cough had not gone away.
I could not talk.
All night, every time I opened my mouth to speak, all that came out was that dry tickly little cough.
So I laughed to cover it up.
My date acted like he never noticed. I was amazed that any man could carry on an entire conversation for four hours or so, when the only thing I contributed was a lot of laughter to mask my coughing, and a choked out sentence here and there.
He must have felt like the funniest man on the planet.
I declined a second date.
But accepted a third.
Two and a half years later, we were married. That was five years ago, and I have not coughed since.
Has your body ever let you know through physical symptoms or cues that something important was happening or about to happen in your life? Have you ever felt nervous for no good reason when meeting a stranger who then became very important in your life? Why do you think our bodies often sense things our minds are oblivious of? Are you good at listening to your body’s wisdom?