On Saturday, I was out with my dear friend, M., a fellow psychologist I’ve known since graduate school. We’ve known each other forever, although I don’t remember exchanging silver on our 25th anniversary a few years back. The longevity of this friendship speaks to M.’s kindness, patience, and tolerance for high-maintenance folk like me.
M. and I get together on a fairly regular basis when she is not working–she’s not on the same early retirement plan I am–and we talk about everything. If there’s a person who’s been with me through thick and thin, it’s M. She knew intuitively that her chocolate cake with mocha icing was the only thing that could assuage my misery after the break in, for example.
That day, M. and I planned to meet at the trendy new bakery/café in town. Because the wait was going to be too long, as it often is at trendy new places, we wandered around the corner to the not-so-new artisan donut shop. (N.B.: Donuts, and sweets of any kind, are perfect low sodium fare, so long as they are not salted-caramel or bacon flavoured.)
Soon after I had finished my Smartie-adorned chocolate glazed donut, I heard a familiar male voice calling my name. Imagine my surprise to see Dr. Liver with his three adorable young boys in tow. While the boys drooled over all the options in the glass display, as boys are wont to do, Dr. Liver came over to say hello.
I was a little taken aback by our unexpected visitor since Dr. Liver doesn’t live here anymore. But he is commuting back and forth until the rest of his family joins him south of the border, and I caught him at the beginning of a week-long stay. After saying hi, I excitedly introduced him to M. My exact words were: “M., it’s Dr. Liver!” Thanks to his superior social skills, Dr. Liver introduced himself to M. by his first name. He then asked how I was feeling and how radiation had gone. He kindly attributed my bulky sweater to his not being able to judge my minimal belly shrinkage. And just like that, a lovely donut-shop encounter with my (former) hepatologist. Will wonders never cease!
What if M. and I had patiently waited to be seated at the trendy hot new bakery/café rather than being inexplicably drawn to the donut shop? What if we’d taken out donuts instead of staying in? What if Dr. Liver had promised his boys Tim Hortons rather than overpriced artisan donuts? We’d never have crossed paths that day.
Based on this incident, I’ve decided that fate will only determine the good things that happen to me, not the bad ones. Fate has not caused my ill health or our recent break in or my falling and hitting my head on the icy sidewalk last year because, well, it just hasn’t. But an unexpected Dr. Liver sighting must be fated, mustn’t it? Just like scoring that last Smartie donut was, thereby sparing three boys an ugly fight for ownership.
There was only one downside to this encounter: Dr. Liver said he is enjoying his new job. How very sad. I was hoping he’d be miserable there and beg for his old position back so I could be his patient forever. Sigh. But I’m thrilled for him, I really am, because, despite what you may think, I’m truly selfless at heart. Just ask M. She’s known me a loooong time.