Tales of dating… that time in Banff

So this was pretty much the same period as the trip to Bermuda… or rather this was prior to that trip.  I was certainly on a rebound period and I had been trying to feel wanted by drumming up some attention on eHarmony… sadly it was a lot harder than I thought (although I do have one other story from that period).  I had just spent an excellent Christmas at a dear friend’s mum’s place and with her brothers (even though she wasn’t around).  Shortly after I escaped my awkward situation more by taking refuge at a friend’s place in Newfoundland where my intention was to spend time snowboarding and trying to clear my mind.  At some point I started chatting to a very cute doctor (who was a couple of (perhaps 5) years older than me).  We had great chats… all very deep and meaningful.  I really liked her and we chatting quite a bit on Skype and emails.  I remember very clearly that she was very sure that she didn’t want kids and one of the first things she asked was to check to be sure that I wasn’t interested.

So we decided that we should meet up although her busy schedule meant that we could petty much on manage to quick weekend somewhere… so Banff and a snowboarding trip it was!  We met in Calgary and headed to Banff, where I’d booked a romantic hotel, in a nice Jeep.  We got on great from the get go, enjoy good conversations along the way.  We had no problems at all in getting into the swing of things enjoying a concert, good food, and a couple of days on the slopes.  I can still remember being really besotted with the woman.

On the second day out I think I was feeling a little too cocky on the gentle slope heading to one of the blue or black runs.  I caught the downhill edge and catapulted into the snow with such a thud I knocked the wind clean out of myself and managed to crack a rib… the pain was almost as much as the embarrassment I felt having pulled a beginner mistake in front of my date… I got a little sympathy later…

The rest of the date went really well and we parted all too soon… I took her down back to Calgary and have an amusing memory of her being half naked in the passenger seat as she changed out of her thermals into something more comfortable to travel in.  Anyway, I headed back to take a few more days in the mountains.  Unfortunately in my quest for better snow I ended up on a very steep slope with lots of tree stumps… in short I ended up barrelling down the hill backwards and smashed my face off a tree stump.  Thankfully I didn’t seriously hurt myself (if only by the grace of the helmet and googles I was wearing) but I learned later that I had fractured by orbit.  I sat in the snow for a few minutes with blood pouring everywhere…. I managed to get myself to the aid station where i was taken care of by a seriously lovely first aider that seemed quite transfixed by my eyes (despite half my face starting to swell and initially being covered in blood (she actually wrote a lovely little note to me on the followup form that was sent to my permanent address in Ireland).  I got back on the horse for a couple more runs down the mountain but I was in quite a bit of pain.  I played out the rest of my time traveling around to see the beauty of the Rockies.

Well… that was the end of my time in Banff… I was heading off for work the day after I arrived back in Toronto.  The story of the lovely doctor pretty much ended then… I didn’t hear much from her.  The odd email but nothing substantial.  I started dating a really great woman while I was working.  Just as I was about to leave the country where I was working I got an email from the doctor.  It started something like “I wish I had the courage to call or tell you this in person”.  This was not a good start… I read on in a slight panic… heart racing I read the next line… “I’m pregnant”!  My heart stopped and it was another few minutes before I able to read on… trying to look calm while the woman I was then dating sat opposite me.  She went on to explain that shortly after we’d gone on our date she’s slept with her “friend with benefits”… clearly this doctor isn’t so good at practicing family planning and as it turned out the “friend” wanted nothing to do with it all… With a huge sign of relief (despite knowing realising that it was really not possible for it to have been mine) I read on…  Her dilemma was now whether to keep the kid… she agonised over this for a couple of emails (if I remember she was about to turn 40 or was actually 40, so she was really worried about that complication too).  She decided to keep it.  I later found out that a Portuguese guy she’d met a long time ago and had really helped out offered to come and help her for a year… turns out they got married… that was the last I heard from her…

My head still spins about this one.  I think the one of the things that I learned from all this was just the power we all have to break hearts.  Of course we don’t do this deliberately but it’s amazing how such a brief period could conjure up so much feeling towards someone that you don’t really know.  Although it gets me thinking that we tend to project what we want someone to be in such circumstances and clearly this woman was not the sort of person that I thought she was.  Still makes for a funny story… if you could call it that.


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