That time my new boyfriend came home for Thanksgiving and wound up in the hospital
It’s well documented fact that lot of people worry about meeting their significant other’s parents for the first time, and vice versa. There’s always a question about when is the right time, if you guys are serious enough, if it will be awkward, and any other disasters you could possibly think of. However my story will throw all your worries out the window, because it’s more bonkers than anything on the normal list of stuff to worry about. I brought a guy I had been dating for a month back to Thanksgiving at my parent’s house, and within a few hours he had an asthma attack and were driving him to the hospital.
My boyfriend and I had been a relatively new romance by the time Thanksgiving rolled around. However for having only been together a month, we were pretty serious about each other. Add to that the fact that Thanksgiving is a big deal in my family, my birthday (the 27th) often falls on or around Thanksgiving, and the fact that his family lived on the West coast and we went to school on the East coast, and it was pretty much a given that he was going to come to Thanksgiving at my house and meet my parents for the first time. He was nervous out of his mind. And I seriously didn’t blame him. Meeting your new girlfriend’s parents, one month into dating, along with at least 20 of her relatives, on the second biggest family holiday of the year? Lesser men would have balked at such a task, but he was totally game. We packed our bags and took the train out to Connecticut to meet my family.
When we arrived the traditional chaos was in full swing. My parents, aunts, and uncles were cooking in the kitchen, and my cousins were running around causing a ruckus. Family friends who had dropped by and random relatives avoiding kitchen duty were hiding out in the living room. One of the many movies we’d marathon this weekend was blaring on the TV. I hastily tried to introduce my new boyfriend to everyone, but it was definitely too many people and too much chaos at once. Anytime someone left the room he’d whisper to me to remind him of their name and who they were. Soon dinner was served and everyone was happily enjoying their meals. And everything went as smoothly as it could, for about the first 3/4s of dinner.
However, before the plates were even cleared my boyfriend told me he wasn’t feeling very well, and asked if there was a place for him to go lay down. When I asked him what was wrong, he mentioned that he was having trouble breathing and it felt like asthma, but it wasn’t that bad and he could handle it. I asked him if he had an inhaler, and he said he had forgotten it at his dorm. Later on I’d learn that my new boo was allergic to everything under the sun, and his asthma was triggered by dust, cold and mold. It was cold outside, but years later we’d learn there was mold in the walls of the old house we were living in at the time. Basically meaning he was doomed to an allergic reaction before he even walked in the door.
My mom came by to see if my boyfriend was okay, and he replied ‘I’m okay, my fingers are just turning purple.’ My no-nonsense Long Island mama was not having that answer. Soon my dad and I were driving him to the nearest hospital, which in our small town in Connecticut was twenty minutes away. I tried to keep conversation going, realizing this was the first time my dad, my boyfriend, and I were hanging out on our own, but soon gave up realizing how silly that was given the circumstances. I instead just chatted with my dad and kept my eyes on my boyfriend in the rear view mirror, making sure he was still doing okay.
We were the only people besides the nurses and doctors in the emergency room on that Thanksgiving. It wouldn’t have mattered though, because we soon learned from handing over my boyfriend’s health insurance card that his asthma was so bad that he had a plan that whooshed him straight through the door of any hospital in case of emergency.
The nurses soon had him on a stream of albuterol (breathing medication) and in less than an hour he was good as new. It might have been scary for a lot of people to have such an acute medical emergency with such a new love, but I was just happy he was okay. Holding his hand as he breathed in his medication and sitting with my dad in the small hospital I grew up near and had come to for many bumps and bruises throughout my childhood just made me ridiculously happy.
Despite the crazy circumstances I felt good about everything that was happening, and thankful for all the wonderful people I had in my life, new and old. The nurses gave my boyfriend a temporary inhaler for the rest of the weekend, and scolded him for leaving his inhaler behind in the first place. They let us know that if we had waited any longer he could have been seriously hurt. When everything was said and done we all made our way back to Thanksgiving, and continued to have a great rest of the weekend. My boyfriend and I went on to be together for several years, during which he made much better impressions on my parents and extended family. But for as long as we were together, I made sure he never even thought about leaving town without his inhaler again.
[Image via FOX]