Delirious Happiness and Shaking Knees
I will always remember the happiness of meeting and marrying my husband, a decision we made merely three months after we met. He was my surgical intern when I was a medical student at Dartmouth. He looked like a Greek god, and I was deeply flattered by his attention, especially since I wasn't at all sure I had what it took to attract such a handsome man with such an Ivy League, country club background. Something deep within me was moved by him beyond all reason, beyond anything I'd ever felt before with any other boyfriend. For the first five years of our marriage my knees shook whenever I saw him. There wasn't a force on this planet that could have talked me out of marrying him. I remember wanting to shout my love from the tops of tall buildings—an exuberance of feeling that was very uncharacteristic of the quiet, studious valedictorian of the Ellicottville Central School class of 1967.
He, however, was considerably less eager to display his feelings. I couldn't help but notice during the years we were both immersed in our surgical training that my husband seemed uncomfortable relating to me when we were at work, and often appeared cold and distant when I'd try to show affection in that setting. This puzzled and hurt me, since I was always proud to introduce him to my patients when we happened to see each other outside of the operating room. But I told myself that this was because of the way he had been raised, and that with enough love and attention from me, he would become more responsive, more emotionally available.