Stories From A Life

Been there. Done that. Writing about it.

Sally Swift

Sally Swift
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
June 14
VP, Repartee
Swift Retorts
sally: a journey, a venture, an expression of feeling, an outburst, a quip, a wisecrack ... me


Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 10, 2011 9:55AM

Valentine's Day Can Kill You, Don't Try This At Home

Rate: 45 Flag

sword heart 

Valentines's Day is dangerous. It spreads the disease chick-flick-itis. Which fosters expectations of The Grand Gesture. Candy. Flowers. Poetry. A candlelit dinner. Jewelry. A lover sweeping you off your feet.

All that pressure, somebody's gonna get hurt.

I know it all too well. On our first Valentine's Day I almost killed my husband. Less than a month after our wedding.

Okay, a little too dramatic. What happened wasn't exactly life threatening. Unless you count Death by Humiliation.

Back Story
My husband is a former competitive gymnast. Muscular arms and shoulders. Taut butt and thighs. Perfect six-pack abs. (Well, okay, today the six-pack is, uh, more a keg).

Back then we had a little shtick: I'd lie on the floor stretched out stiff. He'd kneel on one knee --weightlifter 'ready' position-- slide his arms under me, stand up and "curl" me like a barbell. A 118-pound human barbell.

As a former chubbette, it made me feel light and wraith-like. Which I'll never be. Slim, yes, but still curvy, with my fair share of big girl parts. And truthfully, buried deep in my heart, still all big girl. 


foot heart

Upper Back Story
That first Valentine's Day we were walking to the health club. Feeling young, strong, frisky. After our work-out we'd go to dinner, maybe dancing. Come home for some romance. Maybe before dinner too.

He was in he-man mode, said to me, "Assume the position." Yes, it has another meaning to us too. In this case, I knew he wanted to curl me.

Happy to help show off his prowess, I stretched out on the sidewalk. With testosteronic overconfidence he bent from the waist instead of using the correct kneeling stance. He started to lift me ... and let out a jungle howl of pain.

I hit the sidewalk on my butt, scrambled up fast because he was down, writhing in pain. And his face was turning blue!

He'd gotten a muscle spasm in his upper back so bad it was caving his chest wall forward, compressing his heart and lungs. I straddled him, leaned all my weight into my knees, pushed his shoulders down to keep his chest open, help him breathe.

Scared doesn't begin to cover it. Somebody called 911. Two guys came and held him flat. Still, he could take only tiny breaths.

I was terrified. And starting to feel serious guilt. All the angst of my overweight years filled my head, giving me a giant brain cramp. Oh no, I crushed my husband to death. In public!

Back In The E-E-ER Story
Defeaning sirens. Ambulance. My panicked heartbeat was louder than the sirens.

At the ER people lifted him onto a gurney, more animal howls of pain.  He'll die and it'll be my fault! Somebody straddled him, hands and knees pressing his shoulders back.

A small comfort -- at least I'd done the right thing on the sidewalk. 

They whisked him into the back and led me to a cubicle for the paperwork. I tried to stay calm, give coherent answers. We've only been married 3 weeks, so NO, I don't know his damn Social Security number!

Finished, I sat in the waiting room crying, wondering if I was about to become a widow. What if I literally broke his heart? Would I be arrested for assault? I was wildly over-reacting, but inside, I was also damn scared.

The walls were covered with hearts and cupids and Happy Valentine's Day banners. Yeah, right, I thought. Eat enough candy and you too can kill your husband ... with love.

The wait was an eternity. Especially to this guilty drama queen. Dead (Fat) Woman Walking. Well, sitting. But that's how I felt.

Suddenly I realized they hadn't asked my name. So how would they find me in this crowded place?

The Back End, Brief Nudity
A doctor poked his head out of the Inner Sanctum. "Is there a Sally here?" he called loudly. "Somebody named Sally?"

"I'm Sally!" I jumped up, rushed to the door. "My husband's in there, is he okay?" I was breathless with fear.

The doctor had a serious, bad news face. My heart sank. Oh, please, God, NO!

Then I realized his face was a little too serious, and his lips were twitching. He was trying not to laugh. Um, huh?

"You came in with the 'muscle spasm,' right?" he said,  obviously trying not to laugh. WTF?

"Yes, yes," I was getting impatient. "Is he okay?? Tell me, please!"

"He'll be fine. Come with me." As he led me toward the far end of the ER, I saw staffers grinning with amusement, some openly giggling. Really, I mean, really ... W. T. F. ?

"He's sleeping," the doctor was talking. I snapped to attention. "We gave him heavy meds to break the spasm. Rarely see one that severe." Oh sure, pile more guilt on my big fat killer conscience.

He coughed, clearly to cover a laugh. "We'll keep him overnight. You might want to get him a change of clothes." Another cough-laugh. More a laugh.

"Okay, sure." I was baffled. What the hell was so funny?

"They didn't get your name at sign-in," smiling widely, he pulled back the curtain to reveal my husband in drugged slumber, face down and naked, except for his briefs. "But we figured it out."

Then he lost it, everybody did, they were all laughing like hyenas.

W. T. F. ???



butt    (Not him, but close).

I had a pair too, gag gifts from my sister Judy. I never dreamed he'd actually wear his. But apparently Valentine's Day inspired him to surprise me. And, as it turned out, an entire ER as well.

Not exactly the reaction he'd been anticipating. Or the romantic Valentine's Day he planned. My Prince Charming turned into a snoring Sleeping Beauty. All because I'd been the weighty Wicked Witch.

And trust me, our mothers and grandmothers were right. Don't ever leave home without wearing 'decent underwear.'

Even though he didn't listen, I'm so glad I didn't kill my sweet, romantic, ass-branded hero.

Bottom Line
Nobody needs a special garment or a special holiday to express love. And though I've wanted to kill him lots of times during 29 years of marriage, I also know true romance is best enjoyed when it's least expected.

It should not, however, include attempts at wife-lifting. That's the formula for success in our house on this dumbass holiday.

On the other hand, any holiday that calls for chocolate and sex --without killer consequences-- is okay with me.


Full disclosure: I told this story during OS beta. As a Valentine's Day salute to my husband, I rewrote to give it more... um... exposure.


My Real He-Man Hero back then, almost full disclosure... 

 f for v day



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Heart bump. Be careful out there...
This was hysterical, Sally! Albeit because of the happy outcome....but still....I will be laughing all day and grateful that my hubs just plays basketball:))
This brief glimpse into the dangers of Valentine's Day was extremely helpful.
The whole underwear things comes 360.. at least they were clean..:)
rated with hugs
SO funny!! Thanks for a great (needed) laugh!
I remember those "Sally" underpants. Made an impression both times. But most impressive is your hub. I can see where he can lift you --most of the time.

Really funny tale, Sal. But what are you doing up before 11 am???
A very enjoyable story even if it was at your husband's expense. He was a hottie, but you already knew that. Happy Valentine's Day. -R-
I feel guilty for laughing hysterically because I know how embarrassed you must have been.
Sally, LOL, I love the phrase "former chubette." I also adored your subheads, just sooooo funny. RRRR
Classic Sally! Which means excellent and thank you!
I'm laughing as I type this. I wonder who from he emergency room is still telling that story?
Like I always say -- exercise is bad for you. As for the underwear -- we Jews always expect to go to the hospital, so we're especially neurotic about the underwear issue. Socks too.
At least he kept those undergarments clean!
OMG, how funny and sweet all at the same time LOL Is the pic of the guy face down with the "Sally" boxers actually one taken in the ER or did you get him to pose afterwards for it, for the one day you'd be writing about it online and needing a good visual aid for us readers?? Thanks for sharing such a gr8 story with OS! :~D *r*
Thanks for the clever and funny entertainment. love the pics, especially the bottom ones. what a hunk.
aaah, newlyweds and the adorable stunts they pull. i loved the "Sally's" shorts part of this, of course, and could relate since my hubs wore the horrible naughty santa boxers my crazy stepmother gave him only because i said, "at least you'll never wear 'em." your hunky hubs is still handsome even if slightly less hunky. ;
Cyber space ate my earlier comment, suffice to say, thanks for the Tale!
Laughed my ass off at this one. I'm curious how you knew what had happened and then what to do. I would have been dumbfounded and, well just plain dumb.
At least the doc didn't say something like "Is there a Mrs. Calvin Klein in the waiting room?"

Seriously, I'm glad everything worked out OK, then and now. Happy V-Day to ya!
Hunka hunka burning man-love-spasm. Nice job, hot pants!

I was in the ER once, and they asked me if they could cut off my bra. I knew why they needed to, and agreed. As the cups flipped up sideways, I realized it was MY FAVORITE BRA, and cried out, OH, NO, not that bra, dammit! considering the mess I was in, the staff couldn't stop laughing that that was apparently the only thing I could remember.
AS a nurse, I could tell a few stories about underwear, and agree completely with Blu. Maybe you could have another pair made for the two of you, for old times sake.
OMG, this was hilarious! I'm not certain which is better, your writing or your's a tie!

She never said, DON'T WEAR GAG GIFT UNDIES.....:D
Pretty good story Sally. I feel for your hubby. Not that I've worn underwear like that but I once had a back spasm. Thought it was a heart attack. All's well that ends well though.
You guys are all making me laugh! And I got a Tink Pick, wow! Nobody wants a list of thank you's, but just a few comments on your questions...

Lea, I was up before 11 am to get on a plane and come HERE. Boca. Please tell me you're not in NYC.

Titus, I hesitate to seem uncool, but WTH is a Moolie?

Melanie, if only there'd been cell/camera phones in 1982, I'd have many pics ... hmm, not all of which I'd share. heh

Matt, I could literally see his shoulders caving in, he was gasping "my back", plus his gymnastic specialty was the rings so I'd heard stories of back spasms. I just did what seemed logical.

Good ideas here too, maybe I'll have a special pair made for his milestone birthday in July. Or for next Jan, our 30th.

PS John, oddly, I don't remember his socks...
My cat is concerned about the noises I'm making. She doesn't hear me chortle often. Thanks for the laughs!
kinda makes me re-assess valentine's day's merits.
good of you to share, and personally, i do not need to see his face to appreciate that photo.
I just had the laugh of my day... your writing is amazingly entertaining... you guys sure had a lot of fun being hotties .... coool
Rated with hugs
This is one of the best stories ever. Hilarious and sweet and damn, your husband is hot. ~r
I have a hard enough time lifting myself (damn gravity) let alone my wife! Great story.
That was one hell of a sight gag. Excellent story.

I don't think I'd have been embarrassed, though. Everyone else there should be so lucky.
Bwaaahaaaahaaa!!!!! This is the saddest, funniest story I've ever heard about a sucky Valentine's Day. It's nice to know doctor's have senses of humor, too. What a hunk he was, Sally.

You all keep making me laugh with these great comments! This was a totally true story and I guess that came through, including the fact that my hubby was totally hot.

Even though an age-appropriate keg has replaced that six pack, he'll always be hot to me. The rest of him is still pumped, plus, more important, he's scary smart, outrageously funny, loves me a lot, enough to put up with my mishegos, tells me and shows me so ... AND still has a great head of hair! (Not that there's anything wrong with bald...)

What can I say, I married a keeper. And got some great stories in the bargain.
so damned funny!! Danger lurks around every heartbeating corner..Hysterical! (...walks away trying to imagine my name on my hubby's cute flat cursive) r comment disappeared but, in brief, you had me at "testosteronic"!! whatta story. and thanks for the hot pix! happy v-day!
Forgive me for, yumm. :)
"All that pressure. Somebody's gonna get hurt"

Terrific Sally!
Muse, just order your husband some undies on Zazzle.

Deborah, Sweetfeet, hot pix on the house. The real deal is snoring away, bored to tears by the Grammy's.

Roger, oh boy, thank you!!
Sally, I am so going to have to sue you for making me wee the bed this morning - excellent x