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Our Love Story: I Hijacked My Husband-to-be

MizBejabbers has been a professional writer/editor for all of her adult life. Before that, she was just a little girl storyteller.


How It All Began

Our story began on February 14, 1983, the day that I walked into radio station KXLR to begin my new job as the news director. With much trepidation and dread, I was surprised that I had the courage to walk through that door again. Five years before, I had been the first rat to jump the ship at KXLR. The station had become so mismanaged that I couldn’t tolerate any more of their self-proclaimed “innovation” to pull the station back up by its bootstraps. So here I was; they needed a news director, and I needed a job.

I discovered that the station had sold and the whole crew had changed in the years that I had been gone, but the employees knew I had worked there before as a disc jockey. I had been the first female disk jockey in the Little Rock area to spin her own records, and it began at that very station. The program director, Jeff, introduced me around to the staff, except that when we got to the hallway just outside the control room, he skirted around a couple of men who were in a discussion. One, a tall slender silver-haired man with a thirty-something face, was obviously on a soapbox. “Oh, don’t mind him, that’s just Larry,” Jeff explained.

I didn’t pay much attention to him anyway because I'd heard about Larry, the chief engineer who had a reputation of being brilliant and strange. I found out later that he taught night classes on digital electronics, mainly mainframe computers, at a local college. He really was a geek before before that term became accepted for, well, geeks.

I held an FCC License and Could Hold My Own with the Guys


After I put down my purse and briefcase in my own quarters, a combination office and production room, Jeff showed me the transmitter room and the engineer’s workroom, or Larry’s den, probably would be a better term. It was next door to my office, and our doors were just a few feet apart. A couple of hours later, I looked up to see him at my open door, coming to get acquainted, I guess. I don’t remember much about our conversation, but I do remember that it was a friendly conversation about the business.

What I do remember is that he didn’t introduce himself to me or ask me my name. I thought that was perhaps a little ill-mannered, but the other female employees told me that was par for the course with him. Frankly, I think he intimidated them a little, and they wondered how he and I got along so well. Max, who had known him for 20 years, told me not to pay any attention to any gossip about him. She said that he’d been divorced for about three years and had two children. Max also cautioned me not to disturb Larry after lunch if his door was closed. Expecting to hear a real juicy tidbit, of course I asked why. She laughed and said, “Because he's taking a nap.” That took me by surprise. I’d never heard tell the like (to use an old Southern expression).

Taking an afternoon siesta on company time? Even management joked about it. Sleeping on the job generally was a termination offense at any company, but I figured it was because he worked a lot of night shifts. Still, usually the engineer went home in the daytime to catch 40. This guy really was an enigma.

Getting Acquainted

Some employees, including the guys, said that Larry couldn’t relate to women, but I didn’t have any trouble talking to him. He later told me that I was “different.” According to him, I could talk to him on any subject he brought up. It's true that a sharp reporter has to know a little about a lot but this guy was a world-traveled Vietnam veteran. If I didn’t know much about his subject, I just quietly listened while he did all the talking. That didn't bother him. Once he got wound up, he never seemed to notice. He said liked the fact that I didn’t center my conversations around raising babies and shopping.

Then one day he asked me to go to the movies with him. I turned him down and explained that I was in a relationship. He said that didn’t matter because he just got tired of going alone. After another turn down, I finally accepted his third invitation. Sure enough, he was true to his word and we went friends. Soon we were going to the movies together on a regular basis, and I was accepting rides behind him on his motorcycle.

About a month into our friendship on one of our outings, we were having a discussion about some subject too trivial to remember, when he blurted out, “Don’t you know how much I love you?” Well, shet my mouth! Shiver me timbers!

I was caught off guard! I had just broken off my three-year relationship with Clark Kent because he turned out to be Blah Man instead of Superman. I think in the back of my mind I did know. I just didn't expect it to be revealed this soon. I was pleased, no I was delighted! I think if I'd been standing up I would have done a little happy dance. I confessed that I loved him, too. In that moment we became a real couple.


Oh, Boy, We're Going Sailing!

Six weeks into our relationship, he wanted to introduce me to sailing and it sounded like fun. We reserved a rental on a small sailboat for the next Sunday afternoon on Lake Maumelle.

The evening before our outing he fixed us a romantic steak dinner at his house. The guy can work wonders with food, but after dinner he kept complaining of indigestion. I think I was having premonitions, and I tried to convince him to go to the emergency room. No such luck. I suggested that we call off our sailing trip, but he refused. He took some antacids and the indigestion improved.

The next morning on our way to the lake, he still looked pale, and I was worried. He said he felt all right and was looking forward to an afternoon on the boat. We arrived at the lake just in time to see the very boat we’d rented pulling out with two men and a little boy in it. The apologetic manager said that his employee had rented our reserved boat by mistake, but he had a more expensive catamaran we could take out for the same price. Larry was an experienced sailor even on larger sailboats, but I could tell was nervous about a catamaran. He said he wasn’t very experienced on one, but if he thought he could handle it, I was willing to go along. Both of us were strong swimmers and I had been a certified water safety instructor in my younger days.


We Capsized!

As the reader may have guessed, an hour or so into the sail, the wind picked up and a big puff blew the catamaran over before he could react quickly enough. We had tied down our gear, but he had forgotten to secure his clothes and shoes. We recovered his jeans and one shoe, but no shirt, and continued sailing.

Another 30 minutes went by, and then he suggested that we turn in the catamaran and head back home. We still had more than an hour left on the rental, and I was having the time of my life. When I started to protest, he said we had to go and that was all he would say. We packed up our things and headed home.

Our little adventure occurred before civilization had crept west of the city, like the Blob it has become. We were in my car, and just as I pulled onto I-430, he said, “I think you need to take me to the doctor.” The incident in the lake had brought on chest pains and he was just now telling me. That kind of shook me up. Fortunately for him, his doctor’s office was less than five miles away and was one of the few in town that was open on weekends.

When we got to the doctor’s office, he trudged in shirtless and barefoot and explained to a surprised nurse what had happened. I sat in the waiting room and waited, and waited. And waited. After about two and a half hours, the nurse called me back. The doctor explained that he thought Larry was having a heart attack and instructed me to take Larry straight to the hospital, which was another five miles away. He said that I could drive there faster than calling an ambulance. Do not go home for a shirt and shoes, do not pass go, go straight to the hospital, he had instructed us. Doc just didn’t know my Larry.

Upon his insistence and despite my protests, and driving another 10 or so miles to his house to get a shirt and shoes and approximately five miles back to the hospital, we finally got him checked into the emergency room around 5:00 pm. Medical staff placed him in a very cold exam room. Five hours later at 10:00 pm, he was seen at last by a doctor who said he wasn’t sure it was a heart attack. Probably just indigestion, so he thought.

Larry was admitted to a ward while the doctors fiddled and Rome burned…for three days. On the third day, staff rushed in and transferred him to ICU because they’d “just received test results that showed that he’d suffered a heart attack!” Jeepers creepers! By that time his heart had stabilized on his own and he was mentally ready to go home.

A (Wo)man with a Plan

While hospitalized, he confided that he didn’t know what he was going to do. He had company insurance, but his post-divorce bills were piling up and he’d been having trouble paying them before this happened. In addition to his regular job, he was a consulting engineer for a couple of other radio stations in the area, but he was in no condition to make extra money working any of his consultant jobs. His rent was due in a few days and he didn’t know where he was going to get the money to pay it.

I suggested that he move in with me. I owned my own home and was an empty nester, so why not? He said that he just couldn’t do that. What would my kids think? Both boys were in college. I explained that they weren’t judgmental of their father’s transgressions, so how dare they judge me! He still wouldn’t agree. Methinks the man protesteth too much.

I knew that he was really in financial trouble at this point, and that stress alone would make his recovery more difficult. I knew that I loved him, so I went to his two best friends with a plan. They both thought it was clever and practical, and, quite frankly, the idea amused them. In their typical male minds, it was a great practical joke.

The following Sunday and unbeknownst to Larry, the two friends and their wives met me at his house. We women boxed up his possessions, and the guys loaded his furniture and the boxes into a truck and moved them to my house where we unloaded everything. Thank goodness his house was small, and we were able to get the job done in one day. The friends went home chuckling and trying to guess what his reaction would be.

One of them said he'd love to be a fly on the wall and see Larry's face when I told him. But the stinkers left me alone to break the news. The conversation went just as I had guessed it would.

“You did what! I told you I couldn’t do that!”

“Too late now, it’s done,” I said with finality. I remember the short conversation very well. Despite his reaction, he looked sheepishly relieved. After the rape of a divorce he’d gone through, he realized he'd found a woman who actually cared about him.

The office had been rocked by Larry's heart attack, and the staff had let me know how worried they were about him. When I went to work on Monday morning and gave them his address change, Max asked how I convinced him to do it? She and the whole staff got a big laugh when I told them how it went down.

And that, my friends, is how I captured the love of my life.

Marshall Tucker Band

Thirty-four Years and Still Counting

This is a true story of how our life together began. I got the idea to write about it from a fellow writer when she did an article on how men propose to their wives. Frankly, he never did proposed to me. Our marriage just happened, but that's another story, and not very exciting.

© 2018 Doris James MizBejabbers


Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on January 09, 2020:

Umesh, thank you. I'm glad you read it and found it entertaining. Thanks for the comment.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on January 09, 2020:

Interesting piece of a writing. Entertaining and soothing. Thanks.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on December 09, 2019:

Devika, I would love for you to share your story, too. Perhaps you should publish it here. Thanks for reading and your comment that now has me curious.

Devika Primic on December 09, 2019:

I loved your story and you are kind to share your experience here. Reminds me of how I met my better half. Thank you for sharing your story.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on August 25, 2018:

I hear you. We could listen on our computers at work and some of the editors listened to Pandora and some had mp3players. I had to concentrate so heavily that I found I couldn't be distracted by music. I'm good at multitasking without music, though. LOL

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on August 25, 2018:

I still listen to the radio. We're not allowed to stream at work so I have a radio sitting on my desk. Gotta have music! I listen to it at home and in my car. No satellite radio for this little girl!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on August 24, 2018:

I'm so glad my story brought back memories, Shauna. Those were fun days, weren't they? If automation hadn't taken over, I probably would have stayed in the business until I retired dead broke. The station where we met has also gone dark, but most AMs have. Now satellite radio is taking over. I'm not impressed. When I listen to the radio, I want the local news and weather played by a local DJ. Thanks for reading and commenting. Nice to know another broadcaster.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on August 24, 2018:

MizB, this is a wonderful love story. I love that you took the bull(headed man) by the horns! And you're still going strong. Love it!

I worked in radio briefly in the '80s. I went to broadcasting school and just before graduation I was offered a part-time weekend DJ spot at a Christian AM station. I was the only student who was actually working in our field of study. I worked at the WAVS transmitter (I, too had my FCC license) and was the only human there during my shift. I took meter readings in between running pre-taped programs and closed the station at dusk. After several months the station went dark. From there I went on to copywriting for a local production house, writing commercials for South Florida businesses. I had a blast doing that.

I enjoyed your story. Picturing your work environment brought back pleasant memories.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 12, 2018:

Thanks for your answer. My son and DIL think its beautiful, too. I can hardly wait to see their place, but I'm going to wait until the weather is cooler. The photos they send remind me of my beautiful Ozarks, especially the creek.

Margie's Southern Kitchen from the USA on July 12, 2018:

Doris, the Texas Hill Country is beautiful. I had been by myself for 17 years. We will be married 29 years in December! So nice to meet you Doris!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 11, 2018:

Margie, looks like we have two things in common, our hubbies, and location. My son and his wife are in the process of moving from Arlington to the rural Texas Hill country where they are building a house. I can hardly wait to see his place. The photos are beautiful. I love it that you met your husband at that age. Sometimes the best comes to us after a long wait. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Margie's Southern Kitchen from the USA on July 11, 2018:

I love your story! I met my hubby on a blind date when I was 38! Never know when love is going to happen. Thanks for sharing your love story!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on April 29, 2018:

Thank you, Missy. What I didn't include in here was that before I met him, a friend of mine was dating him. I didn't meet and date him until about a year after they broke up, but during her time with him, the thought kept coming to me that I, not she, was supposed to be with him. I'd never seen him, so it couldn't have been that I was attracted to him then. But as I've said before, I'm weird anyway.

Missy Smith from Florida on April 28, 2018:

It was meant to be! What a lovely love story and you told it in such a delightful way. It was a pleasure to read, MizB. :)

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on March 05, 2018:

Hi, Paula, you ought to write your story. If you haven't read her comment, Shanmarie put her story in a comment. I'm so glad I'm not the only gal in the world with a strange courtship. No, your sons probably wouldn't have paid ransom, but that's kids for you. Thanks for your sweet comment, my friend. Doris

Suzie from Carson City on March 04, 2018:

Hey Girlfriend...Finally getting around to spending some time here, reading & commenting. When I first saw your title within the thread, I had to chuckle. About 20 yrs. ago, I had a similar experience except that it was the other way around. I was the victim of the hijack the day I was released from the hospital. My captor referred to it as a "kidnapping," which I assured him was futile since my sons probably would have paid NO ransom! LOL

I love your story for it's sweetness & romance. Stay happy! Paula

Shannon Henry from Texas on March 03, 2018:

I wish a leash would work! Lol.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on March 03, 2018:

Thanks for reading and commenting, Louise. As we say in the South, I 'preciate it.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on March 02, 2018:

That's a lovely story, Doris. I really enjoyed reading that.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on March 01, 2018:

Lana, This crazy website. I'm signed in but it put my comment in as a guest, so I'll delete and try again. I'm glad you found it so and commented. Yes, I guess he's a keeper.

Lana Adler from California on March 01, 2018:

Brava, Doris! That is inspiring, heartwarming and amusing at the same time! Sometimes men need a little push...And look how well it turned out!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 25, 2018:

Thanks, Larry. I'm glad it's entertaining because it really is true.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 25, 2018:

Oh, no, Shanmarie, take care of yourself. And put a leash on your son every year and get him vaccinated for the flu. Experts are saying that the mist isn't as effective as the shot, and this year the shot isn't effective for some people.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on February 23, 2018:

What an entertaining story!

Shannon Henry from Texas on February 23, 2018:

Well enough, except that we're battling the flu. Thought they were thinking of hospitalizing me when I was diagnosed because my heart rate was too high. It's happened a couple times since. Scary stuff. Stubborn man won't go even if he needs to. And now the kids are starting to develop fevers. They didn't have the mist or the shot available at two of the kids' doctor office when we asked awhile back. And my oldest is so terrified of needles he hides under the table and the doctor gave up. He's stronger than me so I couldn't hold him down.

Anyway, glad you enjoyed the story. And now you know one of the reasons it's only an overview. I'm too sick to do much, but too tired of doing nothing.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 23, 2018:

Ha! you sure did, and I just love that story. Now I know I'm not alone and that I have some kinky friends, too. Thanks for relating it to me. I hope he is doing well.

Shannon Henry from Texas on February 23, 2018:

Probably no story to come, but I can give you an informal overview here. My husband started talking to me online when I was in college. He saw my profile and thought I still lived in Illinois since I never updated it. He was planning to move up there, but it turned out he wasn't far from me. We eventually met in person. He'd say he loved me and I'd tell him no you don't. One day I called him and his cousin told me he'd gone to the hospital by ambulance because he passed out cold. So I went to go see him in the hospital where they were trying to run tests on his heart, as they often do when he has chest pain. He has a bad heart valve. Anyway, this particular time, he signed out AMA and because he went by ambulance, I had to take him home. Instead of doing that, I took him back to my place. I only intended for it to be a few days. But it's been ever since.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 23, 2018:

Shanmarie, I would love to read your story, so I hope you will write it. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Shannon Henry from Texas on February 21, 2018:

That story sounds a little familiar. Probably because I more or less did the same thing. I think it's great you found the love of your life, no matter the unusual way it may have happened.

Nikki Khan from London on February 21, 2018:

No problem dear :)

Thanks for admiring Zahra.

God Bless you MizB.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 21, 2018:

Nikki, I tried to post a reply awhile ago, so if it shows up you'll know. It said I needed to sign in, but as usual when I tried, it wouldn't let me because I was signed in. I wish this wasn't such a spastic website. Now back to our discussion.

Kahra is lovely. I thought that was you because you look so young. Thanks for correcting me.

Mizbejabbers on February 21, 2018:

Oh, Zahra is lovely. I thought that was you. You look so young yourself. Thanks for letting me know

Nikki Khan from London on February 20, 2018:

Thanks MizB ,,that little boy is my son Ali and girl with him is my daughter Zahra :)

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 20, 2018:

Thank you Nikki, I appreciate the comment. That is a beautiful little boy you have your arm around in the photo!

Nikki Khan from London on February 20, 2018:

What an amazing love story,,enjoyed it so much reading.

God Bless you both my dear :)

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 16, 2018:

Hi Val, I'd been single for 10 years and finished raising my children alone. My first marriage had been one that included domestic abuse, so I was first attracted to his kindness and then second to the fact that we thought a lot alike. The fact that he was physically attractive was just icing on the cake, tee hee. I've heard my mother tell people that I "was the strong one in the family."

Thank you for your observations and comments, my friend.

Val Karas from Canada on February 15, 2018:

MizB---Your story is enormously enjoyable, especially to someone who has memories 53 years old and filled with ups and downs which had nothing to do with the quality of the relationship itself. BUT---as you know so well, life has mysterious ways of throwing hardships, tests, and challenges at us, and to make a little substitute in an old saying: "Whatever doesn't make us walk separate ways---only makes the relationship stronger."

So, at every anniversary of the two of you durable gems of love---may all those congratulations also refer to your strong spirit, MizB, for love itself might not be enough to do all what you did.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 15, 2018:

Thanks, Flourish, it was your hub on proposals that inspired this one. I didn't know if you would want me to mention your name, so I didn't use it. I hope you remember that I promised to write the hub, but keeping my promise, my next one will be my grandparent's story. It isn't as dramatic as this one, but it is also out of the ordinary. I guess you could call us Hillbillies endearing and enduring. LOL

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 15, 2018:

Thank you so much, Brian. I have to agree with you. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 15, 2018:

True, Jackie, todlay we hear all kinds of complaints about the VA, but in 1985, they brought in a cardiac team from Dallas that did heart surgery and saved his life after his "big one" two weeks before. About 12 years later, a doctor from the VA called and wanted him to join a research project. He told my husband that he was the only patient still alive among all those who had heart surgery the month he did, and they wanted to know why. He didn't join the research project. He was alive and that was enough for us.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 15, 2018:

Manatita, although I tried to write it "evergreen", I did think Valentine's Day was appropriate to publish it. We really did meet on Valentines Day. Thank you for your kind comment, my friend.

FlourishAnyway from USA on February 14, 2018:

I love this honest to goodness, take charge approach! Yay for you both. Two ole kids in love.

Brian Leekley from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA on February 14, 2018:

That's one of the best true how did you meet your spouse stories I've ever read or heard.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on February 14, 2018:

Well they say once someone lives through a heart attack they are less likely to die from one and it has been true from everyone I know who has had one...they did not die from one.

manatita44 from london on February 14, 2018:

Some story Dear.

Seems that you were brave and bold as well. Kind of like Eric in a different way. Glad things worked out. Great to hear on Valentines day.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 14, 2018:

Thank you, friend The0. Glad you liked it.

Elijah A Alexander Jr from Washington DC on February 14, 2018:

Very interesting and delightful to read, Thanks!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 14, 2018:

'mornin', Bill. I've almost lost him several times. Every now and then he tells me how much he appreciates me, or he buys me a nice piece of jewelry because he says I deserve it. When I say "nice," I don't mean costume jewelry. Thanks for your comment, my friend.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 14, 2018:

Threekeys, I can be a cheeky person when I want to be. His pursuit of me was so very subtle but determined, so I thought it was time to turn the tables. Thanks for your funny comment.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 14, 2018:

Hi Ralph, glad you appreciated it. Thanks for commenting.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 14, 2018:

A woman who knows what she wants and takes charge of the situation. I love it, MizB. This story made my day.

That man better know how lucky he is!

threekeys on February 14, 2018:

MizB I loved your cheekiness in packing up his home and getting him moved in with you!

It was an interesting and moving personal story.

Ralph Schwartz from Idaho Falls, Idaho on February 13, 2018:

Great story and a huge thanks for sharing it - I really enjoyed it - you’re a lucky lady and he’s a lucky guy

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 13, 2018:

Actually, Jackie, it is true. He really did have a heart attack, and I really did move him in with me without his permission while he was in the hospital. The details are as true as I can remember them from 1983. After we were married, in 1985 he had "the big one" and was clinically dead for over 2 minutes. We've certainly had our share of problems. I lived in terror of losing him for many years.

"Stuffing", are you referring to the socks? I haven't found any of them either. Thanks for reading and commenting, girlfriend.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 13, 2018:

Actually, Jackie, it is true. He really did have a heart attack, and I really did move him in with me without his permission while he was in the hospital. The details are as true as I can remember them from 1983. After we were married, in 1985 he had "the big one" and was clinically dead for over 2 minutes. We've certainly had our share of problems. I lived in terror of losing him for many years.

"Stuffing", are you referring to the socks? I haven't found any of them either. Thanks for reading and commenting, girlfriend.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on February 13, 2018:

Great story MizB! If not true sure rang that way!

Oh, BTW, been thinking about you and stuffing. lol

Still have not found it and maybe I never will but am still looking. Could have been some weird place I found it and I will get back there soon. Will remember who wants to know if I do!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 13, 2018:

Nell. Our marriage has been one health crisis after another. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

Nell Rose from England on February 13, 2018:

Oh my goodness! oh lets go sailing....heart attack? what heart attack? lol! what a story! I am so glad it turned out so well!

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