Thursday, August 12, 2010

Allow Me To Introduce, Tobie

So some of you have been reading this blog for a while, and may have noticed the name "Tobie" popping up every now and again. Rather than wondering if he/she is my cat/turtle/lesbian lover/stuffed animal I thought I'd write a post about him.

He. Yes, Tobie is a human male (and quite a lovely specimen of that variety in my humble opinion).

We met on Canadian Thanksgiving last year.

This photo was taken about 10mins before we met.

I had just come in the party, with yet another turkey to add to the carving room. He walked up to me and said, "Hello, my name is Tobie and I am not in the medical program but I am a Canadian". I think he was justifying the fact that he had essentially crashed our party but I was more than happy about it. I gave him the 'welcome' greeting and then proceeded to ensure his plastic cup never became low on wine for the rest of the night. I'd seen him around campus because he lived in my building, and had even met him in passing on the day I moved in. I was very very sleep deprived that day and forgot his name and what instrument he played. Just knew that it was something that could be carried in a small-ish case.

He had been invited by Jack (his roommate, my classmate) to the dinner. I think Jack took pity on his French-Canadian roommate that Thanksgiving weekend and told him to come to our big med-student pot-luck-and-turkey extravaganza. Yes, that was the night we really met. If you enlarge the group shot there is Tobie to the far far left with a >0.5 filled plastic cup in his hand.

Apparently the man knew who I was though. He told me months later that I'd caught his eye at the international student day orientation. As proof he described in detail what I was wearing and the question I asked about scholarships in 3rd year. This stayed below 'creepy' on my radar though because by that time I was already in love and just found it amazing that he could remember so much about me before we even knew each other. The kicker to that story is that he also told me that he'd had a very long chat with another international student during the tea-break. Tobie says he would not know the girl if she walked up to him today, nor does he remember where she was from or what she was studying. Yet he remembers my raisin colored Arcteryx rain coat.

The first conversation he overheard me having with my friend Ryan that day was me dropping a list of expletives while conveying my disdain for the liquid sock-juice that Ireland calls "coffee". Yes,  I know, so classy. I was on one of my rants about the poorly constructed brown drink √†-la-Emerald-Isle. He noted my hefty travel mug and knew that I took this beverage very seriously. Apparently this scored points with him though and didn't scare him off.

Six weeks later, a lot of turkey, and a discussion regarding random facts about Chip Taylor (that I thought no one else knew) I decided I wanted to get to know this Frenchman without 60 of my classmates around.

Tobie is an extremely dedicated and passionate musician. He is a violist, though he is also a crack mandolin and violin player. He is studying his masters in orchestral string performance in Ireland for one more year. He studies, he plays, he practices, he writes, he teaches, and then he practices some more.

We've had to spend most of the last 3 months apart and it has been really difficult. This time apart makes it onto the blog because it is part of the struggle and sacrifice that comes with me becoming a physician, i.e. the main thread that runs through my posts.  I write a post about him today because he is part of this journey with me now and where I go in medicine and in life will be with him. Also, I decided that if he was going to have his own label on the blog he deserved a proper introduction.

I should add that like me, he gave up almost everything to pursue his dreams so he gets it. He also prepares a mean BBQ trout, makes me laugh, likes shoe shopping, loves his family, and listens to great music (though he does have questionable taste in podcasts--has anyone ever heard of Fretboard Journal Podcast? Yeah, I lovingly refer to it as the Fretfully Bored Journal Podcast.)

So in a brief handful of paragraphs that is Tobie. When (if) he reads this he is either going to kill me or kiss me! hehehe
This photo was taken about 6 months after we met.


OMDG said...

You guys are so adorable!

(I would have noticed your Arcteryx rain coat too. The man obviously has his priorities in the right place.)

Grumpy, M.D. said...

That's sweet. I'm sure he'll be flattered to read this.

I met Mrs. Grumpy on a blind date.

Liana said...

Aw. Cute! Of course he noticed you... Arcteryx rocks.

Albinoblackbear said...

OMDG---Hahahha, thanks. Well the amazing thing is Tobie is so *not* a gearhead like me. He wouldn't know Arcteryx if he was suffocated under a mound of their clothing.

Grump--Hopefully you're right and he feels flattered, not that I've done an unauthorized exposé on our relationship/him!! heheh He's the other end of the exhibitionist spectrum from me. :)

Liana--Agreed!!! I will admit, it *is* a pretty sweet raincoat.

Nurse J said...

ach, you guys look fabulous together. i have to admire and respect you both. thinking about it now, i realize, because of your blog and in particular, this post, how much dedication it takes to do the really great things in life. you go to a concert, you go see a doctor, and you may not appreciate the work and dedication that it takes to get to either of those places. were these people born great? is it easy to be a good/great doc or violist? maybe, but not matter what, it still takes a lot of work and sacrifice to make it happen. thanks for taking me along for the ride.

Albinoblackbear said...

NurseJ!!! Aw! You are too too kind. Thank you for that. I really appreciate it.

Thanks also for your comments and readership (and your hilarious, awesome, thoughtful blog). Cheers.

Maha said...

ABB - the man likes shoe shopping and cooking! I'd say he's awesome based on those two things alone! You guys look so cute together. It's so rewarding to have someone on your side while going through something as tough as med school. All the best :)

Anonymous said...

You guys look so happy, what a great picture!

I'm so glad you have found a worthy and compatible partner for your adventures ABB :).

Rogue Medic said...

I was very very sleep deprived that day and forgot his name and what instrument he played. Just knew that it was something that could be carried in a small-ish case.

Because you never heard of a mandolin before. ;-)

OK, so he also plays a mandolin.

likes shoe shopping,

You wait to the end to tell us he's gay?

Well, I'm off to sing some show tunes, maybe a bit of Barbara Streisand. ;-)

I am happy for you. You two do make a great couple.

Josiah O. Morris said...

Awww, what a lovely post. I was going to say that Tobie's a lucky man to have become involved with you...but instead, and more appropriately, I'll say that you're lucky to have become involved with one another!

I loved the B.T. (Before Tobie) picture, especially since it's just minutes before you guys met. Really, meeting such a great guy that night must've been way outside of the kind of thoughts you were having as you got ready. Some of the best stuff in life comes when you least expect it.

Wahoooo, ABB!

Cartoon Characters said...

Gorgeous couple! Glad you are happy! Even better that you have music in common! Are you learning French? :) i would give my right arm for an opportunity to practice! :)

Medical Mojave said...

Great story and picture--you guys are cuuuute together!


Albinoblackbear said...

Maha--I know hey? I thought he was too good to be true when I found out he likes shopping!! And it wasn't just a ruse to impress me at the beginning of our courtship...when we were in Montreal this summer he was the one taking ME on these crazy long days of trying on clothes and jewelery!

Thanks so much, yes...he definitely helps me stay sane when the going gets tough at school.

Ninja--Thanks! Yes, I am definitely blessed in this regard.

Rogue---heheh, yeah yeah yeah..I know...he initially only told me viola though, hence why the info slipped from my mind!

Yeah, I was also suspect! He's got waaaaay better taste and fashion sense than me, yet oh, so definitely straight!!! :P

Josiah--Thank you, yes we both feel lucky which is how it should be I think!

The interesting thing was I was soooo stressed out that day what with the big preparations, the five turkeys, etc. etc. I thought I was going to have a meltdown. Before getting ready I did a 20 min meditation where you are supposed to focus on one intention. I focused on the word "love" for no apparent reason. I know that sounds hokey but it is true and apparently put me in the right mindset!

Cartoon--Aw shucks, thank you. Yes it is lovely to have music in common. I did French immersion when I was in school so I speak pretty fluently already--though it is definitely improving. We watch French TV and make the effort to speak French to each other.

I *LOVE* it that he is Francophone, and I felt the same way about wanting someone to practice with before I met Tobie.

POP--Thank you! :) I like the story too. It's fun to tell it when people ask...

Robert said...

Here's hoping you get kissed. ;)

Beach Bum said...

As someone who was present at that fateful turkey extravaganza, I must admit that it was fun watching you two hit it off immediately. I remember you being instantly impressed by his taste in alternative music. Hope you're well!