Whew. It’s been a busy few days. Hubby & I drove home to Detroit last Thursday and just arrived back to Chicago tonight. Lots of fun things happened during our trip home; of which I’d like to write in more detail. However, I’m quite tired right now.

Instead, I find myself sitting on our couch watching some World Cup soccer and enjoying it immensely. The only thing I find highly annoying are the darn horns; of which it sounds much like a nonstop remix of “Flight of the Bumblebee.”

Watching the World Cup reminds me of when the tournament was played here in the U.S. back in 1994. And if you asked Hubby about that time period, he would no doubt tell you one of his famous “Emily” tales; one that usually includes adding some embellishments to the actual story.

This tale includes a book bag, an important career-defining test, a Type-A gal (aka me ), and free tickets to see the U.S. play against Switzerland.

Back in 1994, I had just graduated from Nursing School and was studying to take the Nursing Boards (NCLEX) which would provide me licensure to practice as a Registered Nurse. 1994 was also the first year that the NCLEX would be provided to each candidate indivdually on a computer. Prior to this, each candidate took the same standard exam at a set date and time in an incredibly huge room with the rest of the eligible candidates for that date. In addition to taking the exam on the computer, each exam would be unique; meaning that the test questions would vary from person to person and … depending on how you did, you could have a minimum of 75 questions, up to a maximum of 265 questions. Regardless of how many questions you ended up answering, one could fail at 75 questions or pass in 265 questions. So needless to say, I was quite nervous as I had no previous reference to taking these computer adaptive tests.

This also meant that I took my study guide with me everywhere so I could study at a whim. And back in 1994, laptops weren’t common, iPhones weren’t invented with apps to assist in studying for these exams. Oh … and the internet wasn’t readily accessible to the general public; so forget being able to google  for answers on WebMD or nih.gov. Nope; this meant that on top of the study guide I’d take with me, I might just take one of 20 lb textbooks for Pediatrics or Med/Surg … depending on what topic I wanted to study that day. And oh, did I mention that my study guide weighed about 10 lbs all on its own?

Anyway, less than a week before I was to take my exam, my then-fiance called me up and told me that he had two free tickets to a World Cup match at the Pontiac Silverdome, compliments of his employer at that time. Initially, I had told him that I wouldn’t go because I still felt I had so much more studying to do. Except, well … he wouldn’t take no for an answer. “Once in a lifetime chance,” he’d tell me; followed by “you need to take a break from studying so much!” And, truth be told, he was right. I was THAT Type-A that I felt I couldn’t go a moment without studying for the NCLEX.

That’s how I found myself heading to the World Cup.  But because I still couldn’t let go of not studying at all, I also found myself taking my 30 lbs backpack filled with NCLEX studying material. I considered it my “security blanket.”

Because of security reasons and traffic issues, the city of Pontiac required that all ticket-holders be shuttled into the Silverdome from their downtown location. (And yet, I was allowed to take a huge backback in then … Wow, life pre-9/11!) So the day of the game, Then-Fiance and I stood in line with another coworker and his girlfriend waiting to catch a 15-minute shuttle ride to the venue. And once we got there, we were so enthralled with the international atmosphere and into the game which ended up in a 1:1 tie.

Afterward, we found ourselves amidst 70,000-plus people trying to catch a shuttle back to downtown Pontiac. Oh, and did I mention it was 90-some degrees outside that day? It must have taken us more than an hour just to get onto a shuttle and, because of surrounding traffic, an additional half hour to get back downtown. But the kicker of it all was … that entire time, I did not once open up my backpack to study.

Stryker, the 1994 World Cup Mascot

Instead, the wonderful man (that I eventually married) ended up carrying my 30 lb security blanket the entire time … while I “absorbed” all the information by osmosis.

He’s such a good guy, my husband … and even though he’d likely tell his side of this story by adding an additional 50 lbs worth of study material, I am most grateful for all the wonderful things — big or small — that he does for me on a daily basis.

And reflecting back on this tale? Well it just reminds me that even back before our lives were immersed in the world of Infertility … that my wonderful husband was always there to let me know when I needed to come up for air and take a breather.

I guess you can say that I scored big by marrying such a wonderful man. And that we make a perfect match.

Okay, I’ll stop it with the lame soccer terms. More interesting posts coming soon … I promise. But for now, it’s nighty-night!