Echoes of Elul, Day 6: Ben Outside the Box

By Ingrid Rothman

Once upon a time, long ago, I was a student nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital School of Nursing in Manhattan. One of my friends who was a fellow student, kept trying to introduce me to her friend, Ben.

One Sunday afternoon, Ben came to the dorm unexpectedly with our mutual friend. This was a time before cell phones, and visiting from the Bronx to Manhattan meant a long trip on buses and trains. Although my roommate had just cut my wet hair, and I was not looking my best, I ran down to meet and chat with Ben. For the next several months, Ben called 2-3 times weekly on our dorm pay phone which was shared by 30 girls!

Finally, three months after our initial meeting, my girlfriend and I set a double date with our guys for dinner and a movie. Ben was in Pharmacy School at Fordham University and was working 3 different part time jobs, helping to pay for school.

On the appointed evening, I went down to the dorm lobby to meet Ben. What a surprise! My Ben had changed. He was now tall, dark and handsome, not that my Ben wasn’t cute, but definitely not tall or dark. This “new” Ben actually showed me his ID to prove his name was really Ben!

As it turned out my Ben had to work at the last minute and didn’t want to disappoint me. So, he asked his friend, also named Ben, to fill in for him. This Ben was engaged to a girl in Canada making him a “safe date” for me.

The lesson I learned that one night prevailed throughout our long loving marriage. My Ben would always be a hard worker, put others before himself, and think outside the box, when needed!

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