When A Scanner Man Loves A Woman
This is a story that I cannot keep from you any longer. This is a true story, with a few minor embellishments to reduce the time required to tell it, but a story that needs to be told nonetheless. I think it goes without saying that a teenager who saves his money up from mowing lawns, and blows it on police scanner equipment and Big Gulps is not the coolest guy in high school. Let me make this even more clear for you. A dork like me back in high school was lucky enough to have friends, let alone meet a girlfriend. Well, I guess the stars all lined up just right for me and I ended up meeting a terrific girl in high school. However, let me set this up for you properly first.
“There is someone for everyone”
It was the Fall of 1994. You may have to get into your way-back machine to picture that. In fact, some of you may not have been born yet. I was in a Physiology class. I was working on an assignment in class when I began chatting with this girl next to me and we began to hit it off. I know, I know. I am as surprised as you are. As the semester went on, we really got to know each other really well and started to build a strong relationship. As the months went on, we decided to start dating exclusively. In the midst of trying to figure out how the heck this ever happened to a guy like me in the first place, I guess I completely forgot about all that geeky police scanner equipment sitting in my bedroom. When I finally took my new girlfriend home and introduced her to my parents, I also showed her my room. Don’t panic, it actually all worked out.
“Enter the geeks lair”
As we entered my bedroom, the first thing she noticed was all the radio equipment on my desk. She immediately pointed to all the gadgetry and asked, “what is all of that for?” I proudly smiled and said, “Oh, those are my police scanners. It is sort of a hobby of mine.” Just the mere uttering of these words made me uneasy. I thought to myself, you idiot, why did you tell her that? I knew then that this was the moment of truth. The cat was out of the bag, and the truth about my weird hobby was out in the open. I was expecting that she would make some strange excuse to leave, or some imaginary appointment that she was late for. Instead, she looked at me intently, and said , “oh, that is cool, how do those work?” My heart immediately unwound itself, and I suddenly felt that everything was going to be ok. Maybe I was not the complete dork that I had once imagined. Or, perhaps I met one of the few women sympathetic to dorks like myself.
“A new definition of normal”
We continued to be great friends, and dated all through high school and college. Luckily, we went to schools in the same city and were able to see each other often. All through these years, I don’t think she ever saw me where I did not have a scanner actively running, or at least one nearby on standby. I don’t think she ever questioned the behavior once, as this was the guy she met, and the guy she has always known. She began to view the activity as normal for me. I don’t think it hurt my cause that my grandfather listened to police scanners, as did my uncle. I guess you can say that these devices were always around her.
“A man with a secret”
Life continued on in the same manner until I proposed to her. I was happy, she was happy, and life felt as if it could not be happier for both of us. However, I was harboring a secret in my life that she did not know about. I had a deep dark secret that had been with me since my early teenage years. Yes, you guessed it, of course a police scanner was involved. Up to this point, my soon to be wife did not know I slept with my police scanner on. Yes, that is correct, every night of my life since a young teenager had been spent with a scanner blaring into the wee hours of the morning. I was worried that this may have an ill effect on my impending marriage, once this little detail was discovered on our honeymoon night. Hey, I said I was a scanner freak didn’t I? This does not stop on your honeymoon night, or any night.
“The truth comes out”
As we were married in October of 2003, I could not have been happier. I could tell from the smile on my wife’s face that she was happy too. As that fateful night approached, I grew ever more nervous. Then when the night was upon us as we were enjoying Santa Catalina Island, I pulled my wife aside and told her that, “I had something important to tell her.” I could see the look of concern in her eyes. She was likely thinking, “have you been married before? Is it something you feel is wrong with the marriage? Is it another woman? Do you have children you never told me about?” I could see the look of concern in her eyes growing. I then mustered up the courage and said, “ look, you have known me for quite a while now, right?” I could see my wife nodding. I then said, “you know I like listening to the police scanner, right?” Again, she nodded and looked at me blankly. I then said, “well I actually have listened to a police scanner as I sleep since I was a teenager and have grown accustomed to the habit. Do you mind if I turn my scanner on low as we go to sleep?” She smirked and responded by saying, “in all the times I have fallen asleep at your place in the past, there has always been a scanner on, and it did not bother me then.” In fact, she told me she had grown used to the ambient noise it provided her. Immediately, I smiled and knew once again that everything was going to be ok.
“When in Rome, do as the Romans do”
Fast forward to our working years. I had taken a job where I traveled a lot. I felt bad about having to leave my wife for a week at a time. I knew she had not ever been alone much and I was not comfortable with the thought of her sleeping in an empty quiet apartment all by herself. On my very first trip, I called my wife every night when I knew it was getting near her bedtime and knew she would be in need of a familiar voice as she tried to fall asleep. When I called her, I let her know that I knew she did not like being in the apartment at night alone, and apologized and told her that I wished there was something I could do for her. Low and behold that night, she told me, “oh, it has been ok, I just turn on the police scanner while I sleep and it is almost as if you are here.” Once again, I smiled through the phone and knew that things were going to be ok.
“And they lived happily ever after”
It is late at night as I write this. My wife is sound asleep right next to me, and I am smiling as my scanner murmurs into the night. J I am hoping there are at least a few of you out there that may be as obsessed with this hobby as me, and a police scanner rambling into the night may not seem so weird. If any of you exist, please feel free to share your story with the community. If not, feel free to make fun of me. J Until next time, Happy Listening!