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After 25 years together, my husband and I need creative dates. That's how our yearly vaccine ritual started.

Avital Norman Nathman   

After 25 years together, my husband and I need creative dates. That's how our yearly vaccine ritual started.
  • For the past 15 years, my husband and I have had an annual date.
  • Since he's a pharmacist, I head over to get my flu shot with him.

My husband and I have an upcoming date scheduled. It doesn't involve a candlelit dinner, going to the movies, or taking a long walk on the beach, but it's still significant. In fact, it's so important that we've scheduled one of these dates annually for over 15 years.

Next week, I'll head to the pharmacy so my husband, a pharmacist, can give me my flu shot.

I look forward to our date

It might sound bizarre, but this yearly tradition is one we both look forward to — which is saying a lot because I'm not usually a fan of needles.

My husband becomes incredibly busy each fall as his workload increases to include the onslaught of people seeking their yearly flu vaccines. This year, it's even busier, as folks are flocking to get their COVID-19 boosters as well. It can make a regular 11-hour shift feel even longer. Add to that his 35-minute commute, and he comes home exhausted.

He's also talked out from being "on" at work, chatting and comforting patients. It can make finding quality time together around this season a bit harder than usual.

We get uninterrupted time together

That's why, instead of going somewhere closer each year, as the leaves just begin to turn, I head over to my husband's pharmacy, roll up my sleeve, and allow him to give me my flu vaccine. I get the seasonal healthcare that I need, and he gets a few minutes to relax and joke around. And we get some uninterrupted time to just chat and hang out.

It's also kind of hilarious to thank the pharmacist with a big old kiss after he vaccinates you, much to the amusement of those waiting in line for their own inoculations. Once, I even got a knowing wink from an older woman who was next in line. I can only imagine the conversation that followed when she sat for her shot.

We've been together for 25 years

We celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary in July, and we've been together for 25 years overall. As time passes, life circumstances change, and sometimes you need to get creative and find new, fun ways to spend time with each other.

For us, this annual "date" is one of those. It gives both of us a little comfort in our day to see each other in an unusual way. Plus, it provides me with tons of excellent innuendos when people ask whether I've received my flu shot yet — many puns and quips about my husband jabbing/poking/sticking me.

Our vaccine date also acts as a bit of a healthcare PSA. Every time I've gotten my shot, I've snapped a selfie of the two of us and will usually share it on social media. A friend or family member will inevitably respond to the picture, saying that it reminded them to schedule their own vaccine appointment.

This year, I'll also be getting a COVID-19 booster. While I could schedule them for the same time, I think I may just separate them into two appointments and make plans to spend a little extra time with my husband — as he gently pokes me for my health.

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