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Magic

Today is my 10-year wedding year anniversary.

My husband and I met in a psych hospital. That always makes for a good way to begin the story when people ask how we met. We were both on our intern year – he in family medicine, me in clinical psychology – and our first rotation was on the hospital’s inpatient psych service. The first time we interacted, I was hunched over a computer, typing a note in the small intern office. It was my first day on the service, and I was trying my best to write the most wonderful intake note ever.  

“Want to see a magic trick?” he asked, pulling some cards off a nearby shelf. I looked up, annoyed. I did not want to see a magic trick. I wanted to focus on my best note ever. “Just pick a card,” he said, holding the deck in front of me.

I stopped typing, reached over and pulled a card from the middle of the deck. It was a seven of hearts. “Okay, now put it back in the deck,” he instructed. He shuffled the cards. “Is this your card?” he asked with a smile. It was a king of spades. It wasn’t even close. Different number, different suit, different color.  

“No! That is definitely not my card!” I exclaimed, laughing. “Oh well,” he shrugged. He laughed, too. Then he put the deck back on the shelf, grabbed his backpack and said, “Bye! See you tomorrow.”

I went back to my note, but I was curious. Was he bad at magic? Was he embarrassed about failing to recognize my card? Had he forgotten how to do the trick?

It turns out, he didn’t know one bit of magic. He had simply seen the cards on the shelf and thought he would try.

There was some magic, though – and what magic it was. Because of those 52 tattered playing cards, there was a laugh. And the next day, there was a conversation. And throughout our intern year, there was friendship. And that grew into love. And, 10 years ago today, there was a wedding. And we made a home. And now there is a family.  All thanks to a little bit of magic.

Author: Alyssa Forcehimes, PhD

An expert in behavior change, substance use disorders and empathic communication, Dr. Alyssa Forcehimes serves as President of The Change Companies® and Train for Change Inc.® She lives in Arizona with her husband and two daughters.