Valentine’s Day, the scourge of the single. The day that drives men to purchase dozens of roses at outrageous prices. The day that pits co-worker against co-worker in the battle of the flower arrangements. I’m over it. I used to pine away with the rest of the singles but now I’m old with a kid and want for little.
The one thing I did want to do today, this red heart day as my mom refers to it, was to briefly, and publicly thank a few people who helped make my life a little better today. Through gestures large and small. Today’s events made me feel smiled on by the universe thanks to people like Cindy, the woman who works at the Thai joint in the neighborhood near my office. My co-worker and I have Thai food Wednesdays, this is how Cindy has gotten to know us. We just make the call every Wednesday around lunch to place our standing order of two green papaya salads and two sticky rice. I just need to call and once I have ensured that it is Cindy, I say hello, tell her how many we need (sometimes only one of us is ordering) and she tells us ten minutes. When we walk over, she greets us heartily and often takes care of us before anyone else who happens to be standing around waiting to order or pay. Yesterday I told her that I wanted to order some green papaya salad so that my son would have enough to distribute to his classmates after he made a batch in front of them as part of his presentation on Thailand. I was going to be on a tight schedule for picking it up and doling it out into 50 individual cups. Cindy assured me it would be ready and that I could use a table in the restaurant to distribute. She said that if she was going to be there, she would have helped me. When I arrived, everything was ready. All in a giant bowl with a pair of tongs. When I had almost exhausted my supply with six cups left, the guy working the counter today took the bowl and had some more whipped up so I could finish filing the cups. Honestly, it couldn’t have worked out better. I arrived on time and the food was a hit.
Late in the afternoon, when I finally got to actually sit at my desk I logged into my personal email account to send an email to my son’s ukulele teacher breaking up with him (waltzing matilda may have been the song that broke the camel’s back for me personally). Anyway, I noticed an email from my son’s second grade teacher in NY. You may recall that my son and I spent six months in NY about a year ago to spend some quality time with mother. For no reason. Just because. Anyway, his 2nd grade teacher in this small rural elementary school just loved having my kid in her class. The feeling was mutual. He loved being there. In the process of applying him to Kamehameha School for 4th grade, there was an opportunity to submit some letters of recommendation. I thought that asking his NY teacher was perfect. I sent her out an email with all of the information but then never heard back. About a week after the deadline for letter submission, I received an email from her. She told me that it was her first day back at work and that her husband had had emergency brain surgery and that because of this she had missed the deadline (her husband, after some scary days, is doing fine). She asked if she should still submit it, I told her to go ahead, not really confident it would be read. Today, in her email, she told me that she called the school and spoke to someone in the admissions office. She told me that she told this person wonderful and glowing things about my son and that they would be lucky to have him. Just thinking about that makes me tear up. I know deep in my heart, it likely won’t make a lick of difference for him but I just feel like I want to give her a big hug.
So with gratitude to Cindy who is close in vicinity to me but not actually close to me and to our NY second grade teacher who had been close to us but who we are now living far away from, I offer Valentine’s Day love and gratitude. I will take the feeling of happiness I have carried with me all day today over a dozen red roses any day of the week.