Wednesday, February 15, 2006

For V-Day Bah-Humbuggers Everywhere

Yesterday as I read through all the blogs about Valentine's Day, my heart was broken. Actually, I didn't need to read your posts to know there are broken hearts everywhere, more raw and bleeding on February 14th than perhaps any other day. All it takes is one sad, lonely heart to dispel, as it were, the happiness of the rest of us. Especially if that anguished heart is your daughter's. She who has been a single mom for 4 years now after 5 years of marriage. She who is lonely, longing for relationship again. She who dreaded seeing the roses and chocolates arriving for everyone else but her.

So this is her story. This is her raw and bleeding heart "salved" on V-Day by an unexpected act of unconditional love and kindness.

It started over a week ago when Amy's dad called a co-worker and arranged an 11:30a "meeting" at her company yesterday, totally unbeknownst to her. Helen, the co-worker, told Amy she needed to meet with her on Tuesday and would call her later with more details. So at 11:30a yesterday, Helen called Amy and asked her to meet her downstairs in one of the conference rooms. When Amy walked off the elevator, there was Helen, standing with this tuxedoed quartet...who then proceeded to sing two valentine/love songs to Amy.

Amy, who is very poised and put-together in her work environment, totally lost it and started crying. That started her dad crying...while everyone else in the company, looking down over the atrium's balconies or standing in the lobby, was smiling and loving every minute.

Amy's dad (my ex-husband of 21 years) happens to sing in an all-male barber-shop choir, whose director happens to be female. As an act of kindness and surprise, the choir split up into quartets and went all around Atlanta yesterday, singing to select people. Bill's quartet just happened to include their female director. And here they are, with Amy standing next to her dad, both of whom finally composed themselves.

Amy called me immediately afterwards and told me the story, shaking and crying over the phone. I was sure something tragic had just happened. No, nothing tragic. But something incredibly earth-shaking for her. Later this is what she said: "At the end of the day I realized that what I had experienced earlier was love in its purest form -- unconditional, no games, no questions, no motives. And I have to say it put everything else that's going on in my life in perspective!"

And I was thinking: little by little we need to change what happens on V-Day, or at least how people see it. We don't have to subscribe to the commercialism, even if we can't or don't want to change that aspect of it. As different ones of you have said, it's the little acts of kindness that we do for each other every day of the year that really matters. And maybe on V-Day we just get a bit more creative! And it's not just about romantic love (which, as we know, can be so fleeting and hard to sustain). It's about g'mas and their grandkids, or dads and their lonely daughters, or you fill in the blank.

Guess maybe our consciousness needs tweaking so that we can start enlightening the world around us. One Valentine's Day at a time!


  1. I'm so glad you posted this story. It is a perfect way to spread the message of unconditional love between all persons, not just lovers (on a Hallmark holiday). Hear, hear!

  2. Oh this is just lovely, I was so touched by Amy's story. And you are so right, Ginnie, it's NOT about romantic love at all but the universal love that we all carry within us.

  3. I'd agree - but that is the battle. IT's America's commercialism which has gotten the rest of the Western World too! They are only trying to cash in on profits to make a quick buck. I don't like it one bit and it is the little gestures that mean the most.

    My favor for yesterday - doing P's laundry for the first time.. I'm sure although it's not the biggest deal, it will make him feel better by the end of the week when the pile is much smaller!

  4. Ruth: Indeed!

    Christina: Universal love would reach everyone on V-Day; no one would be left out!

    ET: If only we could change the Sense & Sensibility of the whole thing! Your gesture of love to P is definitely a good example of what it's all about.

  5. I was deeply touched by that story. And you're so right- it's not about romantic love. I get a valentine card from my Dad every year. So there you have it again, parental love! Then we have family and friends, which we also love and shouldn't forget.

  6. That is such an awesome story. We can't change things overnight, but maybe if each of us does our part...

  7. CS: Awww. If my mom and dad were alive, I'd get a card from them too. But you're right--we need to remember V-Day as a day for ALL those people we love and care about. And take the broken-heart part of it far away into a Black Hole!

    Mr. Fab: And your post was one that clearly demonstrated how you're doing your part! I was inspired by it!

  8. Thanks Ginnie for that beautiful story!
    You made me realize many things and I will think of that all day long, I'm sure. I love when that happens to me! Ginnie, if there was an "In Soul" medal, you'd win it already!

  9. That is one of the most touching stories I have heard :) Thanks for sharing it with us.

  10. Clo: You sure know how to humble me! Thanks for your kind words.

    DW: Thank YOU. But I need to ask you who you are, please. Do I know you?? I see your comments and am dying to know more about you--what country, how you found me, etc. Pray tell (I have Gmail on my profile, if you'd rather reply there).

  11. Oh, Ginnie, that is so beautiful. Now I'm the one in tears. Happy ones. Thank you so much for sharing. This made me day. :)