Pickup line at the market: "Squeeze this,
not the Charmin'"
As I've been out and about these past few weeks, I've been using my camera to catch the seasonal, in part to use for some photographs I need for my Valentine's Day cards. I started seeing Valentine's displays before Christmas was over, just as I saw things on store shelves for Christmas in July. Once, I met an employee at Giant groceries, and she told me that Valentine's Day candy comes to the store in August and sits in storage until then, but that's in keeping with most retail practices, I think. I was told by an employee of an upscale garden nursery in this area that they order their Christmas decorations a year in advance from China, and that they have them arrive, boxed, during the summer, so it's hardly surprising, is it, that these things find their way to the shelves at such advanced dates.
Usually with my "picture of the day" I don't like to add text, or if I do, it's in the tags lines at the bottom of the piece where I can be whimsical or file under "gaudy commercialism," as well as the sentiment of "valentine." In this case, I had to tell you what occurred during this photo session, because it was one of those little moments we each have in our days that can be transforming.
I had already been out in the evening. I had to cancel my regular exercise classes this week when I took a nasty fall on some stairs and ribs and steps collided, (and "no" Tony, I was not wearing stilettos at the time. I have never
fallen off my heels.) Last night I did more work on my "cocktail of the week piece," picked up a Baltimore Sun
at the bookstore, and ran a few errands before heading home.
I went into a local market to buy perhaps two things, but also keeping my eyes peeled for "Valentine" opportunities for this project I am working on. In the middle of the store, in the middle of an aisle, I saw this bin of stuffed toys, and this woman standing next to them, picking them up and laughing to herself. Now. This could have been a "did an extension of happy hour just find it's way in here" moment, or "is her handbag lined in Reynolds wrap foil," but it was a woman thoroughly enchanted with these furry toys, where you would squeeze their paw and they would sing various songs. I took a few pictures, then I dug down deep into the bin and started handing her ones she hadn't seen on the surface.
We stood and played each's animal's song. When I found this one, I told her "Diana Ross," and we squeezed and sure enough it sang a Supreme's song. I told her I thought of Diva Ross, because she had just been performing down in Jamaica where she was soundly booed off stage for refusing to let the concert promoters use the video screen in the stadium. If cameras add ten pounds, God knows what the mega flat screen would shoot out to her fans. My new acquaintance hadn't heard this story, and her face fell in thinking of how someone who had been so popular in the past would now be booed.
" Do NOT
take my picture, biotch!"
Diana....where did the love go?
I told my new friend a story about this song.
I am not repeating it here,
but if you know me, pretty funny, huh?
I rarely read what would be called "self-help" books. Sometimes I will, to stay abreast of what the country is pursuing to find enlightenment. I have not read The Secret, but I did get a book at the library, written by a professor of bioethics, called Why Good Things Happen To Good People, where he proposes that if you have one word to take you into eternity, it is the word "give." I agree with much of what he says. Where he and I would part company if that I do think life can slam you down to a point where there is no more get up to give, but...I digress.
I was talking to a friend the other night about my sending out valentine's, and I told her that I certainly didn't send them out expecting any feedback from the recipients, any more than I expected cards from them in return. I performed the act to express gratitude for their friendship, to give something back to them, even if it was nothing more than a scissors, paste and paper effort on my part to show they meant something to me. I also told her that no one seemed to take the time to write letters anymore and post them through the mail, or bother with holiday cards--few anyway, and wasn't it nice to get something through the post that wasn't a bill or junk advertising?
"Hot, hot, hot, when you put me in the pot, pot pot"
This was a Valentine's Lobster. I know. Bizarre. He sang "Hot, hot, hot," and I thought "Oh so not, not, not." I love the look of defeat on his face, sitting next to a big white bear with a big pink heart. The bear all of the children were grabbing out of the bin and racing off to show their mothers. "THIS ONE!" Poor guy. He needs to read When Bad Things Happen To Good Nephropidae."
After talking to this upbeat woman for 20 minutes, I introduced myself, and she told me her name was Harriett (with two "t's). I asked her permission to take her picture, and she was delighted. She laughed when she saw the picture below. That woman, if you see her on the streets? Stop and talk to her. She is a joy. She told me a story about her name, and her life. One day when her car was in the shop, she had to take a Metrobus to her destination, and she started talking to a woman in the seat next to her, and they talked until their mutual arrival point. When they were saying goodbye, they swapped names, and it turns out they were both Harriet with "two t's." Harriett was telling me odd things happened like that to her all of the time. I thought, "Not odd at all." She was so out there in expressing her happiness to the world, she was sure to draw a lot of people to her and give right back out to them. Happy Valentine's Day, Miss Harriett. I'm glad I met you.
Happy Valentine's Day From Harriett & Friends
Labels: friendship, giving, Nephropidae, self help books, The Washington Post, toys, valentines, valentines day, Washington D.C.