Cleaning Up On Valentines

Years ago I was newly divorced and living in my father’s home with my young daughter.   I had no idea what direction I wanted to go in.  What I wanted to do.  I didn’t even know what I was capable of doing.   Meanwhile I had to provide for my daughter.   My brother gave me the name of a man who had his own cleaning business.   I called him and he had me meet him for lunch at an upscale little bistro type place.

Over lunch he explained his business and said he normally has people clean with him for one day before deciding to hire.  And by the way….he doesn’t pay for that.

I was still pretty naive at this point in my life.  But in my head I was screaming “HELL NO”.   I had no intention of working an entire day for him for nothing.

Meanwhile he kept talking and said he wouldn’t expect that from me.  So I was glad I didn’t yell “HELL NO” out loud.    Though now, all these years later, it would have been funnier.

I started working with him.   And I think he liked me as a worker.  We had some good times.   One day he picked me up as he sometimes did and told me some of his regular customers were making comments since I started.  I got nervous.  Though if there was one thing I knew how to do at that time it was clean.  And clean well.   As it turns out, some of the customers noticed that when I was around he seemed more upbeat, funny, and seemed to be enjoying his work.

My bank of self esteem took a deposit that day for the first time in I didn’t know how long.

They even heard him singing when I was around.

We worked a lot together, and we talked a good bit as well.  He knew about me.  Though I didn’t know as much about him.   He was kind of secretive.   He told me ‘things’ but on reflection they were not very personal.   But we got along well enough.   We didn’t connect outside of work.   Our time together was always and only work based.

One day we were talking about holidays and surprises.  To that point in my life, though married for six years, I had never really had a valentines.  He was surprised and asked why.  I had no idea.  Though I was sad talking about, it didn’t dawn on me to be too morose about it.  And that was all that was really discussed.

We happen to be working together on Valentines – months later.   When we got to the business we would be working in he told me he had forgotten some things in his apartment.  He wanted me to go get them because he couldn’t leave me alone in the business.   Groan.  I do not like deviation from my plans.  My plan was to go in and work and go home.  But there was nothing I could do.  Even though I did complain to him.  He took it in stride and pretty much told me to get over myself.

He gave me the key to his home and directions.   I went with very specific instructions on where to go in his home and what to retrieve.

When I got there I let myself in.

Strewn on the floor from the door to his dining room table, as a path to follow, were rose petals.

On the table were flowers, candy and a card.  With my name on them.

He called me and told me to sit down and rest and enjoy the card.

It might not be a funny valentine.

But it was one of the sweetest moments of my life up to that point.

And maybe it’s kind of funny now.  Because it makes me laugh and feel good, still, all of these years later.

We parted ways.  And I don’t know what happened to him.  But I hope he has had that wonderfully  kind act paid back one hundred fold.

+++

DP Challenge :  My Funny Valentine

Other stories written for this prompt on DP CHALLENGE:

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  155. My Valentine’s Day Castle | DragonReader
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  164. Another Challenge | gingerninja2013′s Blog
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  174. Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine?…Sure | Pop-Culture-Referenced
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  176. On Just How Much You Love Your Dogs | Notes by Natalie
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  178. Weekly Writing Challenge: My Fuzzy Valentine | Life of A Fallen Angel
  179. An Open Letter to My Valentine | Elements of Thought
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  187. Old Friend | by LRose
  188. The Awkward First Date… On Valentines Day. | Relations 101
  189. Red flowers, fabulous gifts and the snow: Wait, we’re talking about Valentines? « Days Asleep, Nights Awake
  190. Now You See Me… | scandinique
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  192. within me lies our | y
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  195. My funny Valentine | If today was your last day
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61 thoughts on “Cleaning Up On Valentines

  1. One of the all time best Valentine’s Day stories I’ve ever heard about. For a minute there I thought it was going to end with, it was your now hubby. Okay, I’m a dreamer and my mind runs wild. Happy day today and tomorrow. 🙂

  2. Awww, what a sweet story. What a thoughtful friend.

  3. bikebrown says:

    What a wonderful boss.

  4. April says:

    There are some very kind people who walk among us, aren’t there. What a great memory!

  5. This was a wonderful man. You made him feel good and he wanted, no, needed to return the favor. I could cry. So sweet.

  6. … whether you want to admit it or not, that is a love story, straight from your heart. And, love does make a person smile, that’s for sure.

  7. tric says:

    Great story. Fantastic and unforgettable gesture on his part.

  8. Mustang.Koji says:

    See… Good things do happen to good people.

  9. How gorgeous and how deeds like his are unforgettable ~ a love story that made me smile.

  10. niaaeryn says:

    That was very nice of him. A good valentine. 🙂

  11. FlaHam says:

    Colleen, One man’s kindness had an everlasting impression on you. That simple act of kindness. Soft smile, from what I know of you, that kindness was richly deserved. And since then you have found ways to in fact pay it back 100 fold. Take care, Bill

  12. […] Cleaning Up On Valentines | The Chatter Blog […]

  13. Patty B says:

    That is such a sweet valentine story thank you for sharing that – and a happy Valentines Day to you!! 😉

  14. jnitro519 says:

    Awwwww! sweet! its always the thought that counts! i love this!

  15. freepositive says:

    This is so great! I love this…

  16. How lovely that someone could show such love and consideration without it being for romance. It’s a beautiful story.x

  17. litadoolan says:

    Great story! I love this phrase you coin ‘My bank of self esteem took a deposit’ Perfect! Hope you are having a great festive day.

  18. DCTdesigns says:

    That is a beautifully tender love story. Thanks for the pingback.

  19. […] | Living Like Larry 6. The Clouds have Lifted | The Diary of a Happy Mom: 40 and Beyond 7. Cleaning Up On Valentines | The Chatter Blog 8. 15 Minute Chocolate Lava Cakes for 2 | The Savory Confection 9. I resolve to: LOVE more [2014] […]

  20. That’s a delightful story!

  21. Julie S says:

    Hi,
    Colleen is it? I really love your blog. I love this post about the unexpected, thoughtful valentine. Please accept the Sunshine award to recognise great work that is full of life! http://advocacyautismspecialneeds.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/sunshine-on-a-poopy-day/
    (don’t worry it’s only a poopy day because we’re potty training 🙂 )
    Sincerely,
    Julie

  22. I really enjoyed your blog. Thanks for the pingback!

  23. […] Cleaning Up On Valentines | The Chatter Blog […]

  24. Thanks for stopping by and for the pingback! I’m enjoying the “find”! :o)

  25. giselacarmona says:

    Love your Valentine’s story! Am definitely enjoying your blog… Have a great week!

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