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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  2. Weekly Writing Challenge: Valentine | The Day After
  3. A letter- to My Valentine | Emovere
  4. “Pencilgate”: My Funny Valentine | Pinstripes&Lipgloss
  5. My Mother Once Told Me… | An Upturned Soul
  6. A Valentine From A Dog | Sarah’s Typos
  7. Love is nicer the second time around? | Tales of a slightly stressed Mother!
  8. The 14th of February 1951 – Blacksburg, Virginia | Forgotten Correspondance
  9. It’s Because I Love You, That I Don’t Stab You In Your Beautiful Eyes. Happy Valentine’s Day Dear. | W.T.F.
  10. Autumn’s Return | Lillie-Put
  11. Happy 3rd Birthday! | Sentiments of a Working Mom | Another Mommy Blog
  12. Weekly Writing Challenge: Valentine | medicinalmeadows
  13. Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine? | Reinventing the We’ll
  14. St. Valentine’s Day « Mama Bear Musings
  15. My Deaf Words | FILMS | FOOD | POETRY
  16. What to write in a Valentine card | writemybrainsout
  17. The Letter [Weekly Writing Challenge] | Thoughts from Elysium
  18. Help! My Valentine Smells like Poop! | Love, Support, Educate, Advocate, Accept…
  19. What if Cupid was pissed? | Okay, What if ?
  20. Too Much Heaven | Chasing the Stars
  21. Valentine’s Day Haters’ Club – Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge | Waiting on a Word
  22. Valentine’s Day Haters’ Club – Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge | Waiting on a Word
  23. The Valentine’s Day Card | Life’s Unfiltered Ramblings
  24. Words for Nancy | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  25. An Open Letter to Valentine’s Day | meg lago
  26. The Joy of Books – A Guide for the Valentine’s Day Escape Artist | aliabbasali
  27. The Gift of a Heart for Valentine’s Day | Busy Mind Thinking
  28. Valentines day: do we really need it? | BIGMOUTH STRIKES AGAIN.
  29. Cupid’s Arrow | The View from My Corner of the World
  30. From the Rooftops: A Love Letter | Laceys Leave of Absence
  31. My first blind date – Valentine’s Dance at Mt. St. Gertrude | Creating a New Life
  32. A Gift for Husbands: Respect | Amazed By Grace
  33. Cleaning Up On Valentines | The Chatter Blog
  34. When It Was Okay To Like Valentine’s Day: A Story About A Holiday, Relationships, and Interacting With the Opposite Sex | Eyes Through The Glass – A Blog About Asperger’s
  35. my funny valentine – or my moment near midnight « on the art of happiness
  36. Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine? | eyes like glass
  37. February 14th, 2007 | Grilled Cheese (& Other Things That Make My World Go ‘Round)
  38. Flower woes: V-Day | Faith, Magic, Life
  39. Where’s my freaking Valentine? | mummy flying solo
  40. Weekly Writing Challenge: My Valentine’s Story | seikaiha’s blah-blah-blah
  41. Writing Challenge: My Valentine | immerseindifferences
  42. A Present for the Other Guy | Stealing All the Sevens
  43. A Valentine’s Letter for the Person I’ve Never Met | MAGGIE’S BLOG
  44. Suicide no. 25: Remember the Valentines | derekalanwilkinson
  45. We were in love. And then everything changed forever. | soulfoood
  46. Nude drawing – Weekly Writing Challenge – Funny Valentine | alienorajt
  47. A lesson for my love. | jenny’s lark
  48. Why buy a whole pig, when all you want is a bit of sausage?! | 101 Challenges in 1001 Days
  49. I am not a slutty hugger | jenneralizing
  50. A Valentines Story |
  51. How to Propose Marriage by Bike | birgerbird
  52. Valentine’s Day Blows: Death to Cupid | marissabergen602
  53. 10 Gifts I Gave & Received: Love or Something Close Enough, Once Upon a Time | Kosher Adobo
  54. The Fall of Love | Blue Loft
  55. What about Valentine’s Day? | IvyMosquito
  56. 20 Things to Tell My Son About Love | Stiletto Momma
  57. Hope | FILMS | FOOD | POETRY
  58. “It’s something… | mariestephensgardening
  59. Valentine’s Day and Yellow Bells | inkblots & blood clots
  60. Rapture | MightWar
  61. The Valentine’s Day blues | Insidethelifeofmoi
  62. How Do You Approach Valentine’s Day? | Pending Questions
  63. Curiosity is My True Love…(wp weekly challenge) | Daily Observations
  64. The Silent Musing | Living in the Moment
  65. Two Valentines day stories….Thank God that love conquers all | Let me tell U a story
  66. A Cynical Cook’s View of Valentine’s Day | Corned Beef Hashtag
  67. Love in the times of Parenting | The Indian Mom
  68. Future generations of lovers | Busy Mind Thinking
  69. Letters to You | Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine? | Being a Huntress
  70. My Valentine’s Day Wedding (That Never Happened) | Rose Red Stories
  71. Qué es eso de Valentine´s Day? | Of love, life and such magic
  73. In Other Words | scottishmomus
  74. My (not-so-funny) Valentine: Weekly Writing Challenge | Blogizing
  75. No flowers for me, thanks! | Tattered Stamp
  76. My Funny Valentine: Weekly Writing Challenge | Blogizing
  77. Love pirates | fifty5words
  78. Feminism and Flowers: My Bitter Take on Valentine’s Day! | Abstractions of Life
  79. Playing Chicken: Who Says ‘I Love You’ First? | Kosher Adobo
  80. My Funny Valentine…? | Garden Variety Neurosis Redux
  81. Black Valentine | Writings of The Midnight Thief
  82. My Sweet Valentines | What I’ve Learned For Now
  83. My Crazy Valentine | I am S(t)ri…
  84. Better lucky than smart | Quod Ero Spero
  85. Singles Awareness Day? | That One Nerdy Chick
  86. The “V” Word | Wenrich Family Adoption: Becoming a Family of 4
  87. Beading Saves the Day on the Eve of Valentine’s Day | Running Brook Reflections
  88. Unashamed Love | Lightning Bug
  89. My Funny Valentine … The Movie | Life with Tess
  90. List of Sneaky Ways to Find Out If You Really Know Someone! | Once Upon Your Prime. . .
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  92. Happy Half-Birthday | aNadventures
  93. Worst Valentine’s Day Ever | Sunday Epidemic
  94. My Funny Valentine (Weekly Writing Challenge) | jennsmidlifecrisis
  95. Happy Valentine’s Day! (also Fiesta Friday #3) | The Novice Gardener
  96. Here Is Love. | andthatgotmethinking
  97. I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  99. A Journey of Ten Years | A mom’s blog
  100. Daily Prompt: Unconventional Love – Strangely True | SERENDIPITY
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  104. False Expectations | snapshotsofawanderingheart
  105. Playlist | Perceptive Pot Clueless Kettle
  106. Fragrant valentine | The Seminary of Praying Mantis
  107. Valentine’s Day Can’t Insult My Intelligence if There’s Snow | Bumblepuppies
  108. Love Surrounds You | ReFreshing Life
  109. Lessons from the Ghosts of Valentines Past | The Femindiary
  110. Day 25: Why I Married a Man who got me a Hairdryer for Valentine’s Day | The Ravenously Disappearing Woman
  111. Validation Day – Valentine’s Day from an Honest Woman’s Perspective | Shoot the messenger
  112. Weekly Writing Challenge| Single Awareness Day | Amy (and The Teddy With Sunglasses)
  113. my first valentine | Musings of a Random Mind
  114. Afraid of Valentine’s Day? | Myammy! Moving in together at 50…
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  116. I’ve been alone for a long time | “The Ish,” presented by the Bohemian Rock Star
  117. Ah Bloody Valentines! | The life of T
  118. Brief facts on Valentines day/Weekly Writing challenge | standinginthestorm
  119. Weekly Writing Challenge – Valentine – The Hopeless Unromantic |
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  121. Ode to My Valentine | DCTdesigns Creative Canvas
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  125. (Un)Funny Valentine – Daily Post “My Funny Valentine?” Challenge 2/10/2014 | blogged artistry
  126. To My Valentine… | Babbleogue
  127. Love of Many Shoes | Mary J Melange
  128. Valentine, Part Two/DP Challenge | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  129. It’s Valentine’s Day! | TNT
  130. St. Hallmark Day Doth Approach | The Eclectic Poet
  131. Valentine’s Day…some wifely advice
  132. The Boy I Married | East Meets Breast
  133. The Valentine’s Letter I wished I’d sent…. | Brownies, Pixies & Horny Toads
  134. [WWC] Valentine’s day | Reatividades
  135. My Funny Valentine? | “Crone-ing”
  136. My Forever Crush | My Weigh To Lose
  137. Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine? – Love, Love, Love | SA:ME (사메)
  139. Last Minute Expressions of Love | Moments for the journey
  140. The Good Wife | Cabin Pressure May Change
  141. Weekly Writing Challenge-Love As An Earthling- A Comedy | The Lyons Den
  142. We Will Review The Cows! | Not the Family Business!
  143. Preparing for My First Real Valentine’s Day | Lilly Lane
  144. Get your lovin’ on | why i left my job
  146. » Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine? | Chiquitita
  147. DAILY POST: Weekly Writing Challenge | the story of my life
  148. Love Yourself | thenaturalprofessor
  149. Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine | No Apologies
  150. Ghost Forest | litadoolan
  151. And I came from nowhere like you and your friend: My Funny Valentine | D Lonely Stoner
  152. Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine? « cognitive reflection
  153. Weekly Writing Challenge: Valentine Memories | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)
  154. The Kiss | the intrinsickness
  155. My Valentine’s Day Castle | DragonReader
  156. Valentine’s Day Terror and Love in Fiction | Creative Mysteries
  157. Surviving Valentine’s Day: A Guide For Us Single Ladies | Busy Mind Thinking
  158. Valentine Flip-Flop | Fish Of Gold
  159. Valentine’s Day: Role Reversal | Busy Mind Thinking
  160. ❤ Valentines Day <3: Not My Forte | A Maniac’s Menagerie of Motley Thoughts
  161. With or Without a Lover, This Valentine’s Day Is Yours! | Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride
  162. Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine? | An Easie Peasie Journal
  163. Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine? | MARGARET ROSE STRINGER
  164. Another Challenge | gingerninja2013′s Blog
  165. The Valentine’s Day Struggle | Minaa B.
  166. Movies for Singles on Valentine’s Day | aliewsMuses
  167. Ishq Kar Le – Come fall in love | FILMS | FOOD | POETRY
  168. Roz – Everyday | FILMS | FOOD | POETRY
  169. Tere Ishq ki Rehmat – Blessings of your Love | FILMS | FOOD | POETRY
  170. The Sunshine Girl in the Sunset | FILMS | FOOD | POETRY
  171. Weekly Writing Challenge: Hearts that are Puzzled | wateringcanblog
  172. My funny valentine | Claud’s Ramblings
  173. “Be Mine” writing-challenge-valentine #poetry #valentine’sday | Moondustwriter’s Blog
  174. Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine?…Sure | Pop-Culture-Referenced
  175. A Confused Valentine’s Day Visitor by P.S. Joshi | Musings on Life & Experience
  176. On Just How Much You Love Your Dogs | Notes by Natalie
  177. My scary valentine- weekly writing challenge | A picture is worth 1000 words
  178. Weekly Writing Challenge: My Fuzzy Valentine | Life of A Fallen Angel
  179. An Open Letter to My Valentine | Elements of Thought
  180. Where Love is Made | Winding Road
  181. My (not so) Funny Valentines! | melissuhhsmiles
  182. A toast to St. Valentine | scottjkaniewski
  183. Birthday vs Valentine Day | Eva Marasca
  184. Weekly Writing Challenge – Valentine’s Day! | Niki’s Thoughts
  185. Who you calling incompatible? | Be Inspired Be Inspiring
  186. At The Touch Of Commercialism, Everyone Becomes A Lover! | capsulecreations
  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
  191. The Valentine Rebels | Suis ton coeur.
  192. within me lies our | y
  193. The Valentine I Had But Never Had | I am S(t)ri…
  194. How to spoil your girl on Valentine’s Day | My Food Odyssey
  195. My funny Valentine | If today was your last day
  196. To My Valentine | Finale to an Entrance

61 thoughts on “Cleaning Up On Valentines

  1. 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


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