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Minor miracles for Valentine's day... or was it the full moon? - John [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Minor miracles for Valentine's day... or was it the full moon? [Feb. 16th, 2003|03:22 pm]
So... I was out jogging on Saturday, just for exercise. As usual for when I'm visiting my beloved Pat (kightp), my jogging took me towards a park near her house.

I spotted a balloon by the side of the path, and I picked it up, chuckling happily at the idea I had.

I recall hearing that balloons are dangerous to animals... they're a choking hazard.

That would be enough for me to pick up a stray ballon anyway, but I realized that, if I gave her a balloon that I'd picked up to protect the animals, it'd be even more neat... she's often said that she admires my concern for living things.

(Herm. Just to avoid misunderstandings, this isn't a fanatical concern; for example, I eat meat, without thinking too hard about whether the animal was treated humanely. However, when I have a chance to make some small difference in the life of an animal, or, in many cases, for a plant, I'll do so. This has become a bit more pronounced since I became a wiccan.)

Anyway; I was chuckling at the wonderful aptness; balloons are sometimes given in lieu of flowers, and so, here I had a traditional Valentine's gift to give to her. (I'd given her a card, but we didn't do any gifts other than the kind that happen behind closed doors (at least, metaphorical closed doors).)

Well, I wish I had a wonderful 'turning point' phrase to explain how this ties into the title... "wonderful aptness" isn't quite a "minor miracle", is it?

It was when I continued along the curving path that I nearly boggled at what I saw. Apparently, there was some kind of celebration at the park. There were dozens of popped baloons and a few un-popped ones all over a central area to the park!

It started off as a joke; I could give her the biggest, best 'balloon bouquet' that she'd ever had, probably.

As I started picking up balloons soaked with cold rainwater - not freezing, but uncomfortable - I realized I had a bit further to go. It wasn't just a joke, because I realized I needed to finish this job.

It was actual 'work', and uncomfortable... but if I stopped because I had enough for a 'balloon bouquet', I'd be leaving too many little dangerous sheets of latex hanging around to choke some unsuspecting critter.

Eventually, it was too many balloons to hold; I looked over at a trash can and knew someone had thrown away a plastic bag in it (statistical certainty)... and with a "Subway" sandwich bag in hand, I soon had 'my' balloons contained so I wouldn't keep dropping them.

Well, finally, I had every single blasted balloon that I could see picked up and in that bag, along with the original, still-blown-up balloon in my one hand.

And... well... that's not exactly the miracle. Not even if you add in the fact that someone, puzzled, asked me what I was carrying, and I explained briefly ("Oh, some folks left all these in the park, and they'll choke animals; I had nothing better to do, so I picked 'em up"). I hope I brightened his day... and who knows, maybe it'll make him appreciate how neat it can be to decide you have 'nothing better to do' than some tiny service that makes the world just a tiny bit better a place.

But overriding all of this was a deep, and certain, realization that this little tangible expression of 'me-ness' would have meaning to someone. Even if she thought collecting balloons to protect animals was stupid (and she doesn't), she'd still be happy to know that I did so, and would appreciate the balloons as tangible sign of that.

In short, I knew that I was loved for myself, with a certainty that I'm not sure I've ever felt.

Putting that, on top of everything else, makes for a very satisfactory miracle, in my opinion.

[User Picture]From: jilesa
2003-02-16 05:39 pm (UTC)
No real content, I just wanted to let you know this made me smile. What a perfectly lovely gift, for both of you. :)
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[User Picture]From: tigerbright
2003-02-16 07:51 pm (UTC)
What she said. And I love the bit about describing why it works.
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[User Picture]From: kightp
2003-02-16 05:41 pm (UTC)
*big damned smile*

Being handed a bag of wet, slightly grimy, deflated balloons made me smile; hearing the story of how they came to be collected (from a chilled-on-the-outside, glowing-on-the-inside man with red cheeks and shining eyes and salty rainwater-and-sweat dripping off his beard onto my lips) filled me with delight.

That was such a John Palmer sort of thing to do. Everything about it belongs on the long, long list of reason why I love you.
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[User Picture]From: griffen
2003-02-16 05:50 pm (UTC)

Pat, you're a very lucky person. Keep this guy. :)
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[User Picture]From: kightp
2003-02-16 09:57 pm (UTC)
I'd very much like to. FSVO "keep".

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[User Picture]From: iamjw
2003-02-16 08:05 pm (UTC)
You know, you are truly a wonderful man.

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From: ex_serenejo
2003-02-16 10:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, John, that's just beautiful. *happysigh*
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[User Picture]From: dandelion_diva
2003-02-17 12:14 am (UTC)
That was sweet and wonderful, and I thank you for sharing it. And for being that guy. :)

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[User Picture]From: mamatiger
2003-02-17 01:35 am (UTC)

Me two

Even if she thought collecting balloons to protect animals was stupid (and she doesn't), she'd still be happy to know that I did so, and would appreciate the balloons as tangible sign of that.


*valentine's day kiss*

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[User Picture]From: janetmiles
2003-02-17 06:27 am (UTC)
Awwww. *sappy grin*
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[User Picture]From: ccprince
2003-02-17 08:25 am (UTC)

More thanks

Well, John, I'll echo all the thanks from other comments here -- not only for the neat story, and for making a friend happy, but also for personal reasons. See, depending on which park it was, I might be the one with dogs eating the balloons. (I live a few blocks away from Pat.) Usually, the dogs are pretty smart, but when it comes to eating things they shouldn't...
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[User Picture]From: submarine_bells
2003-02-17 12:06 pm (UTC)
I'm gonna put you on my friends list just on the basis of this one entry, which I came across via a reference to it in kightp's LJ (I hadn't come across your lj before now). It's wonderful. Thanks for sharing it. :-)
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