It never fails to amaze me how being open to the world around me brings a little joy and a connection to something as mundane as standing in a checkout line. At lunchtime I picked up a few things at Target. I made eye contact and smiled at the woman next to me at the check-out, which led her to remark on the weather, which led to her talking about her husband’s stuffy, soulless, windowless work environment at the Brentwood postal facility in DC. It seemed as if she needed to vent and I was glad to be there to listen. I reached into my purse for a heart to hand to her. It was a clear one, my favorite. When I handed it to her she looked surprised, thanked me, and blurted out that she was a two-time breast cancer survivor and that “they just found another tumor” that would be coming out soon. Then she told me her name, Cathy, and I told her mine. I paid the cashier and took my bags and wished Cathy well. I didn’t think to say it at the time, but I hope the clear heart is a sign that she’ll soon be cancer free. Time of the entire conversation: Less than one minute.
It was a first-world problem certainly but it led to encounters with 2 people whose backgrounds were different than mine but who I connected with seamlessly.
I woke up on the Sunday following the deadly events in Charlottesville to find that my cable and internet (from the same provider) were both out. My plans for the day had centered around staying in and catching up on some housework and writing tasks while binge-watching a tv series I’d just discovered. In the wake of the previous day’s events some news-watching would also be in order. I used precious wireless data to catch up on news headlines on my tablet then did all the cable/internet troubleshooting I could, mainly turning the cable box and modem off then back on again. No joy. Keep Reading
Here’s the first of my storytelling performance videos, where I tell the tale of a love triangle involving me, a gentleman friend, and a sporty vehicle. This story, told at the Auld Shebeen in Fairfax, VA in June 2016 when the theme was “The Graduate,” is just about my very favorite. I told it again in July 2017 at Lake Anne Coffee House in Reston, VA. I was surprised at how little prep I needed to tell it again practically verbatim.
Note: When I say “1977” please mark your copy to read “1997.”
When you unexpectedly hand a complete stranger a heart-shaped piece of glass, they usually have questions.
“What’s this for?”
“Did you make this yourself?”
The most poignant question is a bewildered, “For me?”
I began giving hearts to random people to remind myself that I’m worthy of giving and receiving the small kindnesses that even the most jaded human beings are capable of. I’d been led to believe otherwise since childhood.
I’m about to share a little too much here so bear with me: Keep Reading
For the last few years I’ve shared stories on Facebook about the little glass hearts I give out and the people I give them to. My original motivation was to record the especially, well… heartwarming encounters yet I worried that I’d be seen as simply blowing my own horn. “Look at me! Look what I do! Aren’t I special?” But to my surprise the stories have been very well received and my friends report vicariously experiencing the same joy and optimism that I do during the encounters I write about.
In addition to my heart stories on Facebook, I occasionally tell personal true stories on topics from A to Zamboni onstage in Northern Virginia through Better Said Than Done.
Followers of both types of stories have told me I should make them available publicly. So after a great deal of foot-dragging I’ve created this blog. I’ll start by posting my backlog of FB stories and videos of my stage stories to date. The first story, to be posted very shortly, will explain why I give out those little glass hearts.