As I sit at my desk, I have a pile of cash sitting next to me.
I was in charge of collecting our donations for the Wear Red For Women Day sponsored by the American Heart Association. This is especially noteable because yesterday one of our newest hires was taken away by ambulance with chest pains, and before it was lunch break he was in surgery having stints implanted in his arteries.
As the day progressed, I looked around at my coworkers who were stuck on the fact that it was his 51st birthday and this is how he was spending it.
I eventually blurted out "think of it this way - we are all sitting here having a normal work day and he had his chest ripped open instead of enjoying his new job. On any given day, wouldn't that be just an awful way to look back at you're morning? Maybe we ought to take this as a lesson to stop asking if we can have gravy with that Fat Bitch Breakfast Sandwich we crave 3 days a week."
They didn't think it as poignent as I did. I had to remind them that maybe we should send flowers. They still couldn't believe it was his birthday and he'd had a heart attack. I couldn't believe we didn't have the Official From Us Company Birthday Card signed on his desk when he came in.
So I sit next to my piles of cash donated to the cause of the AHA awareness day and think "even when we know someone, SEE someone, having a heart attack, it doesn't sink in."
As the selfish person I am, instantly I think of how I treat my own heart, and realize I still feel adolecently invinceable. While I am fairly food conscious (even as I sample the cajun popcorn chicken or accept the last brownie on the plate), I will fall in love with a wilted house plant if it strikes me as having potential. The fickle temptation of this or that fanciful opportunity grab tightly of my heartstrings and have rarely left me with anything but gapping wounds to tenderly soucher and hope for minimal scarring. Soon enough I find something else has found the heartstrings I didn't know I had left, and I am ever so bound to this new source of deliciously painful taunting of my most treasured and valuable asset.
My heart, I've tried to protect it. I've tried hiding it away like Repunzel in her castle, only to find that the one window is enough to let those heart strings dangle like each strand of her hair. And, like Princess Fiona, this isolated dreamer sits knowing how the fairy tales end and is not so patiently waiting for her Prince Charming to arrive. So, I've dated my fair share of Shreks, thinking that this one may be the one to stop the waiting, maybe even heal the pain, free me from the spells and let me live my happy ending I know is coming. Instead, when I find myself alone in my room once again, I wonder if it will be worth even noticing the next tug of my eagerly wanting heartstrings, or if I should neglect these passers by who make me notice them but aren't willing to come rescue me.
To my cynical delight, I find that we are here at the day of truth when it comes to taking care of this part of your heart. A day to celebrate love, though typically romantic, I am choosing (as so many secretly unabashedly romantic cynics are) to celebrate the love I hold for myself. I am not seeing anyone right now, and that is the most loving thing I can be doing for myself. Case in point: Last night, I got a call. As I'd been expecting an email conversation to finish via phone during the evening, I lept to answer it. To my humbling surprise, it was an old gym buddy - 75 years old actually, who took my hip hop dance class as religiously as I did waaaayyyyy back when I was at the original Cubeville. He is coming east to visit some friends in Florida and thought he'd give me a ring and see how I'm doing.
The part about all this is that I totally forgot about the other call I expected because I was too thrilled that I'd gotten this one. Worse, the last few times I talked to the person I expected, I wasn't left with the glow this old guy and his raspy voice inspired of me in the 6 minutes he could spare to chat.
So, sure, I hide away, I tuck my Repunzel braid into the corner and don't dare look out the window at the passers by. But, when I'm not looking, I get a knock at the door.
Not that any of the He's that are checking on me will be my Happily Ever After, but, when a girl goes to bed with a smile on her face, it makes her think that tomorrow she just might let her hair down.