NOTE: This is one of my all-time favorite posts. It combines love, memory, and a goodly dose of laughing at myself. Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!!!
When I was in high school I dated a guy who was a good friend. I’ll call my friend Joe. We drove the back roads in Joe’s car and partied with our friends. We laughed a lot.
I was shocked to go back for a high school reunion and learn that Joe had died. Too many cigarettes and alcohol; his heart gave out and he simply fell over dead. I had hoped he’d be at the reunion to say hello and yes, share a drink and a laugh again.
Sleep well, Joe.
Winters in upstate New York start early and go on forever. In February, the ground is still frozen and covered with snow. In February, tulips and bluebells, snow drops and crocuses are wishful thinking. Baby, it’s cold outside!
Back then I had a ratty old bathrobe. It was a quilted white thing with a floral pattern. The buttons fell off one by one and I never bothered to sew them back on. I just belted the robe tighter around my waist.
One lazy morning I woke late and took a shower. In those days I thought I could tame my curly hair, and washing it always involved a tedious process of destroying it afterwards on hot curlers. Believe me, I know how counter-intuitive it sounds!
It took an hour for my hair to dry this way, so I decided to give myself a face mask. No sense in getting dressed yet. When I pulled on my robe I saw it had lost another button. About two and a half buttons were left, the third one hanging literally by a thread.
I put on big fuzzy pink slippers and went downstairs to get a cup of coffee.
As I headed back through the house the doorbell rang. Whoever was waiting there spotted me. There was nothing I could do but go and answer the door.
I opened the door and … it was Joe. He took in the sight of the racoon mask of cracking green mud, my hair up in 15 spiky hot rollers, the psychedelic dead animal lookalikes on my feet and that rag of a robe.
I decided to brazen it out. I pulled the belt tighter and leaned against the door jamb. I raised an arm above my head. I struck a vamp pose: Domestic Goddess, in Disguise. “You rang?” I asked.
He smiled. “This is for you. Happy Valentine’s Day!” And with a flourish he held out a single long-stemmed red rose.
Sweet Joe: he’d gone out and gotten a long stemmed red rose for his mother, his sister,
I’ve looked better at every other Valentine’s Day (and no, I have not looked worse!). But I’ve seldom gotten a red rose that means more.
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, EVERYONE!!
(Photos courtesy of dreamstime.com)
NOTE: © Jadi Campbell.
Click here for my author page to learn more about my books and me.
37 thoughts on “You Rang?”
What a touching memory of a rose,the Valentine’s Day, and Joe!
Thank you for sharing.
Some memories just keep one smiling
Wait for it… not surprised that you had that edge at an early age. Here’s to Joe!
What a sweet story. Happy Valentines Day.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Don as well
Great tribute to Joe,beautiful rose images !!! Loved the long-stemmed one ✿ ✿ ✿
What a wonderful memory of an old friend.
I just hope he wasn’t too scarred by the experience. 🙂
I love this story — and your style of telling it. Very heart-warming. Makes me smile on this frosty cold morning here in our long, cold winter!
It’s the kind of story that could only come out of wintry upstate NY….
Awww. This one was really lovely to read. To Joe.
I agree, a toast to Joe.
Hi Jadi! Greetings! You have been mesmerizing us with your wonderful stories.
I edit “5 Stories”, a magazine completely dedicated to fiction (stories and novellas). We are looking forward to have some brilliant and best short stories from around the world.
For details, please visit: http://bit.ly/5StoriesSubmission
Love to have your submission to 5 Stories.
Hi Rohith, thanks for the kind words! I’m flattered. I’ll be stopping by your website very soon. All the best, Jadi
Odd the memories holidays bring. Good ones (memories) are worth their weight in roses 🙂
Thanks for your visit.
“Worth their weight in roses” — love that. And some roses never lose their sweet scent.
A Valentine’s to remember. And so glad you did, since he’s gone.
Indeed! It’s the best memory, happy and sad and embarassing and wonderful, all mixed together.
Hi Jadi, Happy Valentine’s Day! I believe I have heard stories about Joe. This was an enjoyable story to read. Love you and miss you, Lynn
Hi Lynn, great to see your comment here. Ditto from this end too. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and John.
Great story Jadi! I can just see you making that pose! Have a happy day with Uwe!
Probably because we practiced those poses together as kids… Have a great day with Chuck!
What a great story! I’ll bet lots of us can relate to the ratty robe and fuzzy slippers. It’s a wonderful and funny memory of Joe, and I’m sure he fondly remembered the sight all his life! Happy Valentine’s Day.
Uh, Marilyn, I’m sure Joe was HAUNTED by the sight all of his life…
Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too!
Funny memory, great words, honest emotions. Thank you for sharing!
Hi Cindi, you’re very welcome. I’ve known for weeks that this memory had to be my February 14th post!
Happy Valentines Day.
That Joe sounds like a fine man. I’m sorry for your loss.
Joe was a great guy and a true friend. As you say, one fine man!
Happy memories. I hope you have a Wonderful Valentine’s Day.
xxx Huge Hugs xxx
Same to you, David!
Love this one! And I still owe you a long email. I’m working on it. (There is one error in the next to the last line, parenthetical statement, has two “have”s). And Happy Valentine to you and Uwe too.
Thanks Diana: I fixed the error. (This is why I like having you as one of my alpha readers.) Look forward to your email!