“The winter is so very cold, and dark, and when the dog leaves the bed to bark at the extended squirrel family in the attic, it leaves me colder, and also wide awake, but there is still love, always love, I presume,” said an anonymous turn-of-a-century poet. Even the Romantic poets stumbled when it came to celebrating love in the frozen-block-of-ice month called February. Luckily, Valentine’s Day can thaw the hearts of all, even those of us who wear athletic socks to bed, populate areas far from the Equator, and are beginning to doubt all of our life choices.
To celebrate this storied holiday built on executions, two men named “Valentine,” and paganism, we are devoting a special column to missed connections. Here’s to love, found in the most unexpected places.
Zoom for You: You were at the joint school committee meeting on Zoom, part of the lengthy superintendent search. I considered volunteering for the committee but thought it would be super boring and that the acting superintendent was, in all likelihood, good enough. I was part of the “public forum,” where I could submit a written question, but continued watching Call My Agent when the answers dragged on forever. You were possibly male, and there was a photograph, or maybe a painting, of something beautiful and blue in your Zoom background. If I had to guess, I’d say it was a beach, but it could have been a framed diploma. Anyway, the lighting was low, but your voice was clear as a bell. I so wish I had gotten your name from the screen, but I was watching the meeting on my phone, and it wouldn’t let me scroll back to your square. Hope we can connect offline!
Beach View for Two: I was strolling on Ballston Beach to take a gander at the big house on the tiny wooden legs. It was early morning, a weekday, before breakfast. The air was so cold even my armpits were shivering. I was wearing black snow pants, a black parka with a faux fur trim, gray snow boots, a red hat with a cream pom-pom, a striped olive green and white scarf, fluffy alpaca mittens, and tortoise-rimmed sunglasses. You were having what I presume was coffee in your green (I think?) Subaru, parked up in the lot. The wind was blowing sand and snow into my face, so I had to duck into my car quickly, and by the time I took off my mittens, sunglasses, hat, and scarf you were gone! Please introduce yourself next time you see me out and about, and hopefully we could grab coffee together, and hit the beach for a walk made warmer by your presence.
Share a Cart: To the door holder in the black knit hat, the white KN95 mask, and the Air Jordans in corduroy — you held the door for me at the Wellfleet Marketplace as I rushed inside from the cold. I was wearing a black KN95 mask, a black parka, and Uggs. I know, I know, but they are just so warm! I should have stopped to chat, but then I would have let all the warm air out. I couldn’t see your face, of course, but I’m fairly certain you smiled at me. It was so kind of you to hold the door with your bare hand; I know that handle gets really cold. Where were your mittens? I have so many pairs I could lend you from my wayward youth, when I was a ski bum out West. Anyway, I thought of you in every aisle and hope you’ll introduce yourself when we see each other again. I have a hunch that, by next year, we’ll be grocery shopping together!