The first time I got mail to my apartment, it was a defective wi-fi modem from Verizon. Needless to say, my expectations for deliveries were set pretty low.
Today, after coming back from a run, I found the broken lock on my mailbox poking out just a little more and saw the corner of an envelope showing through. And my first thought was: “Great, first Con-Ed bill.”
When I pulled out the envelope, it turned out to be a 5 ½” by 7 ½” with my name and address written on the center. So no bill and handwritten? Finally, my eyes brightened up.
Ripping open the envelope, I found a note card with a crushed orchid on it. And I knew, instantly, who it was from.
A few weeks ago, I went to visit the New York Botanical Garden for their Annual Orchid Show. My date was a friend who stepped in after my original pretty boy date flaked. Walking through the exhibit, I was just mentally kicking myself. I always went to this show by myself. The one time I invite someone out he flakes?
I think I kicked myself from the Caribbean orchids to the ones from Asia, from the ones arranged like a Broadway marquee to the ones set up as a chandelier. And even though I was down on myself, I ended up having a pretty good time. There were orchids, there were free white ginger orchid cocktails and there was my friend who had swooped in to keep me from going it alone.
In his Chucks and blazer, my friend looked just like how I always describe him to others: Maxwell clone with Malcolm Gladwell swag. Sitting there, I remember looking over at him taking photos of the show and thinking, “What a good guy. When he finds a girl, he’ll treat her right.”
I’ll skip ahead a few lines and get to where I’m sure by now you know where this one ends: with that 5 ½” by 7 ½” envelope in my hands. Inside was a sweet note that began with the words:
“’I’m only sending this because UPS doesn’t let you ship orchid cocktails…”
The truth is that, to me, holding that note felt like getting a mailbox full of orchid cocktails. And it wasn’t because it was a huge gesture, it was because it was the right one. I’m realizing that sometimes in stressing the disappointments that come our way, we often ignore the growth that is there too. Paying attention to who or what doesn’t come through for us can make us forget the constant presence of the people and opportunities placed in our lives especially for us.
Today, forget about the deliveries that never came through. Wait and be patient, believing something better is in the mail.