a little of that human touch

One of my former classmates from the grad class I took last semester dropped off a card to me today. The reason she dropped off a card was that when I saw her yesterday morning I told her that Ashley and I are now engaged.

Now, I’ll admit that a card struck me as unnecessary. She said yesterday, “Aw! That’s great! I feel like a handshake or a hug would be appropriate here!” and we promptly hugged, which was the first time we’d had any real physical contact and so for me at least was a bit awkward, plus also the fact that she is very slight of physical build and I am pretty much the exact opposite of slight and in those situations I always feel like Kirby next to the Mario Babies. And like I said she was a classmate.  While she was one of the more polite of my classmates and while she always asked after Ashley, we aren’t what I might consider close friends. So, yeah, a card seemed a bit over-the-top.

But still: It’s just about the nicest thing ever when someone takes some of her own personal time to help you celebrate – something outside of just hitting that gods-cursed ‘Like’ button on Facebook.(1)

The smiley-faced flowers put it over-the-top over-the-top.

Anyway. She made a point of telling me that Ashley’s name should be on the envelope, since it’s for both of us, but she left it off since she was planning on leaving it in my mailbox at work and thought adding Ashley’s name might be odd somehow.(2)  I’d recently received an invitation in the mail from a friend who’d invited me and guest to an event, even though Ashley and I have been together long enough that everyone knows she’s my plus-one, if you will. So the contrast between that, from a long-time friend, and this, from someone who barely knows Ashley (and really me) at all…well, it’s as informative as it is nice.

And then inside the card was a handwritten note. So if the card was insanely nice, a handwritten note constitutes about the most human thing ever in my view. One-third of the note was addressed to both of us, 1/3rd addressed to me, and 1/3rd was addressed to Ashley. She and Ashley had met exactly once. Once. For maybe like three minutes at a protest rally on campus a few months ago. Not exactly a get-to-know-you situation. Yet she(3) was kind enough to appeal directly to Ash and to wish her well.

The point here is that, just like the time my professor clipped an article from the newspaper to send me, I am so astoundingly touched by this simple, human, interaction. I haven’t even kept up a solid email-relationship with this woman, but upon hearing some news she takes it upon herself to do something so extraordinarily other-directed that I wish I could surround myself with people like her. So I can learn from them.

At any rate, thank you, Christina, for being so amazingly kind.


  1. And don’t forget that you can ‘like’ this post at the bottom!
  2. I did wait until Ashley met me for lunch to open it.
  3. i.e. – the former classmate and writer-of-the-note.
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