Love In A Paper Bag

imagesThere’s a woman in her 70s I see all the time on the avenue. We’ve never formally met, but we always say hello to one another.

I know nothing about her except she takes the express bus back to the Bronx most days at 5 o’clock.

I love how she looks in her old-fashioned charcoal gray suit as if she were on her way to church, a little feathered fedora angled on her head…

our repartee going something like this:

“Hi, there,” I say, how you doing today?”

“I’m good, thanks…and you?”

“Good, happy to be going home.”

“Me too…me too.”

This little exchange has been going on now for a good 8 months. I’m actually surprised when I don’t see her leaning on the wall by her stop.

Wednesday, right on schedule, there she was all bundled like a tiny Christmas package.

“You look warm,” I say, glad she takes such good care of herself.

“I am, and I have somethin for you,” halting me, surprised by this.

“You do?”

She reaches into her Museum of Modern Art tote handing me a little gold bag tied withΒ  curly red ribbon.

“May I open it?”

Her smile gives me permission.

Inside was a little crocheted pink and light blue doily, the kind you put on the arm of a chair or side table, she clearly made herself, with the word LOVE sewn in the center.

“This is so beautiful,” I say, visibly touched, “what made you give me such a special gift?”

“Because you remind me I’m still here breathin and livin, every time you ask how I am.”

Happy Valentines Day everybody.Β Β  images-1


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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35 Responses to Love In A Paper Bag

  1. Lisa says:

    Happy (early) Valentine’s Day! πŸ™‚


  2. Perfect, absolutely perfect! Love comes in all shapes and sizes.


  3. pmahaney says:

    Susannah you made someones day, and it doesn’t surprise me a bit. Happy Valentine’s Day.


  4. micklively says:

    You’re doing a grand job Susannah: keep spreading the love.


  5. Elle Knowles says:

    The familiarity of someone’s presence is always a shock when it’s not there as expected. She probably notices when you are absent also. That was such a sweet gesture Susannah and you two have that personality trait in common. ~Elle


  6. Rubenstein, Hal says:

    So sweet ! Hope you’re feeling well, stay warm


  7. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, I love this post! What a difference a few kind words can make in someone’s life!


  8. Lynn says:

    How wonderful would it be if all of us spent as much energy on a day to day basis, spreading a wee bit of love & friendship to not only our loved ones, but people we meet on a day to day basis, rather than sweating it out that one day a year, in search of the perfect card or setting up the perfect romantic date.

    I suspect this lovely lady has a few of those doilies tucked away in her purse. I imagine her gifting one now & again to those people who remind her there is much to be learned by the simple act of kindness & caring. I am not surprised you are one of the Susannah.

    Wishing you a happy love day!


    • Hi Lynn…I’ll bet she does too. Bet she has a gift drawer with all kinds of gems and goodies. Valentines Day produces a lot of pressure since if you don’t step up you’re saying I don’t love you…I’d prefer to be loved all year, not just on the 14th of February though we’ve been brainwashed into thinking it’s a holy day rather than just a consumers.

      Read your New Years post but good old wordpress wouldn’t let me comment or LIKE…OOH…if he were an actual man I’d bop him right in the nose.


  9. bob181 says:

    Susannah, happy valentine day. My grandparents were from Italy (D’agostino). Here is a link to youtube re: Nonna Paola and her new iPhone. Your Grandpa was Italian so you may enjoy this. Bob – Fairfield, Ct.


  10. Reminds me of my sister-in-law’s now deceased mother. She was old school all the way. Didn’t go out without gloves and a hat. Very proper. She had a box of stuff, mostly costume jewelry but other stuff too that she would dip into for gifts. As a child I was often given an old brooch or piece of jewelry that was not necessarily valuable but was very pretty. That was about 50 years ago and I have those pieces today. I didn’t wear them in the 60s and 70s (I was all hippy then) but I did wear them with my business suits after that. She was always a special lady. Your story reminded me about her. Thanks for the memory and I am not surprised you received a gift. Not a lot of people greet older women (perhaps men too). You are one of a kind!


  11. Pingback: Lovers Gonna Love | Life With The Top Down

  12. That is so sweet, Susannah. It really shows how much common courtesies can mean to people.
    As you can tell, I’m catching up with my athingirl reading since I got a bit behind. πŸ˜‰


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