One day, on Nextdoor.com I received the following private message:
“Hi Allen! Creepy question, but are you single, by chance?? You have the KINDEST eyes I’ve ever seen! Great smile too!!”
The note came from a woman I did not know. But on the face of it, the message certainly felt friendly enough, all in keeping with the warm spirit of Nextdoor. On the other hand, one might be tempted to ask, “Did the message come from Nigeria?” “Could she be a scammer?” “Is she a gold digger on the prowl?”
I’m not completely naïve. If she had asked for $1,500 to make her way back from Cambodia to the States, I would have dropped her cold—but that was not the case. I took her at her word. I saw her as a person who was weary with being alone, one who simply sought the warm embrace of companionship. Although she gave my eyes and smile more credit than they merited, how could I dismiss a woman who ended each sentence with an exclamation mark?
No, I considered her a human being in search of love, and isn’t that what we all seek? How could I ignore her? This was the exchange that followed:
From Allen: “My friend, your compliment has made my day. Heck, it may have made my lifetime. No, I am not single. I’ve been married for 52 years to a woman who, I assure you, has eyes exceedingly more kind than mine. If you’re looking for someone for yourself, I do hope you find him—wherever he may be. All the best. Allen”
From Nextdoor friend: “She’s a lucky woman! God bless you both!” [You’ve got to love her exclamation marks.]
From Allen: “Thank you. And blessings to you too.”
That was when I got the idea of sharing this dialogue. Because I felt our conversation was healthy—one marked by “kindness and compassion”—I asked for her permission to compose and post our exchange.
“You are so sweet,” she responded. “Thank you for asking. Of course, you may write whatever you’d like. The world could use some encouragement right now!”
Then, after sending her my narrative for final approval before posting, she wrote, “Ahhh!! That made me cry!! Of course, you may post this! May others find love as special as the one you obviously share with your bride!”
So, that’s our story. I may never meet my new Nextdoor friend, but I do think about her. I hope she’ll find a man with kind eyes and a great smile—and one day sleep in his arms, knowing she is greatly loved and safe from harm! Exclamation mark intentional.