Blue Rubber Bands


For our ninth wedding anniversary, I picked up nine gifts and hid them around the house for Andrew to find. One of them was a blue rubber band ball I found while browsing Anthropologie. I saw it and immediately knew it would make Andrew laugh; for the entirety of our relationship, he has carried his license, cards, and cash in a doubled-over rubber band instead of a wallet. I saw the ball and thought, a hundred wallets! 

Upon buying the gift, I stood grinning while I handed the store clerk a few dollars. Is this all for you? she asked. And I felt compelled to tell her my story, even though I rarely chat up strangers. As soon as I told her about my quirky husband’s wallet habit, her eyes teared up. OH! she said, completely choked up, My father used to do that! It takes a certain kind of man to carry his things inside of a rubber band. I miss him so much!

And then there we were, two complete strangers with tears in our eyes — all because of a simple story and a reminder of something sweet about people we both loved: about someone I was still able to love, and about someone she was missing, about two strangers now connected. I think we can reach people with our stories and openness. I was so touched by our interaction, I think it will stay with me whenever I see Andrew pull out his blue rubber band wallet.

Have a lovely weekend.

5 thoughts on “Blue Rubber Bands”
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  1. What a beautiful story. I attended the funeral of the father of a close friend on Wednesday. There were several stories told during that service that had the same affect on me. We are connected in so many, many ways, and those little stories are the best way to discover those connections.

  2. Hello, just me crying over here when reading your blog. As usual. What a simple, beautiful story. In part because of its simplicity, including the image of the blue rubber band. Like the cords that bind us all together a human beings, do you think? Thanks so much for sharing this with us. 🙂

  3. So awesome. I find that I’ve become much more “socially chatty” with strangers and passersby since my kids have gone to school and there’s a lot of small talk with other parents in the halls. Small talk that builds into a bigger relationship/concept of a person over time. I’m a classic introvert and have never considered myself good with people … until now.

    In recent years I’ve realized that because of my interest in other people or my general willingness to share something like what you’ve described above I know so many people in my community: doormen at the Chase, people at the gym, baristas at Starbucks, neighbors from streets way over yonder who walk past with kids and dogs, my UPS guy, my mailman, my parent’s neighbors and kids, etc the list goes on and on. I am more contented and happy because I know about their kids, their parents, their new car purchases! I feel connected and part of something bigger and generally more grounded. These moments aren’t little! And they can happen anywhere. I’ve often surprised myself with this sort of openness and I think its hugely important for a healthy and verdant world. And, ya know, our kids are watching.

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