Once upon a time, there was a girl who had just gone through an unexpected breakup and who was feeling really down. But she loved dancing, especially contra dancing, and especially especially the waltzes. It always felt so great to have a guy leading her across the floor and twirling her around like a queen. One day just a few weeks after the nasty surprise she went to a dance and wore a brand-new hot-pink dress that flared out like a giant pink flower when she twirled. She received many compliments on that dress throughout the night, which really boosted her spirits. She was really having a great time. But one moment stuck with her longer than any other. There was a geeky guy there, with bony shoulders and longish hair, who would occasionally ask her to dance. He knew what he was doing, and though he was not one of the very best she never minded dancing with him. The night she wore the pink dress and was feeling down, he asked her to waltz. As she expected, he was not the greatest waltzer, but he had rhythm and was clearly thrilled that she had accepted his offer to dance. Partway through the dance, he gazed down at her and said, in a shy voice, "You really stand out in that dress. I mean, not that you don't stand out all the time ..." And she smiled. And she smiled and smiled, because it was one of the nicest things a perfect stranger could have said. And she smiled that he had worked up the nerve to say it. And while that was probably the only time he had ever talked to her, and possibly even the last time they danced together, she still remembers that one small shy comment that one geeky guy with bony shoulders and longish hair had worked up such a nerve to say to her once as he tried his best to twirl her around the floor. And sometimes, when she is waiting for the bus, or walking to college, or trying to decide which earrings to wear, she suddenly and unexpectedly remembers what he said and how he said it. And she smiles and smiles all over again, just as much as she had the first time.
That geeky guy will never know just how much happiness he has brought into her life by that one sentence and a half. But she knows, and she smiles.
Thank you, geeky guy, for making me happy so many times over the past year.