Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gain and Loss in the "Shield Oasis"

My hometown had several neighborhoods whose name started with the word Neve (oasis). The oldest and most famous was Neve Magen - The Shield Oasis. This neighborhood (adjacent to ours) , was established for the families of high rank officers in the Army. It had little streets with private cute houses and with a very special atmosphere, that of a community with common interests. In tense times (during pre-war,war, post-war), the atmosphere became that of a close family.

A haute-couture seamstress whose clientelle was based almost entirely on the wives and daughters of those army officers lived in our vicinity. One day she turned to me ,a high -school girl, and asked whether I would be willing, after school hours, to keep an eye on a seven year old boy whose mother had died untimely on the previous year. I was to stay with him until his father, the officer, gets back from Headquarters or any of the grandparents show up, whatever comes first. I accepted the offer as the money was generous, the boy, Danny, seemed well behaved, and I was kind of excited to play 'little mother' to him.

One day, Danny came home from school with a black swollen eye. He got beatten by a classmate. The next day, our officer took the kid by hand and the two strolled towards the school building which was not far , to face the little agressor. The latter was not present as he got suspended from school immediately after the incident , so, our arrogant officer (yes, he was very arrogant) "spilled " it all on the young teacher. He accused her , in front of the whole class, of incompetence, lack of control and failure to impose discipline, threatened to have her fired , and finally made her burst into tears.

When father and son came back home, the boy entered his tiny room, locked the door, and refused to eat and/or talk to his father. He cried loudly and bitterly repeating between the heartaching sobs the one question :how dare you talk like this to my beloved teacher?.

I approached the officer and told him he must go look for the teacher ,apologize in front of her, and ask her to come talk to the boy. Since he loved his child more than his arrogance, he did that. He arrived with the teacher . The boy unlocked the door and fell into her arms, still neither looking at, nor speaking to his father. The teacher was invited to stay for dinner. She stayed for dinner, and then... stayed forever. It all happened very fast: the officer had fallen in love with her, asked her to marry him and insisted that she quit her job as a teacher.

I was very proud to have been the 'architect' of all this happy end. However, I was also aware of the fact that the three were winners, I was the loser in this story. They all got Love plus something: the teacher got a loving husband, the officer got a loving wife, the boy got a loving stepmother and private teacher , whereas I was about to lose a job with good money.
As they say : One person's Gain is another Person's Loss.

Happy Valentine's Day!


  1. *LOL* But weren't you happy that your were the Loser? ^_^

  2. GREAT STORY always. Nothing is coincidence in life. BEAUTIFUL LOVE STORY.

  3. Beautiful....thank you for writing this on your blog for all of us to read. HUGS..

  4. Wonderful story! Lucky little boy. Thanks for sharing!

    until next time... nel

  5. This is such an amazing and beautiful story. How fortunate the little boy had you in his life when he most needed a loving companion and look what your concern and compassion brought forth! Happy Valentine's Day to you!

  6. Duta, this is such a touching and heartwarming story. You were a wonderful architect. Somehow, I don't have a hard time seeing you as the type of person who acts for the highest good of all, not just yourself. This was a gem for your crown in Heaven.

    Be my Valentine?

  7. Lovely one dear Duta. the place looks so similar to India. I really like the blog's title 'Places with Character.'

    Have a swimming Sunday.

    Joy always,

  8. What a sweet story. Thank you for a Valentine smile.

  9. This is such a loving,touching story Duta,I enjoyed reading this very much.
    How wise you were at such a young age,to have brought this family such joy and reconciliation.Shame it meant loosing your job though.!!

  10. That is a lovely story Duta. You were a very smart girl. I wonder if the officer and his family think of you and your role in their love story?

  11. Beautiful story, Duta. Isn't it wonderful that you were involved and witnessed love (not only between the two adults, but also the child?) Happy Valentine's Day.

  12. PinkPanthress,

    I was proud and joyful, but when I realized I was going to loose my job it was like a cloud that turned my bright day into a grey, dull one.

    The Bug, Jennifer, Ms Hen,

    Thank you for liking my story. In a way it suits the theme of Love that is specific of Valentine's day. There are several kinds of love in it: love of a father for his son, love of a man for a woman, love of a teacher for her pupil, love of a child for his parent and teacher.


    The boy was indeed lucky as his father loved him madly, and the young teacher was fond of him both as a child and as a pupil.


    Thanks for your warm words. I really tried my best with the boy. It wasn't easy for me, still in high school, with homework to do, and with friends I wanted to meet and have fun with.

  13. Ronda Laveen,

    Your comment made my day. It's so nice that someone thinks highly of me even without knowing me personally, only on the basis of my writing!
    Have a blessed, happy week!

    Susan Deborah,

    You're right about the similarity. We have also warm weather here and we wear light clothes(I especially like the indian fabrics).
    Have a wonderful day!

    Angel Mc,

    Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you liked the story. Love is a subject close to anyone's heart.


    It wasn't so much a matter of my wisdom (thanks for the compliment), but of knowing the weak side of each of the characters involved. I knew the father was arrogant, the child was stubborn, and he adored his teacher who was very vulnerable, yet a kind person.

    Jennifer D,

    Thank you. Yes, they were grateful to me and they showed their gratitude in several ways, one of them being by helping me find other sources that could generate good pocketmoney.

    C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson,

    It's wonderful indeed to be involved in and witness Love within such a delicate triangle of man, woman, child!

  14. Such a sweet story, Duta. It's so great when a man realizes his mistake and apologizes. His reward was very sweet.

  15. A wonderful story. One door shuts and another one opens...Perhaps you had an altering moment at that time too...losing the job likely sent you in a different direction?
    Yours is one of my favourite blogs Duta, always interesting!

  16. Well, you were just the little matchmaker without realizing it. What a very appropriate story for Valentine's Day. I must say you were quite the brave young woman tellin' the officer just what he should do. I'm sure the story lead you right into another interesting aspect of your life.

    God bless and Happy Valentine's Day!!!

  17. I never leave your blog without a smile or a new insight. What an awesome story! I think you still won.

    I'm so grateful that that love overcame arrogance this time.

  18. This is a WONDERFUL story!! Thanks SO much for presenting it in such a dear way! Wonderful. Just wonderful.

  19. What a wonderful love story for Valentine's Day. You definitely have a way with words. I felt like I was right there watching.

  20. I think everyone was the winner in this story -- including you. You have a wonderful memory that you will keep with you forever, of bringing together a family.

    What a perfect story for Valentine's day...!

  21. Janie B,

    Men find it more difficult to apologize than women; and this man, the officer, was arrogant, so you can imagine what it meant to him. And yet he did it ,and like you said his reward was


    Thank you for your kind comment.
    I was a high school girl at that time and I wasn't looking for different directions. After leaving this job I got something similar for less money but also less hours so it wasn't that bad.


    Looking back, I think I was brave telling that arrogant man what to do. But I was sure there was no other way, so I found within myself,the courage to speak up.
    God bless you too!

    Nancy C.

    Such nice words! Thank you.
    Indeed, Love in this case overcame arrogance, and this is beatiful!


    Your comment is...wonderfully Wonderful!


    I feel very flattered by your words. Coming from you who is such a perfectionist, it does something to me. And by the way, you can be very proud of your daughter Jamie. What a writing and what a gifted dancer!!!

  22. Happy Valentine's Day ! It's very nice a post !Thanks...! Please don't forget, today is the Lunar New Year's Day too...

  23. Duta, I read your post to my husband last night. He was equally impressed. ;)

  24. What a beautiful story! And how great of you to make him apologize to that poor teacher. I love the fact that the little guy was so sad for his teacher. Why do I think this will be part of him forever? One more kind soul on our planet!!

  25. The story is very suitable for Valentine's Day. It reminds me of the movie “The Sounds of Music”
    The captain, as the officer, fell in love with his children's teacher.
    Do not think you are the loser in this story!
    According to our tradition, a match gives you one-third of paradise.

  26. Jo,

    Well said. It's both a wonderful memory for me and a good story for Valentine's Day.


    Good to hear from you. Thanks for the comment and
    Happy Lunar New Year's Day to you!


    I'm glad and honored that your husband liked this post of mine. Thank you for showing it to him and give him my Best Regards!

    Mrs E,

    Welcome to my little blog!
    "The little guy", Danny, was a wonderful, sensitive boy who grew up and turned into a kind young man- " one more kind soul on our planet".


    Thanks for your beautiful comment.I wasn't familiar (until now) with the issue of matchmaking in our tradition. Well, I like the idea of one third of Paradise.

  27. What an awesome story Duta! You probably don't even remember how much money you earned or how you spent it, but you will always remember that you gave a little boy a mother.

  28. Alicia,

    As a matter of fact, I needed the money, but in the long run one remembers, as you say, not the things money can buy but the things love and compassion can get.

  29. Well done! That was such a sweet story. Maybe you can help me find someone for one of my sisters?
    Hope you had a lovely Valentine's Day. By the way...I've added the cake recipe to my recent post. You're right - It was a pity that I didn't include it. Have a great day, Duta!

  30. All is well that ends well. I bet it was not long before you had another job. Peace

  31. Well told DUTA. Stories with happy endings (for most of the characters!) are my favorites.
    Thanks for coming by!

  32. Such a great story, especially for Valentine's day! Hope you had a great one.

  33. Oh my goodness Duta, next to world traveler you are also a match maker!! Also, you are commendable for being able to tell the arrogant guy the truth!

  34. Pinecone Camp,

    Many thanks for adding the recipe of the cake to your lovely post!
    If your sisters look like you,I'm sure they don't need a matchmaker. Anyway, thanks for your nice comment.

    Lady Di Tn,

    You're correct in your assumption. I got a similar job with fewer working hours and less money, but it still covered my needs. Peace.


    Thank you.
    I also like happy endings. In fact, who doesn't?


    Welcome! Thanks for your comment.
    Well, Love makes any story a great one, and fit for all days, especially Valentine's Day.

    jeannette stgermain,

    I know you're kind and mean well but I'm not that great neither as a traveler nor as a matchmaker. I admit, however, facing that arrogant person with courage and confidence.

  35. What a fantastic story Duta...and how wise you were to tell him what he needed to do. So when you lost your job....what did you do then?

  36. It took a lot of guts to stand up for that sweet little boy and do the right thing. You risked losing your job by doing that. In the end you lost it anyway but what better way to lose it than to love? Very touching, Duta. Hope your Valentine's Day was as magical as this story.

  37. A very beautiful story indeed. I'm sorry I'm a few days late in sending you Valentine wishes, so... happy belated Valentine's Day! (Hugs)

  38. Dave King,

    I hope so. Thank you.


    I got another job, something smaller with less working hours and less money, but of similar nature.


    I knew more than he did about the special relationship between the teacher and his kid, so that gave me the courage to speak up.
    As for the job, you put it beautifully "..What better way to lose it than to love?"


    There's nothing to be sorry about.Thank you for your wishes and hugs. Hope you had a lovely Valentine's day.

  39. Very nice story dear Duta. You are very good in story telling and of course writing! Hugs.

  40. You were very wise even at a young age, Duta!

    No, I'd say you gained something. You gained even more wisdom and discretion- you learned taking action shored up the rightness of your cause in ways you could never have imagined.

    DUTA, this is SO weird!

    I dream all the time about my blog followers- right? So odd.

    And last night I had a dream about being in my old house when I was a child, however in the dream I was grown up, like now.

    My boyfriend, soon to be my husband in the dream, was named "DANNY"!

    I woke up this morning still in my bed, reflecing on the dream and I thought to myself, I don't even know anyone named Danny.

    It's just so bizarre you are writing about a Danny today!

  41. Phivos Nicolaides,

    I feel very flattered by your calling me "a good story teller". Thanks for the compliment.

    Entrepeneur Chick,

    Thanks for your interesting comment.
    As for your dream,it's indeed sort of bizarre to dream about a Danny that was going to become boyfriend and husband, and the next day to read about a boy with this particular name. Just coincidence? Who knows.

  42. What a wonderful story! It could be a movie script or a novel. Everyone loves a happy ending.

  43. Thank you so much for taking the time today to find my blog AND to comment!!! I surely do appreciate it.

  44. Tracie,

    Thank you. I really appreciate your reading my post as I know you are 'invaded' by lots of readers and it's not easy for you to find the time to visit everyone.

    Keetha Broyles,

    You're welcome. It's been my pleasure. You've got a very fine blog!

  45. What a great story! So well told, too. With an ending like that I bet you didn't mind losing the job so much.

  46. What a lovely story. You have a gift for writing and storytelling.

    Others to lose would be the children from the school where the teacher had worked. She should have kept her job. And then she would have had everything. :)

  47. Sandy,

    Thanks Sandy. Well, I had ambivalent feelings at first, but the joy of seeing a happy family has in the end overcome my feelings about the job losing issue.

    Sharon McPherson,

    Why Thank you so much. Coming from you that's a huge compliment ("you have a gift for writing and storytelling"). I'm flattered.

    As for the teacher, teaching is a very difficult profession., and I think when they got married she was already pregnant so her staying at her job was not relevant at that time.