How I Won Isabel's Heart
I keep telling people that when service and selflessness pays off it pays off in ways you can't anticipate or expect. Well it just happened for me.
"In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love." - Alfred Lord Tennyson
A Mexican-American bricklayer repaired a wall for me last weekend. On Sunday he brought along his 5 year-old daughter, Isabel as well as her 8 year-old big brother, Josh. Isabel has long black hair to middle of her back, BIG dark eyes, perfect features, and a beautiful smile that is actually enhanced by the temporary gap where her front teeth used to be.
Not to put too fine a point on it, I was a goner the moment I set eyes on her. But unfortunately Isabel would have none of it. She refused to say a word to me and only coyly smiled and looked away when I spoke to her.
Her father, eager to spare my feelings, assured me that she was just incredibly shy. But I was determined to win her heart. First thing I did was give her and her brother a Coke. Then I plied them with popcorn. But Isabel remained adamant; she would not speak to me.
My first break came when their father's helper mentioned that Josh and Isabel wanted to see my cows. I quickly loaded them into my truck and drove them out to see the cows. We all had so much fun petting the baby calves and getting sniffed by their mothers that I could plainly see that her implacable resolve was weakening. But still she would not speak.
When we returned I went back to my garden work. I could plainly hear Isabel laughing and talking a blue streak with her brother as they played some game while their father labored close by.
I had just sadly given up hope when I suddenly saw her leading her father by the hand to where I stood leaning on my shovel. Her father leaned over and she whispered into his ear. "Isabel would like to see your house," her father said as she shyly beamed up at me.
Next thing you know I'm giving her and her brother the cook's tour of my house as the animated Isabel plies me with questions non stop. At the end of the tour I gave them each ten dollars and some orange juice, and I was deeply gratified when I noticed that Isabel kept her ten spot tight in her fist for the rest of the day.
After they left I came in for a brow beating at the hands of my brother, Tom. "Jesus Augie," he said, "you got me out of bed so we could work in the garden. Then you spent the whole day playing with those kids."
He is right of course, but he failed to notice that I did get something done. I managed to hire Isabel's father to do some more work . And guess what? When he called yesterday to give me the estimate, Isabel insisted on getting on the phone just to say "hi." A gesture which of course, utterly made my day.