Yesterday, I sprinted into Party City. I ran up to the counter, where the employees were busy pumping air into Spongebob and Hello Kitty balloons, then told the young girl behind the counter, “I want to write a message, tie it to a balloon, and release it into the air. Can I please have #36, the smiley face balloon? It’s urgent!” She stared down at me, said, “We don’t sell to lunatics peasant,” then looked to the next customer in line and shouted, “Next!” I was appalled.
That’s not exactly what took place, but I like to imagine that’s what happened. Actually, after I walked into the party store, looked around for a bit and then went up to the counter. “Excuse me?” I asked the girl working there, “Do you think I could have balloon #36 please?” She looked at me as if I had just asked her to do a strip tease. “You want it right now?” she asked, looking alarmed. “Oh, well is there a time that would be better or that I should return?” I asked. Luckily, the other young girl behind her intervened. “I can blow it up for you right now,” she said. Within seconds, I had my smiley face balloon.
I then drove over to the Staples to purchase a hole-puncher and this guy stood outside the neighboring grocery store waving. This day can’t get any better, I thought.
After taking advantage of some photo opts and Snapchats with my new balloon, I went outside and began crafting the note. I began with one of my favorite quotes by John Lennon: “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” Above all else, never forget to be happy. You are important! If this balloon/note is found, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About a month ago, after all of the environmentalists found me and said they would burn me at the stakes, I had time to go through the comments on my former post “Put a message in a bottle and throw it in the ocean.” Some readers suggested I should have put somewhere a person could contact me if he or she found my note. What a great idea! I thought. This time, I decided to go ahead with that suggestion.
It’s funny how doing something as innocent as attaching a note to a balloon and releasing it into the air often feels like committing some heinous crime. Before I released it, I made sure to avoid my neighbors’ gaze, whose deck rises slightly above our backyard fence, then released the balloon. I smiled as the balloon sailed away. It was beautiful.
Moments later, I cringed as I watched a plane coming directly toward the balloon and waited in anticipation. There goes that, I thought. Pop! Luckily, the plane flew past and my balloon went right on flying.
While I know my note and balloon are more likely to wind up in a tree or some other unlikely spot than a person’s hand, the possibility still excites me. Today, I searched on Google for some similar stories and was thrilled to find this one about a Christmas miracle on ABC News. There is hope!
Has anyone tried something similar or want to cross this item off his or her bucket list? I’d love to hear from you!