A Heartwarming Valentine’s Tale

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Valentine’s Day was ruined. How could I forget my own gift on the ferry? I threw down my book bag, hastily fed my cats, and stormed back out into the cold Rockaway night. Alas, it was for naught — the boat had already left the dock, with no more coming until 5:15 a.m.

The day had started lovely, too. Valerie, my Valentine, had surprised me with a gift of dark chocolate-covered strawberries from the Godiva store up the block from our office in the Financial District. We went out for tequila and fajitas after work, and then she walked me to the 8:15 p.m. ferry at Pier 11. Valerie made me promise to save her a strawberry as we parted, so I knew I had brought the white bag with me from the restaurant. But when I walked in my apartment, the bag was gone.

Maybe it was the long week, maybe it was the tequila. Either way, forgetting the gift threatened to permanently sour the holiday. I had to tell Valerie the bad news. Yet as I pulled out my phone, I was hit a dose of millennial inspiration — I could tweet NYCFerry to see if they still had the bag.

I had no time for punctuation or grammar: “@NYCFerry I left my Valentine’s Day gift on final Rockaway ferry of the evening, left at 8:15 from Pier 11. Is there any way I can get it back?”

Nine minutes after I sent the tweet, the mysterious “M” responded. He/she asked for a “detailed description of the item,” and the location I may have left it on. Per the request, I spared no piece of information.

“Hey NYC Ferry! I left my Valentine’s Day gift on final Rockaway bound ferry of the evening, leaving from Pier 11 at 8:15 p.m. It was a white Godiva bag with white tissue paper, and a gold Godiva box of chocolate-covered strawberries with a tag reading, “To: D From: V.” I was sitting on the left side of the vessel when you are entering the boat, about three or four rows in.”

“M” worked his/her magic and got back to me rather quickly. “Hello Dylan! Thank you for the detail. I believe we found the bag. They will be bringing it back to our homeport this evening and I can arrange for the bag to be at Pier 11/Wall Street tomorrow afternoon for pick up. Does that work?”

It did work. I went to Pier 11 twice on Friday — first shortly after 12 p.m., where it was confirmed that the gift was en route from the port, and then again with Valerie at 2:30 p.m., when the bag had returned to dock. The gold box and red bow were intact inside.

I have always scoffed at Valentine’s Day, but not anymore. There will always be a little extra magic on that day, now thanks to Valerie, “M” the miracle worker, and the kind crew at NYC Ferry. And yes, I kept my promise — we shared the strawberries this weekend.

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