delilah’s divine love


Driving in the car tonight, I rolled up the volume when I heard her familiar voice. I soon realized it was one of those prerecorded advertisements, an old-school spot where the radio personality reads the advertisement herself, sometimes live, sometimes recorded, never a deviation from the script to let listeners know she endorses it wholeheartedly. The announcer, "Delilah," is syndicated nationally, and at first, everyone listens to her for the sob stories of the callers. The heartbroken and deeply scorned cry about unrequited love, or phone in to publicly thank their mother for forgiving them for setting fire to the backyard. Delilah, aside from singing "Happy Anniversary" as if it were reveille, then chooses "the song" that’s supposedly the perfect end-all, be-all message that describes just right how much you miss that married man with whom you just ended things.

The thing is, and many of the people who read this blog know it, sometimes you’re just there to watch. It’s an entertaining train wreck. Other times, though, something hits you a certain way, and now you can’t help but come back, but for different reasons. And just when you’re ready to leave, you get a taste of it again. And you’re reminded why you started listening, watching, getting involved.

Now I listen, not for the sob stories or the prayers and mentions of God–or the way it’s crammed in under the wire with music that sneaks up on you, and suddenly you’re singing along then stop yourself, WTF? This is Jesus music!–because I’m hoping to be moved. Really moved. To live my life just a bit differently when I pull into the garage and turn off the all the sounds. It’s perhaps what a lot of us look for in our lives: to be inspired. Touched enough that our lives are split into before and after moments in the smallest sideline moments of our lives.

Tonight was not that. Delilah declared that if she had only moments to collect her most treasured items (from a fire she might have said), she’d absolutely grab… her electric toothbrush.



  1. Interesting choice for someone who makes her living by her voice, not her appearance. I found her once on the dial, and she sounded so much like Allison Steele, the 1970's WNEW-FM DJ known as the "Night Bird" that I was pulled over to listen, wondering how this was possible. It wasn't. It was Delilah.

  2. toothbrush?

    good question though…per grabbing treasured items (assuming material items here): old photos…pre-digital photos, and the cd/dvd holder of all the post digitals; my bag that i carry around each day with important docs, etc; my wedding ring and eng. ring if they are not on; a roll of toilet paper to have for the tear; a blanket, a bink, a bottle and a toy for the baby. my contacts and glasses. most everything else (clothes, furniture, kitchen stuff, etc.) can be replaced.

    per the radio show…reminds me of the scenes from Sleepless in Seattle, which made me feel as you describe in your post. i loved the little boy in that movie…such a heartbreaker.

  3. Yes, but did she mention any alternative use for that "electric toothbrush", say in a private moment, akin to the “back massagers” sold at CVS and Walgreens?

  4. Hmm. An electric toothbrush?

    I think I might have gone with the usual: photos, family heirlooms, my beta fish, my laptop (sad, but true), and my journals (if I developed enough super human strength to lug them all out of the basement in a fire).

    As for Delilah, bless her heart, she does talk a gal through a heartbreak like nobody's business.

  5. she does have a hypnotic voice, doesn't she?

    by the way, visited nyc last week and ate goat cheese tart at balthazar on your recommendation…loved it and loved the restaurant.

  6. I haven't listened to "Delilah" in years! When I worked at DQ we used to listen to her as we were closing, then I graduated to listening to her before bed. Yeah it can get sappy and sometimes you can't help, but roll your eyes at some of the calls that come in. Some of the calls make you tear up. So all and in all it's not too sappy a radio show. :)

  7. And I thought I only used to listen to her on the radio. :) The calls that come in can get real sappy and bring you back to gasp the 90's, but it can be a sweet show. Of course that depends on how your current relationships going. If it's on the rocks you'll want to hurl listening to, "Delilah," or you'll want to smile because you're so blessed to be with whom ever you're with.

  8. Is it strange that the part about this post that most struck me was the bit about pulling into a garage? I think I must be about ready to leave the city… How are the burbs treating you? You mentioned a while ago you were thinking about relocating closer to family – would you still pick something suburban? Just curious cause I don't know anybody else who's left the city after living here for as long as I have and (I think) you did.

  9. I used to love Delilah! In college I would listen to her when I was studying, partly for the unintentional humor and partly because every once in the while I would find myself unintentionally inspired. Good to know I'm not the only closet Delilah fan. But an electric toothbrush? Guess we know what Delilah means when she says "love someone tonight".

  10. Ha!

    This post brought back memories. When I was in college, my friend Jake and I used to sit around getting drunk and coming up with stories to call in to Delilah. She never put us on the air. But we had some GREAT sob stories.

  11. I know I'm a bitch, but seriously, if you can't think of what song you want dedicated to your mom to apologize for setting fire to the backyard, then you don't deserve to have an on-air dedication.

    The best part of those call-in things was listening to the wacky choices people made. I don't want to hear some DJ choosing Wind Beneath My Wings from a daughter to a mother (again). I'm holding out for the wacked out son who chooses Baby Got Back to dedicate to his mom. Because that's awesome and funny.

  12. Okay, I had a simmilar experience with inspiration from unlikely places. WARNING: ALL ATHEIST HATERS AVERT YOUR EYES NOW!
    I was in my kitchen cooking feeling really low and sad and I flipped on the TV, Joel Ostreen's show was on, with a deep sigh I realized it was only ten more minutes of his show before my favorite local cooking show came on so I decided to tough it out. There I was chopping the Holy Trinity ( a New Orleans saying for onion, clery and garlic)(couldn't resist)
    when what he was saying broke into my thoughts. It was nothing new or orginal that I hadn't heard before. But maybe it's just that I wanted, no needed, to hear somebody talk about Hope about the positive power of Hope and change, how the first step, though hard can be life altering. Anyway I found I had tears in my eyes that had nothing to do with the onions.
    Luckily before I got to caught up in Joel Ostreens extremely white teeth and Southern cadence, my LoverMan came in and caught me watching and promptly and simultaniously popped open a Blue Moon for me and gave me a hug. Making fun of me the entire time.

    To each his own, no judgements, but if I am not careful in the mental state I am in now, I will start buying Sham WoWs by the crateload. Sometimes it's not the person delivering the message, but the message itself that our hearts want to hear. You always make me ponder SK.

  13. green,
    my friend (a wacked out son) chose Baby Got Back to dance to with his mom, at his wedding. he should call delilah.

  14. Oh Delilah! I used to mock her show "hey delilah. My husbands in Iraq, my daughter has lukemia, I'm dying of cancer and just found out that my son has to have heart surger." and then delilah would say "well let me play a song to make your night a little better." I love it.

  15. It's sad that callers divulge our deepest feelings in quasi-anonymity and we listen, hoping to relate, to feel what other people feel when we could just tune in to the 3 dimensional ones in our lives. American intimacy needs work.

  16. Wow! I have been tricked twice now into listening to Delilah tell me how much her toothbrush means to her. She's a sweet lady, but really, I doubt she's thinking about clean teeth amongst the engulfing flames or rising flood waters.

    I'm glad someone else had the same thoughts on the subject. I do listen to her off and on, but my new favorite is listening to the John Tesh Show: Intelligence for Your Life. He comes in handy!

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