"What do you mean?" I huffed.
He explained that through trial and error, he'd found that I appreciate other things much more than a bouquet of blooms. "Flowers don't work on you," he shrugged.
He was perfectly correct, of course. Chocolate works on me. Songs and poetry work on me. Surprise trips, random kisses and even doing a chore so that I won't have to work on me. But flowers leave me pretty nonplussed. Blame it on my mom, who always said that quick-to-fade cut flowers were a "waste of money" and "why not gift a potted plant?"
But I was young and extremely insecure, so I took offense at his comment. "Apparently, I don't reward him with a good reaction," I said, rolling my eyes as I confided this injustice to various listeners. What I should have said was, "I'm afraid he doesn't think I'm worth flowers. I'm afraid it's a fluke that he married me and any day now I'll find out he doesn't love me."
Flowers became even more of a sore spot when a year or two later, he presented them as he apologized for something. "Oh, so NOW you buy me flowers," I fumed childishly.
I hadn't thought on this in years until last week, when I bought a bouquet of fuchsia blossoms and became aware that somewhere along the line I'd stopped harboring a grudge and started buying flowers for myself quite frequently, simply for the color.
I blushed at my previous petulance.
J and I have been through a lot in the years since we've been married, forcing me to grow, mature, and become secure in our relationship. I no longer yearn for him to prove his affections at every turn, nor do I look for evidence that his love has been a lie. Flowers no longer trigger my massive insecurity.
I thought I was so grown up when we married, but thinking about the flowers made me see how young and silly I was.
After all, J realized, after knowing me for only a few short weeks, that chocolate meant more to me than flowers. If that doesn't show he loves me, I don't know what does. :)