When J and I were first dating, he flew out to visit me and met me outside of work holding a large bouquet of flowers. I must have barely glanced at the blossoms before turning my full attention to him, because much later {after we were married} he made a passing comment about "learning that you don't respond to flowers."

"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. :)


merelyLooking said...

So well said! I smile with fondness at those rocky early days of love, and glad I have them as memories, but so glad I'm on this side of the river now.

LisAway said...

How funny. Greg still thinks I don't really care for flowers. He gets them for me once a year either on women's day or mother's day, just because he doesn't know what else to get (we're not good with gift giving), but still mentions now and again that I don't care about flowers. I hate that. I think it's because florists in Poland do WEIRD things with flowers. They put strange stuff all through and around the flowers so that you hardly notice the actual blooms. I meant to take a picture of my mother's day boquet and explain about that on my blog, but it didn't happen. I've told Greg many times that I think it's weird what florists do when they make bouquets to order. I really wish he would just buy me some of the GORGEOUS ones they have at the grocery store. They are so simple and colorful and pretty. And comparatively cheap. I should probably just tell him all that directly. . .

Apis Melliflora said...

I often look back and am amazed at the different "me's" that I've grown out of. Imagine who you'll be and the depth of your love for your spouse 5, 10, 25 years from now!

meyerprints said...


Anna said...

Well said. Marriage is such a process of growing up, isn't it?

Now as for me ... chocolate AND flowers? Yup. That'd do the trick!

So nice to stumble into your blogland. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

The comments above are obviously sincere and insightful, but I am marvelling (yet again!) at how damn good a writer you are!!

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