The first time I ever spent the night with Nita, I stopped at a UDF (where Cincinnatians go instead of 7/11) on the way to her house. UDF used to sell single roses for a dollar. I bought one. The clerk looked at me and said, “Someone’s in a bad mood.”
“What did you do to get in trouble?”
“Why am I in trouble?”
“You’re buying a flower. Why else would you buy a flower?”
By now, the clerk’s female coworker was looking at him like he was stupid. So was I.
“Um… I’m in love?” I said.
“Oh, so you’re trying to get laid.”
“Wow. You must be a lousy boyfriend.”
The coworker told him, “You might want to quit before you dig yourself deeper.”
I’ll admit, the first time I bought Nita flowers, I wanted to impress her. The day of our first date, I sent a dozen roses to her work. Yes, they had the desired effect. Then I sent her roses at random intervals for no reason, unless it was Mother’s Day, her birthday, or Valentine’s Day. After a while, it got too expensive to order from FTD and have them sent. But Kroger sells a dozen for $10-15 a bunch. And they last for about two weeks. I now buy her flowers two or three times a month. She loves it.
When she had her wisdom teeth out recently, I had to leave her at home doped up so I could run to the grocery store to get her medications. While I was there, I spotted a bouquet of red roses. I brought them home. She was still out from the morphine drip, so I put them in a vase and arranged them. (Um… Let’s keep that part between us. They take your man card away if you can arrange roses without being a trained florist.) When she woke up that evening, the first thing she saw was a dozen roses on the coffee table.
Flowers don’t have to be expensive, but it’s a good way to remind your wife or your girlfriend that you love them. Where most men go wrong is buying flowers when something bad happens or they want something or just on special occasions. They sort of lose their symbolism that way. Because then she sees flowers from you as a sign that you screwed up or you want something or that you were just smart enough not to buy only a Hallmark card.
I buy them at random and for no particular reason. Sometimes when we’re not in a good mood towards each other. Sometimes when we can’t keep our hands off each other. Sometimes just for the helluvit. In this way, they say what they’re supposed to say.
“I love you.”