The flowers

I think it’s weird that when you give someone flowers, you’re really saying ‘Here you go, now watch these die….’cause I like you.’ I feel like you should give someone flowers when you wanna threaten them. ‘Here….you’re next’. – Demetri Martin

While I agree with Demetri’s take on flower-giving as a romantic gesture, I’d be lying if I said it put me off wanting to send a special someone a nice bouquet one day.

The problem was, I’d never had the opportunity. Never really having had a serious girlfriend meant there were no birthdays or Valentine’s Days, and no anniversaries to speak of either. I’d never even had the chance to send a girlfriend flowers out of guilt!

I like to think of myself as a romantic soul. I’ve just never really had the opportunity to show it.

Until Jen. We’d been dating for a couple of months and a series of events led me down a road where I thought I finally had the perfect chance.

Our different work commitments had meant we hadn’t seen each other for a couple of weeks and she was also in the process of moving in to a new house. I had been feeling quite low, too, as I got an illness just as I was about to go off on holiday so had to cancel it and was frustrated and not being able to see Jen just when things were looking positive between us. While I was at home recuperating, we also had a death in the family. So all in all it was not a jolly time.

The idea then came to me that I should send her some flowers, to her new home, as a surprise and I was quite pleased with myself for the idea. If ever there was a time, if ever there was a girl for this, it was now and it was Jen. I thought it would be a great way to let her know I was thinking about her, plus it’d help brighten up her empty new house, while the thought of her reaction in receiving them genuinely made me feel better at what was a difficult time.

My first task was finding out the address of her new house. I logged on to Facebook and looked up her best friend, whom I’d met a few times and got along well with. I sent her a message telling her my plan and asked for her thoughts, as well as the new address. She replied insisting it was great idea and gladly included Jen’s new address.

On the morning of the family funeral I sneaked away while the family got ready, looked up a florists near her new home and spoke at length to the nice lady who talked me through what would work well. I included a heavily hinted note, paid, and rejoined my family.

I can’t quite describe how nervous I was just ordering them. It might not seem like a big deal to most, but to me it was massive. My stomach churned and I was close to chickening out a few times. I’d have a flurry of excitement and adrenalin picturing her reaction but there was also a nervousness and anxiety. It just wasn’t something I’d ever done. For anyone. I consulted friends who had done similar and I was assured that girls love flowers. Even more so if it’s a surprise and there are genuine motives behind it.

I had recovered from my illness and had one more day off work before going back. For my last day off I headed for an afternoon cinema visit to see The Hangover 2. All morning I kept checking my phone for a response and the flurries in my stomach got bigger as the day wore on.

I was sitting through the pre-film adverts when my phone finally beeped.

HEY J! DID YOU BY ANY CHANCE SEND ME FLOWERS? x

Right. Here we go. This was it! I was about to feel very, very good about myself.

I MIGHT HAVE :) WHY HAVE YOU RECEIVED SOME FLOWERS??

My grin was ear to ear. I just wanted to see her now. See her face. Her pretty face all deligthed and in shock at what a thoughtful and kind man I was.

YES. I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE YOU. x

Oh. Not quite what I was after.

I HOPE YOU LIKED THEM??

Up until this point her replies were coming in quite quickly. So much so that by this point the trailers were still running and the movie hadn’t started yet. But after this text, there was a noticeable delay before her next message, which made me slightly nervous. I knew she had issues in the past with bad boyfriends and I just wanted this to at least show her I was maybe one of the good ones. Then, another beep.

I APPRECIATE THE THOUGHT x

Jesus. It was like blood from a stone. Slightly underwhelming, and again, pretty light on any detail or emotion.

YOU’RE WELCOME. YOU SURE YOU LIKE THEM??

Again, another gap after this one. The movie was about to start and even though I was pretty much in there completely by myself, I follow a self-imposed cinema etiquette and I’ll be damned if I was about to throw my own movie-going principles out of the window now.

But then my phone beeped just in time. I dreaded looking at it by now, though. I took a deep breath and opened the message.

WHILE I APPRECIATE THE THOUGHT, I DO NOT CONDONE THE KILLING OF LIVING THINGS. THIS INCLUDES FLOWERS. PLASTIC ONES OR NONE AT ALL I’M AFRAID. SORRY. REAL ONES BELONG IN THE GROUND TO LIVE AND SHOULDN’T BE MURDERED. x

Trust me, it’s not easy describing what went through my head as I read and re-read that text over and over.

As I tried taking it in, she unwittingly kicked me when I was down and followed up a minute later with this:

ALSO I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU BROKE MY TRUST BY GOING BEHIND MY BACK TO FIND OUT MY NEW ADDRESS WHEN I WASN’T READY TO GIVE IT TO YOU. HOW CAN I START TO TRUST YOU AGAIN?

Stunned. Deflated. Confused. Take your pick.

I didn’t reply to this one immediately and sat and watched the movie. It was hard to enjoy The Hangover 2 after that. I’m still not sure how much of that was down to my mood and how much was down to the film.

Things unsurprisingly unravelled quite quickly after that and an uncomfortable and regrettable parting of ways occurred shortly after. I had argued that she had already invited me to a party at her new place the following week and that I’d probably need to know her new address in order to attend, but it fell on deaf ears.

The truth is, the title of this post is a little misleading. I know I will send a girl flowers again, one day. While this episode did hit pretty hard, I know deep down it won’t be the same the next time. I’ve been told I was unlucky that the one time I do this it bites me in the ass and that I shouldn’t let it put me off. Especially, if the right person comes along. Which I really hope they do, and soon.

If only I had remembered Demetri Martin’s joke earlier, I could turned it on it’s head and insisted on a different meaning behind the gesture:

GLAD YOU GOT THE FLOWERS……NOW WATCH THESE DIE. JUST LIKE US.

J.

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