“Happy Corporate Love-Themed Merchandising Day!!” is the message my niece Alizon had as her FB status yesterday. Her younger sister Adrienne who gets married on April 8 of this year posted “happy vd to u too”; I could nearly see the eye roll when I read it.
I’m somewhere between the two of them. I’m enough of a cheap skate to cringe at delivered flowers. My boss’s daughter has a regular job, but she takes a couple of days off and delivers flowers for Valentine’s Day. She told us the tab for a dozen delivered red roses is $100 plus and that she passed along 8 bouquets of three dozen roses. She’s not the florist’s only driver. I reserve proxy flower delivery for my 87-year-old aunt. Everybody else gets me with a handful of HEB flowers at their doorstep.
The good thing about Denise’s once a year job is that there are inevitably folks who refuse their delivered bouquets. I have a perfectly lovely stand of flowers on my desk that the recipient wouldn’t accept and the giver didn’t want back. Sad, true, and beautiful on my desk. I don’t think I could turn down delivered flowers. Not that I wouldn’t want to, just that I would probably be embarrassed to do so.
I’m not much for romantic gestures, but it’s fun to read about them. Jack Benny may have cheated on his wife who was a bit shrewish, but he left a bequest in his will for a florist to deliver a single rose to her every day for the rest of her life.
Although baseball player Joe DiMaggio was only married to Marilyn Monroe for 9 months, he placed a 20-year standing order with a local flower shop to have long-stemmed roses placed on her grave three times a week.
When Ben Affleck dated J. Lo, he bought her a $105,000 gem-studded toilet seat to pamper her most prized attribute. “Jennifer is my princess and she deserves only the best,” he explained. Plastic encases the rubies, sapphires, and diamonds so there’s no danger of rump scratches.
In the category of romantic gestures gone bad, MSNBC reported that Reed Harris invited 20 or 30 of his closest friends to Wendy’s where he had dropped a diamond engagement ring into his girl friend’s Frosty. The cheering crowd got quiet after Kaitlin Whipple tossed down the cup’s contents in a race to beat her friends to the Frosty finish line. And didn’t stop to admire her ring. She’d swallowed the ring and had to go to the hospital where the ring was found via X-ray. Reed proposed to Kaitlin in front of the X-ray image of the ring.
A romantic gesture that warms my heart is the one that architect and inventor John Hammes bestowed on his wife who must have had a sink full of dirty dishes and no desire to scrape them into the trash. Hammes built the first garbage disposal for his wife’s birthday in 1927. Called the In-Sink-Erator, it soon swept households across the country. Now that’s a gesture I can appreciate.
A friend told me about coming home to see that her husband had scattered rose petals from the front door to their bedroom. I knew when she was telling about it and my only thought was “Did he clean up the mess?” that I have a frizzled romance chip.
I am thankful for the daily gestures that show love. I told Bob that every day feels like Valentine’s Day with him around. Corn ball? You bet! But I feel like a bearded dragon under the heat lamp when I bask in the warmth of Bob’s affection. When Bob calls to remind me that there’s fog on the bridge to Corpus, I can’t help smiling. Or when he checks the oil and tire pressure on my car before I start off on a trip. Coming home to folded clothes or dinner started also makes me happy. Having spent 12 years of my adult life without another adult around makes Bob’s attention that much sweeter. I can do all those things: pay attention to the weather report, check my vehicle, fold clothes. But having someone care enough to do those things for me is the most amazingly romantic thing I can imagine. Living sober and recognizing the tenderness and romance in every day life is a gift beyond anything I could have imagined.