Married men: when was the last time your wife brought you flowers?
Let’s start with a song, shall we? Ahhhh….Babs:
Now, let’s get real about buying flowers:
At a dinner party on Friday, we were barely through the door when our host blurted: “My husband bought me flowers today!”
My wife looked at me, while at the same time responding to our friend’s comment: “Isn’t that nice, getting flowers from your husband.” The insinuation was clear: I do not often enough present my wife with flowers. Well, Carnation, ain’t I a boob.
For the record: it’s absolutely true; I rarely bring home flowers.
But, there was a point I needed to make. I immediately issued a snide, defensive apology: “Sorry, sweetie. You’re right. You easily out-do me in the flower department 3 to 1.”
“Really? Do I?” she asked, surprised.
“No!” I snapped.
With that, my defensive, immature point was made. I never receive flowers, either.
Last night she mentioned a more recent conversation among her women friends during which they all expressed dismay at the infrequency with which their husbands give them flowers. “You’re right,” I continued, “I don’t bring home flowers. I find other ways to show my appreciation for you: your favorite dark chocolate or mint Aero bar hiding in the fridge; an unexpected bottle of your favorite (low-tannin) wine which goes nicely with the meal I’m preparing; turning on the hot tub in the morning so it’s ready for your lovely self and the beer-ginger-ale shandy I’m carrying into the back yard for you later in the afternoon.”
Then I, as I usually do, decided to take things a step further: “What have you done for me lately?”
A bit of a yikes moment, but I still had a point to make. Her response was swift, full of bluster, and entirely justified: “I buy you your favorite bags of chips, and new clothes; I bring home all sorts of surprises for you!”
“Exactly,” I answered with deliberate calm. “which is why I never admonish you for not bringing me flowers.”
I would love to receive flowers. The fact that they are normally identified as a gift for women doesn’t bother
me at all; it’s an unjustified, sexist categorization of a lovely gesture. You don’t buy flowers for someone because they’re a woman; you buy them for someone because of the implied message. It tells the person you care about: ‘While I was going about my day today, at one point I became distracted by the thought of you. Here is my way of showing you that, amid all of life’s duties and timetables, you’re what I think of most.’
Are husbands not as worthy of that thought as wives? Of course we are. I’m sure most wives show their husbands how important they are through any number of selfless gestures: sharing a specific meal they don’t really have a taste for, rubbing our shoulders, letting us choose a movie they think is lousy, cuddling, saying ‘I love you’, giving us a spontaneous hug. Likewise, women are on the receiving end of thousands of unspoken gestures of
love from their partners. If you’re not, your relationship has more of a need for counselling than it does for flowers.
Gestures of love present themselves in thousands of mysterious ways. A bouquet is but one. I’m one of those men who not only “Don’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore”; I almost never did in the first place. But neither did you, and I’m OK with that. I love you anyway.