It was our second date. We were siting at the bar in a rather nice restaurant on the water. An older woman came in selling roses. My date stopped her and said he wanted to buy some roses for me. She looked over to me and asked, “Red or White?”
“White, definitely white. I hate red roses.”
“What woman hates red roses?” asked my date.
“Me. I can’t stand them, never could. Long stem red roses are the absolute worst.” My date looked at me as though I were insane and then bought me every white bloom in her basket and handed them to me.
“I still dont understand why you don’t like red roses…”
So I told him the list; they are so typical they are cliché, I don’t like tight buds, I can’t stand long stem roses or the contrived and standard arrangements with baby breath, I’m not fond of the color red, when they dry out the color reminds me of dried blood (I didn’t mention that dried blood makes me think of menstruation and injuries – both painful). I prefer other colors. PERIOD.
We continued to date. On my birthday I received several flower deliveries, one of which was a huge floral arrangement of long stem red roses with a single white rose in the middle. The card said Happy Birthday. Nothing more. No signature. I had no idea who they were from. At six that night I heard from the guy (I guess I could refer to him as my boyfriend but I never really did) I was seeing. We had plans to have dinner so I figured he was telling me he was running early or late or some such thing.
“Why didn’t you call me?”
“I’m seeing you in a few hours. Why would I call you.”
“To say you got the flowers.”
“Of course they were from me.” He sounded annoyed with me.
“I had no idea who they were from. You didn’t sign the card.” What I wanted to say was, I told you on our first date I can’t stand red roses – especially long stem red roses!
“Who else would send you two dozen red roses?”
Christmas came and so did the same flowers. The same arrangement of long stem red roses with a single white rose in the center.
We had our first fight. The next day the long stem red rose arrangement arrived with the single white rose in the center. My girlfriends thought there must be something symbolic here about his love – like yellow roses are for friendship, red for love, white for purity. It must mean our love is pure they said wistfully. Oy, I hate that shit.
And then we celebrated our first Valentine’s Day together. He picked me up in his sports car. As I got in I could see the long white box in the back of the car. More roses – red with a single one no doubt. I was fuming. When he parked the car at the restaurant he leaned over and handed me the box with a stupid grin on his face.
“Happy Valentines Day. I got these for you.”
I looked at him and said,
“Thank you but you should know I cannot stand red roses. I told you that on our first date. It should have been obvious the first time you sent them to me. and then you sent them again and again and again. I’d honestly rather have nothing.”
He grabbed the box back from me, got out of the car, and handed them to the next woman who walked past. I heard him say to the stunned woman,
I had a good chuckle. However, he was not amused.
I broke up with him after dinner. Not because he gave my roses away – I had given every long stem arrangement he had ever given me away – to my housekeeper, to the doorman for his wife, to my neighbor and my mother. I broke up with him because he had no idea who I was.