Honey, I love you, but don’t buy me flowers. Because, if you buy me flowers, I will have to find a vase to put them in. I will search high and low through every cabinet and shelf before locating a suitable one tucked in the pantry behind some old Christmas candy. I will then need to clean the smears of chocolate and dead ants off the vase. Once the bouquet is in the vase, I will have to find a spot for it which means either cleaning off the dining table, the kitchen table or squeezing it in on top of the piano. If I choose the piano top, I will have to move it again because it will make the piano teacher nervous. So now, to the sounds of the oldest plunking out Moonlight Sonata, I have to clean the dining room table. When I clean all the kid’s school books out of the center of the table and set the vase down, they will yell “His books are on my side of the table! Her paper is touching my binder!” and in the tussle they will hit the vase and spill the water and flowers all over my lesson plans and into my coffee which I’d actually been enjoying hot for once, but now tastes like plant food. I will have to call a recess and clean up the mess. I will consider the side table in the dining room and set the vase on the floor while I move the mail off the side table and onto the dining table. I will reach down to pick up the vase and see the baby eating the flowers and submerging his sippy cup in the water. I will see the piano teacher quickly turn his head away and snicker. If you buy me flowers, I will want to put them where we all can enjoy them, to show my appreciation for your display of affection but I will wind up sticking them on a shelf wedged in between a Little People play set and a stack of dusty magazines because it’s a sure thing no one will bump or touch them. You will come home and ask, why I put them there all out-of-the-way like that and request they be placed in the center of the table for dinner. I will honor your request and not be able to gaze upon your face the entire meal over stems and foliage, which you comment look a little sparse. I will insist a hundred times that I love them and the kids will express their wonderment at your being the perfect papa and spouse. You will make a mental note that I love flowers and silently vow to mark each occasion with a fresh bouquet delivered to the door, which I will open in my stained bathrobe to the mortification of all parties involved. Except the kids, who are convinced that the UPS man is in love with me. Until the bouquet is tossed into the compost pile, it will travel around the house like a nomad, dropping leaves, petals and pollen as it goes; small tokens that get smashed into the carpet or shoved up the nose of the baby. It’s fair perfume will scent the air until the water I never change gets green and putrid and inspires the kids to make barf jokes. I love you, but don’t buy me flowers. It’s much easier to make room for a box of chocolates.
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