Live A Great Story [on Merely A Thought Monday]

I suppose I must not have seen the small print requiring an extra fee for the petals to actually be attached to the stems. Silly me. I’m not a detail guy so it never occurred to me that ordering flowers was like flying on Frontier Airlines: if you want a seat you need to pay extra. If you want wings on the plane there’s an up-charge. If you want the roses fastened to the stem, it’ll-cost-ya.

Every story has a context. Without the context a story cannot be fully understood. Here’s the context for our sad-rose-tale. Kerri and I have out of necessity lived lean. Very lean. This is the first year since we met that I had the capacity to send my wife roses on Valentine’s Day. Context number two: since we spend 24/7 together and she monitors our expenses like a hawk (a necessary practice that comes from living lean) , it’s nigh-on-impossible to surprise her. seemed to be a solution for a long overdue surprise. “How bad could it be?” I asked myself. Woof.

Never ask yourself a question when you can ask other trusted people. I could have asked Jen or Gay or Jay. They would have warned me off. I could have asked them to arrange roses from a local florist and I would have secretly paid them after the fact. I did none of the above. I was having a nice conversation with myself and, left to my own devices, I’m perfectly capable of making a dumb idea sound titanically smart.

The roses (I use the term loosely) came, not on Valentine’s Day (today), but on Friday. Surprise! Gay’s response after seeing the picture truly captured their state: “Too bad they picked them in August,” she wrote. Even the leaves had abandoned the stems. Brad’s comment was my personal favorite: “How efficient,” he wrote, “you received roses and potpourri in the same order.” Efficiency was, after all, my aim.

Kerri, a gifted transformer of lemons-into-lemonade, separated the dead petals from those few still living and put them in a crystal bowl. And then, she offered me this consolation: “Think of it this way,” she said, “if they’d arrived intact, we’d never remember them. Now we have a great story to tell.”

First roses. A Valentine’s tale. We’ve laughed all weekend [I confess, the humor in the story took me a moment or two to see]. With or without roses, on this day of celebrating true love, this is what I know for certain: we live a great story so we have a great story to tell.

read Kerri’s blogpost about NOT-ROSES

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