If I had to rank my husband’s present giving, he would be top of the Husband class: he is thoughtful and creative in his choices, and does not rely on saying it with flowers. (And he wisely knows to stay away from anything domestic – ‘it’ can never be said with a toaster.)
My first present was from Japan (a trip he took about a month after we met), it was a beautiful, and stylish, handmade jewellery box – and so the present scene was rather boldly set. When we were away for a month in Seville, and my birthday fell whilst we were there, he had a ring made for me at our favourite jewellers in Nottingham, and had it couriered over. Another time, in the middle of a normal dull week, I came home to an invite, hidden in the laptop, asking me if I wanted to go to Morocco that weekend. (Yes, I am a spoilt wife, but let’s not forget that I am also a worthy one.)
But he also makes less grand, equally as appreciated, gestures. For example, we were in M&S on Saturday getting something for dinner, and as we went past the flowers, he stopped to choose some for me. Later, as he was arranging them, I thought flowers are a lovely gift to receive, even if they are considered a romantic cliché.
I love having flowers in the apartment: when I wake up and come into the lounge I go over and admire them and see how they’ve changed overnight; as I sit and write I often look up to appreciate them; and at points in the day I go over and look at the different colours of the petals, or see how they’ve opened, or wonder at how nature can be so amazing.
I could buy myself flowers, but I never do. I don’t know why, I always seem busy with other errands when flower buying opportunities are around. So when Husband does buy them for me, it always feels like a treat. Although, I do think some occasions are not for flower giving, such as Valentine’s Day, where a bouquet of red roses seems like a clumsy, unimaginative romantic choice (probably given with a large spongy card and a teddy bear).
But maybe it is unfair to condemn all flower giving as a cliché. The small, but unexpected moment on Saturday felt loving, and as I look at the flowers now I’m not thinking, oh you uncreative husband, I’m thinking, wow, they’re gorgeous.
My dad buys my mum flowers every week, has done for as long as I can remember. Sometimes it may ‘only’ be a small bunch from the supermarket on a Saturday morning, but a weekly ritual, nevertheless. And I’ve always looked on fondly, that after 43 years of marriage, he still performs this small act of sweetness.
So maybe there is still a welcome place for flowers in romance… just not on Valentine’s Day.
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