“Hey Mum! Dad’s home and looks like he’s bought you some flowers!”
It’s been a long and hard few weeks. To say the least. Dishwasher died just before Christmas. Okay – the least of my worries, but bloody annoying nonetheless. Although I’ve been putting on a brave face. I’ve been trying to *pretend* that I don’t mind spending hours and hours chained to the kitchen sink in addition to all of the other millions of things that I do in life. Telling myself stuff along the lines of … chatting to the kids whilst they eat their tea and do their homework is ‘bonding.’ Reassuring myself that forcing them to put away the clean dishes is ‘promoting a sense of responsibility.’
But in truth, it’s been yet another big pain in the arse. And it came hot on the heels of the central heating packing up, the leaking chimney stack and the car needing several hundred more spending on it than we anticipated.
Still, it seems that my other half must have clocked that I was looking even more in need of botox than I normally do. Seemed that he’d picked up on the grottier than usual passive-aggressive remarks emanating from me. And had chosen to bring a smile to my lips by way of floral-treat.
I looked away when he walked through the front door. Pretending that I didn’t know. Not wanting to spoil the little surprise that he had planned for me. And then the 7 year old piped up again; “Oooh, Dad – that’s a nice flower thing for Mum. It’ll cheer her up. She’s been a right miserable old bag.”
But Father didn’t seem to hear what the kid was wittering on about. And minutes later, the fella still hadn’t presented me with them. Instead, he was busily engaged in his usual tea-time ritual, feretting about with the toaster, trying to sort his crumpets and jam out. And then I saw it. Right next to the toaster crouched ‘my flowers’.
Which were, in fact – a coffee plant.
Yes, yet again – my other half had brought his work home with him. Although usually it’s bags of freshly roasted coffee, labels and gripes about the giant coffee firms who treat farmers overseas like crap. But today it was the Real McCoy.
And our youngest – not the most discerning when it comes to noticing what flowers could and should look like – had mistaken the plant for a loving gesture aimed at Ma.
I expertly showed not the slightest smattering of disappointment. Instead, I said; “Why’ve you brought the coffee plant home?” In between gobfuls of crumpet he replied, “Too cold in the roastery right now. Need to keep it here.”
“Goodo,” I said. And then added, “Funny – when we saw you with something green and leafy coming through the door, the kids assumed that you had bought me flowers! Imagine that! Hilarious eh? Can’t remember the last time you…”
He gave me a look. “Well. You categorically told me never to buy you flowers again. Don’t you remember? You said that they were an empty-handed gesture and you preferred more meaningful presents as a way of apology. For any guilt-ridden feelings that I might be entertaining.”
I was rather incredulous when faced with this statement. “And you believed me?!” I replied. Following it up with;”HOW long have we been married?”
But we left it at that. Probably served me right for being so convincing when I’ve got a bee in my bonnet over something.
Anyway. The whole point of this blog is more about what transpired the next day. I happened to be trundling around Morrisons, when I noticed a rather forlorn looking bunch of roses. Reduced to less than a quid.
It suddenly occurred to me that I have never – ever – bought flowers for myself. Not because I judge people who engage in such frippery and tokenistic gestures as being shallow and simple-minded souls (if I *DID* think that – one of my bessie-mates, our Lesley would give me a good old fashioned Mancunian pow-slap in the chops, because she’s always spending her cash on floral tributes to herself.) Nah – I’ve just never bought them for myself because it had never occurred to me that I could. That I like flowers. That they perk your living room up a bit and that – for less than a quid – you’d be a bit of a berk to look a gift horse in the mouth. That you don’t need a partner, a child, a friend or *anyone else* in your life to do something nice for you. When you can do it for yourself. Liberation, sisters!
And it’s even more rewarding when, later on in the evening your other half gets home and comments; “Nice roses. Who bought you those?” And you get to screech back at him;
“ME! ME! ME! I BOUGHT MYSELF FLOWERS BECAUSE NOBODY ELSE WANTED TO!”
And when he resorts back yet again with the; “Well – you told me NOT to…” you can just cut him off at the pass and say;
“Oh go and talk to your coffee plant. I’m sure that it makes more sense than I do. And stick your crumpet in the toaster. Because that’s the only crumpet you’ll be getting, for a few weeks.”