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A Tale of Two Flowers

January 13, 2013

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On our first Valentine’s Day together, my ex-husband presented me with a $130 bouquet of flowers. I was incensed. And he felt horrible. There it was, he had blown over a c-note at a Beverly Hills florist in an attempt to impress me with my favorite flower, the bird of paradise, which–I pointed out–readily grows in his parents’ front yard (and in just about every other Southern California yard.) That year, Tiffany had introduced its signature lock on a chain for Valentine’s Day, and it was only $125. I told my then fiancee that I wanted a “little blue box” with the Tiffany necklace in it for V-Day when he asked what I wanted. Instead of giving in to my wish, he had spent even more money (with delivery charges and tip) on the birds of paradise and an overpriced dinner at The Wharf in Marina del Rey. We had our second date there, and he felt it would be romantic to return to the restaurant…with my eight-year-old in tow, quite the anti-romantic scenario. I asked for the blue box and an intimate evening at home with a pizza for dinner and Kung Fu flicks for entertainment. When he saw the disappointment on my face over the flowers, our night soured. We ended the night with him sleeping on the floor next to the bed.

Today, a gentleman I’m seeing stopped by Trader Joe’s to pick up dinner and some chocolate cupcakes, which I had been craving. While there, he grabbed a scant bouquet of sunny, yellow flowers and presented me with them. I was grateful. He had thought of me. “It’s not much,” he said. “I just wanted to make you smile.” And smile, I did. He only spent $3.99, but it showed me that I was on his mind while he was out. He considered me, and he still brought the treat I wanted. I was fulfilled. I considered the bouquets and what was so different about them. Really, the consideration for me was the only difference. My ex was determined to give me what he wanted me to have, not what I wanted. It reminded me of an analogy an elder once told me about my mom. She reasoned, “It’s like she’s buying you chocolate cakes every year for your birthday, but you keep telling her you want strawberry cake. She gives, but she never gives you what you need.” Consideration is all I need; it’s all I’ve ever asked. Consideration and chocolate cupcakes.

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From → Life Lessons

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