Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sweetness. And flowers. In a very convoluted, non-linear post that will probably try your patience no end.

I had forgotten. This will sound a little sad, but I had totally forgotten.

A guy who likes you - who isn't totally wrapped up in his own issues and insecurities and needing to keep distance and play it cool and test you and blah blah blah - will do sweet things for you. Just because he feels like it.

Like buy you flowers when he's at the farmer's market picking up food for the dinner he's going to make you. And then when you are sitting at his table drinking your favorite beer and trying to pet his dog, who wants nothing to do with you because you are clearly a rival for his affection, he will explain the choice of flowers. He's noticed that whenever you walk down the street together, you are always poking your nose in someone's garden.

This is a complete tangent, but if any of you like Michael Ondaatje (author of The English Patient), he has a memoir called Running in the Family, which is one of my favorite books ever. At some point in the book his grandmother takes to cutting any flowers she wants from any garden she wants. And his father gets really, really annoyed at continually having his flowers cut. So he stops growing anything that will appeal to her and founds the Cactus and Succulent Society of Ceylon.

But me, I'm not that extreme. I just smell them. Especially lilacs, which remind me of my Gramma Lillian. I'm sad they're so ephemeral. And so during the short period that they're in bloom, I smell every single one I pass.

Once a woman looked up from her gardening as I was sticking my nose in her lilacs. I almost said that I just wanted to smell her bush but fortunately every once in a while I have an idea of how wrong something will sound. So I just said hi and complimented her flowers.

The good thing is, I look pretty innocent. So nobody assumes I'm up to anything nefarious while skulking in their bushes.

Betty used to always carry gardening shears in her purse. Enormous, slightly rusted, metal scissors. Whenever we saw something appealing on the side of the road (not in a private garden) she'd pull over and make me get out and cut it.

Once, years ago, they stopped her at the airport security and pulled out her foot-long hedge trimmer and said, "Madam, you have a large scissors in your purse. "And Betty very breezily said, "Oh, I always carry that! You never know when you'll need one!" And that was that. She sailed through, hedge clipper in hand.

It was a long, long time ago, in a much more innocent world.

But do you have some idea why my version of the world doesn't necessarily match up with normal people's?

So back to the dinner and the flowers and the current sweetness. Seriously, I had forgotten. I had forgotten that a guy will call to see how you are. Not necessarily to make plans, because you already have some, or to ask anything of you. Just to say hello. And then will call again the next day. To say hi again. To chat about the weekend. Or just because.

Seriously. I had stopped, well, not even expecting, but wanting anything of men. At all. It's not that I stopped dating. But dating had stopped having any kind of emotional component. I turned that off after getting too hurt and choosing too many damaged - like damaged in childhood, the kind that no amount of therapy gets you past - men who had nothing emotional to offer and who trust and open up to nobody.

And suddenly I am surprised with someone who barely knows me but knows me. Who notices things. Who offers support, kindness, sweetness. Who doesn't seem to have any agenda. Who is just nice.


  1. Lovely post - thoughtful calls to say hello are one of life's greatest things. And thanks for the book recommendation. I posted my top 25 movies and should move on to books.

  2. One of my all time favorite quotes is:

    The joy of living, its beauty, is all bound up in the fact that life can surprise you.

    It's from Dune.

    It kind of sad that we all get so jaded sometimes that we're surprised when good things happen... but I guess that's life. I know it happens to me on a regular basis.

  3. We had a lilac bush outside of our kitchen window when I was growing up. I can remember the windows open, and the smell filling the house. It's one of my most pleasant childhood memories.

    Happy to hear that you are being treated as you deserve to be.

  4. So nice men actually do still exist? I was beginning to wonder...

    Feel free to send some up my way :)

  5. HKW - I love having movie recommendations! I don't know if you will like this book, but I love how he writes. And his family was fascinatingly nutty.

    VVK - That's an excellent quote. I loved Dune. Yes, it's true - we've all become pretty jaded. But then every once in a while, we get a very nice reminder.

    FK - Oh, that's a gorgeous image! I love the smell of lilacs sooo much! And thank you :).

    Miss B - I had no idea they still did, but apparently they do! Actually, there are several nice guy bloggers down here...

  6. Hey - I'm heading to Chicago this weekend. I hope I haven't missed the lilacs!

    This sounds like a very nice situation for you. Enjoy!

  7. Oh, HURRAY!!! I can totally relate: It was really hard to accept that T. was just naturally...nice. :) I kept expecting him to turn into an ogre or a loser like the other guys I had been with. I was even scared because I felt I wasn't deserving of such a fabulous and NICE guy.

    My advice: ENJOY IT!! REJOICE IN IT!! And KNOW you deserve it. :) Oh, and keep us posted on the developments, will ya? ;)

  8. DCup - I hope for you that the lilacs are still out! Have a great time and travel safely.

    G&D - I'm so happy for you that things are going so well with T. And I will definitely take your advice! This is fun!

  9. oh wow... i had totally forgotton too. and yesterday a guy called "just to chat." this confused me, and i was suspicious of his motives. and after we hung up i sat there trying to figure out what that was about. like you i had stopped wanting anything... the emotional component was (and maybe still is)absent. but reading this made me realize that i have forgotten: sometimes people do things to be nice. without an agenda. just because they like you. thanks for helping me remember!

  10. H - That describes my feeling exactly! Why is he calling me? What does he want? Why is he calling me again? I'm glad you got a nice "just to chat" call!


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