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.