Every Valentine's Day, I expect to get flowers. It's very female of me, I suppose, but I have to confess that the flower delivery has nothing to do with romance. In fact, the roses I receive every Valentine's Day really annoy the hell out of Dear Butcher.
Every since I was fourteen, and started boarding school, my mother has sent me roses on Valentine's Day. I used to be very confused about this, but now I get it.
Step 1) Receive flowers.
Step 2) Call Mom to thank her.
Step 3) This is the important part: Mom says, "Did you know that your father and I had our first date on Valentine's Day?"
"Well, I though maybe you forgot. You didn't call."
See, I'm supposed to call her on the day of her first date with my Dad and, what, congratulate her? I don't get it--I think the celebration of her first date with my Dad might be something she would like to celebrate with, Oh, I dunno, MY DAD!?! So since she doesn't think I'll call on Valentine's Day, she sends me flowers so that I'll have to call to thank her, and then she's made me call her, and all is right with the world. She used to send me flowers on her wedding anniversary too, so that I would call, etc. Somehow she's stopped with the anniversary flowers, but on Valentine's Day, the flowers still come. Dear Butcher is beginning to laugh it off, but only barely.
OK, so last week was my mother's birthday. My Palm kept blinking at me to do something about it, so I sent her flowers along with birthday wishes from the kids and me--scheduled to arrive the day before her birthday so that she was assured of getting them. I also sent flowers to Dear Butcher's mom to celebrate Rosh Hashanah.
Dear Butcher's mom calls. "What a lovely surprise! Thank you so much! How is everyone?" Lovely conversation.
My Mom calls: "I got home from the hospital and there were such lovely flowers waiting for me. How thoughtful."
"Yes. I finally had the surgery."
(Suisan's thinking, "Eh?")
"The doctor's wouldn't let me go home until I had urinated. They said it was really important..." OK, so at this point she goes off on some long tale about the recovery room, the way the surgery table was just so hard, etc. I still don't have a clue what surgery she's talking about, but hey, she's glad that I'm so thoughtful. I make some comment about the surgery being a hell of a birthday present. She laughs. I wish her Happy Birthday.
Next morning. Phone rings.
"Well, it's my birthday! Did you forget?"
Long silence as I try to figure out what to say....
"Uh. Mom? I sent you flowers."
"Oh...Umm...I though those were for the surgery."
"Well, you know, I really sent them for your birthday. But they came early, and uh, I can see how maybe that was confusing...but there was a card."
"I called you, because, you know, you didn't call."
"But I sent flowers." God Damn It. I sent you Fifty Bucks worth of flowers. We talked last night. She's trying to guilt me because I didn't call her? Fifty Bucks, dammit.
So if I had sent her flowers for the surgery, and talked to her, and wished her a Happy Birthday, all on the day before her birthday, I still need to call her ON her birthday?
If I had sent her flowers for her birthday, but they arrived the day before, then I still need to call her ON her birthday, flowers or no flowers? But then she tries to guilt me for not sending her a gift.
OK, no more flowers.
Well, I'll keep sending them to Dear Butcher's mom. She loved them.
And I think I'll send some to me. I could use some irises on my desk.