I’m not a rose person. Yes, I think they’re pretty, but if you really want to grab my attention (and my heart), bring me a bunch of tulips (bright pink), peonies (bright pink) or chocolate (milk chocolate). Seriously, I’m not the kind of woman who wants her husband to send three dozen roses to her office so that everyone can look impressed. Instead, I love the “I saw these and thought of you” bouquets that B. has been known to bring home unexpectedly. And delightedly.
But if roses are the flower du jour then my choices are always those grown in someone’s garden. Garden roses have the most amazing fragrances that store-bought flowers just can’t duplicate. And homegrown roses actually manage to make it to full bloom looking gorgeous (sort of what I’m aiming for as I get older).
Which brings me to a mini romantic comedy that I witnessed recently in real life. While we are apartment people (once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker), our neighborhood is filled with lots of houses, many surrounded by an abundance of trees and flowers. One of these houses boasts hundreds of rose bushes around its perimeter with something like a gazillion white roses. We’re talking enough roses to carpet at least one Rose Bowl float. (Floats covered with hand-picked, hand-placed rose petals? Really? Does that sound like what nature intended to you? But I digress).
On this particular day, as we were walking by this Casa Rose-a-rama, a young Romeo on a bicycle pulled over and stopped beside the flowers. He took a small pen knife out of his backpack and quickly cut off three or four of the white roses, presumably for his Juliet. All of a sudden, the lady of the house appeared (I use the term “lady” quite loosely here). In one magical moment, this lovely, personal-trainer-honed, Beverly-Hills-stylist-blonded, Porsche-driving princess turned into a shrew with a major, major potty mouth (my sincere apologies to all potties out there). Shrieking at Romeo to “get off my #$%@%&I-ing property right now or I’ll call the #$%@%&I-ing police,” our genteel heroine actually took off one of her Louboutin pumps and threw it at him. (You know, she had a pretty good arm.)
And our hero? In the best tradition of Robin Hood, Zorro, and Cary Grant, he blew a kiss to her as he took off down the street, true love winning the day, his bicycle speeding away before she could vent even more anger at now having only a mere gazillion-minus-four roses.
Way to go, Romeo. Petal to the metal.
© 2014 Claudia Grossman