Half a dozen roses… so gorgeous… so expensive… especially on Valentine’s Day.
I usually don’t do roses on the day of love. I’d rather spend the money on a nice dinner and a movie or concert. It’s too cliche (because dinner and a movie aren’t cliche). Who am I kidding – it’s a rip off – those florists probably turn their profit for the year on that one day. I refuse to engage in capitalism at its worst…
Of course, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to give the wifie some roses on Valentine’s Day. I’m just too cheap. But I am also opportunistic. If I were able to somehow get my hands on some inexpensive roses, I would jump at the chance.
So when a student waltzed into my classroom on Valentine’s Day with a beautiful bouquet of roses from her boyfriend, I felt a little sheepish. They were amazing roses, lush, crimson, and fragrant. In short, they were perfect, and she knew it. She inhaled deeply, set them down on her desk, and almost floated back to the hallway, presumptively to say good-bye to her 17 year-old Adonis. A few of the other students discussed the quality of the roses (so lovely) and their classmate’s good fortune (she is sooooo lucky to have such a wonderful boyfriend). All the chatter made me feel guilty – did roses really cost that much? Here is a teenager willing to put out a small fortune to take care of his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day, and I am unwilling to break the bank for the mother of my two children.
How lame am I?
What came next was wholly unexpected.
A tempest whirled into the room – the student that had seconds before been basking in the glory of her roses. “I hate that &@*&# &#$&*@#)(=!!!!,” she snarled, grabbing the roses. “He’s such a #*()*$)*#@$!!!” She turned and fled from the room, but only after slamming her roses into the trash can next to my desk.
Complete silence. We were all absolutely stunned by the turn of events. When I could finally think again, the first coherent thought to form in my brain was, “I wonder if I can give those to the wifie…”
Then the chatter started back up.
“OMG! I wonder what happened!”
“She was just madly in love like two seconds ago!”
“What could he have done to make her so mad?”
All the while, I visualized the joy on wifie’s face as I gave her roses on Valentine’s Day.
“Hey, Mr. S! What are you gonna do with the flowers? Are you gonna give them to your wife?”
Oh no! Was it that obvious on my face? “Do you think I should?” I asked, because every grown man should seek justification from high school juniors and seniors.
“She threw them away! They’re yours now!”
“I mean, I guess I could – it hadn’t really crossed my mind…” I lied through my teeth. “But I probably should wait and see if she wants them back.” Please let her not want them back…. please…
“Are you kidding – she hates him! You can tell!”
“Your wife is gonna be really happy when you give her those – they’re amazing!”
“Yes, yes they are.” I am going to be a hero tonight. For sure.
After lunch, all the students returned to class… and finally Miss Rose walked back in. She seemed to be a little more settled, and all of the other students looked at me expectantly, knowing what I would soon ask. I carefully approached her and asked in my most soothing voice, “are you feeling better now?”
“Yes, I’m really sorry I lost it in front of the class. I just got so MAD AT HIM!!! I’m sorry, I’m doing it again…”
“Well, I’m sorry about whatever happened. I saved your roses in the trash can for you, just in case you wanted them back.” The whole class held its collective breath.
“Oh thank you, but I don’t want them… in fact, why don’t you give them to your wife? It would make me happy if someone got them…”
SCORE! The whole class was grinning.
“Well, if you’re sure…”
“I am. Happy Valentine’s Day!”
Did I mention that I got roses for my wife on Valentine’s Day? Not the cheap, flimsy ones. Beautiful, plush roses that made her swoon.
How smart am I?