I moved to MN the fall of 1999 when I came out here to attend Concordia University St. Paul. It was also when I went on my first official date. (I was told school dances don’t count.) Paul, my husband now, came to pick me for my official first date. When I opened the door, he said, “I wanted to bring you flowers, but I brought you this instead.” He then handed me an apple. I thought it was kind of silly, I mean endearing, and then he proceeded to explain. It was his favorite apple to eat, and his favorite to draw as an artist because of the color blend of the apple, and he didn’t want to bring flowers because he longed to be more original than that. And he was. He has always done things his own way. Over the course of the next three years, I never received flowers. (Unless of course I was in a theater production and it mandated that I got flowers.) Whenever I got picked up for dates, I heard, “I wanted to bring you flowers but I got you this instead.” Then I would receive a unique thoughtful little gift. Mostly from stories that I had told him about growing up and it would show me that he was listening and paying attention to me.
On Oct. 7, 2001, Paul and I went for a walk at Como Park. We were enjoying all that MN has to offer in the fall and it was a gorgeous day. We ended up under a canopy of gold, red, and orange trees. I can still see it in my mind tonight. We were holding hands and talking and then Paul said, “I wanted to bring you flowers but I got you something else instead.” Then without even seeing him, he got down on one knee and pulled out a ring and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. “Will you be my bride?” he asked. Hands down, the most beautiful flowers I’ve ever received.
I have a box of “flowers” from my husband over the course of our 11year history. Some of it was candy, so that is long gone, but it is fun to look back at all of his tokens of appreciation and admiration of me.
When I got home from Haiti two weeks ago, my husband brought me into the house and stood me in front of our window with the blinds closed. He looked me in the eye and said, “I wanted to bring you flowers, but I got you this instead.” Pulling up the blinds, I immediately saw the HUGE mound of ice and snow removed from our walkway. Now, we are faithful in shoveling our snow. However, then the snow plow comes down the city street and blocks our walk way to the street. Our only way of getting to our car. With three children in the house, you can’t always get out there right away to clear away what the plow has piled up. Then it turns to ice, and you really can’t get rid of it. My husband watched me for the last two months, walk our children outside. Step on the mountain, put the car seat in the snow, grab one kid, and haul him over to stand in the street. Then grab the next kid to do the same. Then I would myself climb over the mountain, and the haul up the car seat and set it in the street to then grab my purse and diaper bag. Yes, it was that obnoxious. That was our reality. So while I was enjoying the 80degree weather of Haiti, my husband spent four hours ice picking at the mountain to clear a path for me to the street. This may not sound romantic, but it was a huge gesture of love and dedication and thinking of someone other than himself. It showed me immense love. Maybe we are all grown up now and that some people would still take flowers and chocolate and jewelry, but putting in the hard real life stuff is romantic to me.
So, my husband is stuck in PA and he and his friends have decided to drive through the snow storm over 24 hours to get home. I want to make sure he gets flowers upon his arrival tomorrow afternoon. I have 15in of snow to shovel out of in front the garage so he can get to his car. The plow is coming through, so I’ll have to get to the front walk way before it freezes, and then he won’t have to worry about it later. I guess that’s old people love, but its deep and thoughtful and good.