Friday, January 6, 2012
Andrew brought me white roses on New Year's Eve. That's the anniversary of our engagement; on the night he proposed he brought white roses, and he's done so in each of the 19 years since then.
It's sweet of him. Unfortunately, I am terribly unromantic. The path to my heart isn't lined with flowers or jewelry or mushy cards. And I'm allergic to decaying plant matter. So each year I nod my thanks, put the roses in a vase, and half-wonder if there's something a wee bit wrong with me for not "feeling the love".
As the days pass and the roses open, I move the vase from this part of the table to that, making room for schoolwork and supper and everyday life. When I sit in the living room writing, my eye falls on the flowers when I glance up. Over the days my mind slowly begins to apprehend that this curious gift my husband brings me once a year -- a gift I know many women yearn for, but I do not -- is somehow symbolic of something. It is as if Andrew is saying I know roses aren't your love language, but they are part of mine, and I love you enough that I am going to 'say' it whether you can hear me or not.
I think about that. After nearly two decades of marriage there's still a lot of mystery about what it means to love and be loved. Knowing that is worth something. Perhaps it's even worth the cost of a half-dozen white roses.