Monday, May 18, 2009
Birthday flowers by delivery. They're always a most pleasant surprise and in a vase, well, that's just living large. Set them on the counter and I feel like a rich lady on TV.
I got my first bouquet of flowers on my seventeenth birthday. My dad was living in New Orleans at the time and a basket of tiny pink tea roses was delivered to my house in Philadelphia. The classiest thing to ever happen in my young life. I guess so pivotal for me that I saved the envelope and card in a scrapbook. Vaguely, I remember feeling I must be growing up in my father's eyes for him to send me such a grown up gift. And I think I was touched and felt a little sad for him, that I could imagine that it must be hard to see one's child grow up. And then I'm sure my thoughts drifted gently to how and where I would get some beer for my birthday.
Cut flowers may have been an extravagance at the time unless it came from one's own garden because I don't have memories of flowers inside houses that weren't plastic...or dusty for that matter. My mom tended a few beautiful rose bushes in our side yard and we would cut a few stems when the bush got too full and I would take them for my teacher. They were crooked and thorny stems but the blooms were huge and a velvety deep purple-red and we would wrap the ends in a wet paper towel and cover them in tinfoil. I vigilantly protected them against the rabble on the school bus until I could get them to my teacher's desk and more than once bled from a thorn as part of my trouble. The look on my teacher's face was surprise and delight, totally worth the extra effort of getting them to school in one piece. The back of my school bus was a wild place for twelve years and is probably worthy of its own blog entry at some point. A mobile mosh pit replete with sex, drugs and violence at various points.
Today, a knock at my door.
"Hey, those must be for me."
"Are you Julie?"
"It's my birthday!"
"Well, happy birthday!"
What am I? Six?
Thanks for another classy birthday, Daddy.