Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Empty Vases

The DrH is on a first name basis with our local florist, and in the last 30 days I've received flowers not once, but twice. When he goes out of town, when I go out of town, when I have a baby, birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's day, when he has had a particularly bad schedule and hasn't been home much, or just because, all seem to require flowers. A woman should be thrilled about this, but I must be the only wife in the entire world who cringes when she sees the florist delivery truck pull up to her house.

Saturday I was sitting at the computer watching my kids play in the front yard and saw the van drive by. I immediately got up out of the chair and walked outside. I thought I would save the man a few steps and at the same time let him know I don't let my kids play unsupervised. Isn't that presumptuous of me? There are 16 other homes in our cul-de-sac that could be receiving flowers. But in the 5 years that we've lived here I've never seen that van stop anywhere else. They are for me... always.

Instead of feeling elated, spoiled, and loved, the first thing that crosses my mind, every time, is "there went another $50". And I had just told him that he couldn't spend any money, our checking account was/is getting low and payday was another 6 days away.

A few years ago I was inputting our most recent expenses into our budget and ran across a charge for "Caseys" and assumed it was for gasoline because the amount was very similar to what I am used to inputting for an entire tank of gas and we sometimes buy gas from a station named "Casey's". But as I looked at our fuel expenses I saw that we just filled up the cars so it couldn't be for gas. I found out about the flowers before they were even delivered! "Casey's" is also the name of the florist that my husband is a proud patron of.

I have learned, over time, to bite my tongue when it comes to my feelings about flowers.  I sufficiently hurt his feelings early on in our married life when I told him we didn't have the money to be buying flowers and explained how even though it is nice, I have to find a way to cut that money out of the rest of our budget. For a while after that I didn't get flowers, and then they started showing up again. He can't help himself. And I love that about him, even if it does cut into my savings plan.

In my opinion flowers are a luxury, especially the kind that come in vases from the floral shop. If you must buy flowers I am happy if they come from the grocery store in cellophane. They will die just as quickly, but will cost much less. When you are the one making the budget every month and someone decides to spend $50 on a luxury that will die, you might understand while I would get my feathers ruffled. And if I was given the choice between flowers, that will die, and a night out, or a new pair of shoes, or not spending the money at all, I would choose anything but the flowers. They die and go in the trash and I am left with empty vases.

As we are in the process of preparing to sell our house we are doing a lot of cleaning. The other day I packed up a large box full of empty vases. There must have been a dozen or more. I couldn't help but smile at the thought of all those flowers, and had to restrain myself from adding up how much money he spent on them. One of the things I hope I can learn is to be grateful and accepting of gifts and to see the intention with which they were given, not the impact to our bottom line. This man wants to buy me flowers and nice gifts. For that I should be grateful. I'll be even more grateful when we have the money to spend.

When DrH came home Sunday night he asked me if I'd already found a camera and then told me about something he had "won" at the conference. The first day of the conference they passed out BINGO cards that you had to take around to the vendors/reps and have them sign and then turn in at the end of the conference to be put into a raffle for an unknown prize. My first thought was, he won a camera! Then I realized this was a medical conference so it was probably a leather portfolio with an engraved name of a device company, or a year-supply of pens. Something cool like that. He said that as he went around asking reps to sign his card they all commented that his was the first one that they'd seen. He realized that no one else was having their cards signed and didn't tell anyone. Now my DrH is thinking like me! The day before the conference ended he talked to the lady doing the raffle and she said, "you must be the only person doing this". Sure enough the conference ended, and instead of having a raffle, the nice lady just walked up to him and said "Congratulations, you won". He won a $100 visa gift card! Yeah.

I suppose he figured out a way to pay for the flowers without hitting the budget after all. The best part, he said I could have it to put towards my camera. How amazing is he? I didn't have the heart to tell him that his $100 gift was actually $50 because he had already spent half of it on flowers... that will die. How awful am I?

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