I was buying flowers for Rosalie last night. There’s a place down the street from my office that’s pretty good, nice people, interesting arrangements. It’s not the best, the best is on Centre St. in JP. There’s also a place near my office that employs some of the surliest, most abrasive flower-sellers ever. I don’t go there anymore.
Anyway, I went to the place down the street and pick out a pretty good arrangement from out in front of the store. I like going to the florists in the fall the best. First of all because the flowers tend to not lend themselves to being bundled with a bunch of baby’s breath, which is ugly and hated by everyone, but also because the bouquets tend to include not just flowers but other, prickly things, blue alien things, berry-laden things. It’s more interesting to me. I can’t actually name any flowers by site. Except snapdragons and belles of ireland.
I took my bouquet to the register. There was one guy ahead of me, who was carry a more traditional type of bouquet, probably tulips or something. Just he hands it to the girl behind the counter –who must be a new employee, I’ve never seen her before, she’s probably a student from Northeastern– his cell phone rings.
- He’s in front of me, therefore holding me up. Preventing me from the rest of my life.
- His bouquet, which he’s getting wrapped up all fancy, obviously for his girlfriend, is not as nice as mine. He is an amateur at buying flowers, or his girlfriend has lousy taste.
- Cell phone.
So the girl was wrapping the flowers up all nice, and this guy seemed to be getting the brunt of his conversation delivered to him. Lots of silence, breaths & half-utterances of disbelief, Yes I dids, No I did nots, I do not understands, Where is this coming froms, Buts.
He got hung up on. He stuck the cell phone back in his jacket just as the girl finished wrapping the flowers.
There was another person in line behind me at this point, and I was wondering if there might be someone else in the back room who could open another register or something and move this process along a little quicker. She handed him the flowers, and started pressing register buttons. HE was looking at the ribbon bow on the flowers as she said “Fourteen fifty.”
He put the bouquet down, took out a ten and a five, picked up the flowers, took the change she was holding out to him, then said: “Here. These are for you now.” He held out the flowers to her.
She looked a little stunned. It was a surprising thing. It seemed like an odd gesture to me. She probably got all the free flowers she wanted, working there. But she probably didn’t know what to do, because she took the flowers from him without saying anything. He turned and was out the door, turning left, heading up Mass Ave.
“He should have kept them for himself,” the woman behind me said, and I agreed. I guess he had suddenly decided to do make a stab at something sort of bittersweet, which, incidentally, is a word I’ve never liked.