It was the day before Mother's Day, and because we are awesome daughters who always plan ahead (not!) my sis suggested before she went to work that I might want to go to the greenhouse and pick up some flowers. This had been our plan. Who doesn't love flowers? (Our mom LOVES them.)
"What kind should I get?"
"Whatever you think are pretty, she'll think are pretty."
THE BEST ONES:
About 9:30 that morning I headed out, hoping the greenhouse was open.
I got there in a few minutes' time, with only a few missteps (misrolls? - like "the giant sign SAYS the greenhouse is open but how do I get in???")
It was pretty busy. No doubt everyone else had the same idea. (We love our moms, but we suck at pre-planning.) So I perused the flowers, taking off my sunglasses to really appreciate all the colors and determine which were the very best. I spied a pot of I-had-no-idea-what but gosh they were gorgeous. I went by them, with the intent of checking out if there were others I liked better, but an irrational sense of ownership washed over me. I thought, What if someone else takes the best ones??? I can't let them take the best ones!
So, I tested the weight of the pot, and as it wasn't massive, I set it on my lap and got in line behind a guy with seriously disturbing tattoos. (His arms were right at my eye level, to be fair, and I'm pretty sure the ink either depicted someone dead or an alien...on each arm.)
It was a long line and the register was down, but it was a nice day, so I just hung out with my flowers, at a standstill when:
"Sweetheart, can I pray for you?"
He came out of nowhere. Not Tattoo Guy, but older, squatting in front of me. I recognized this stance from almost a decade in nondenominational charismatic church. Praying Man was ready to get his prayer on.
I hesitated for a moment, knowing how dangerous it can be to say no. But I thought of a helpful article I'd read about all the different ways to say no, when you don't feel safe. I settled for a pleasant, "Ummm...No, thank you!" with a smile.
"Okay!" said Praying Man. Not sounding angry, but panicked, like maybe I had The Plague. In any case, he disappeared like a mirage.
The ladies around me in line were shocked.
("Did he just ask to PRAY for you? UNBELIEVABLE!")
("You've got to be KIDDING ME!)
So I arrived at the register, paid, and then asked if someone could please stow the pot of flowers in the bag on the back of my chair. They tried. Then they told me, "I don't think I'd trust this..." As they had the better angle, I trusted them.
Off came the fanny pack, which went into the bag. Now, I had enough lap space to carry the flowers home. It was smooth rolling across the parking lot, until I saw that the curb cut to the sidewalk was on the other side of a giant speed bump. I could just imagine these beautiful flowers biting the dust, so I waved down a passerby and asked if she wouldn't mind giving me a hand over the bump. She did.
THE ROLL HOME:
I was on the sidewalk and on the lookout for the massive crack that stopped me cold on the way there. I spotted it and rolled over super carefully.
I noticed a woman out of the corner of my eye reprimanding her young daughter. When she saw me, her tone changed. For me it was all pity voice, all the time.
"Do you need help?" she asked, like she'd ask a toddler if they got an owie.
"No, thanks, I got it!" I answered cheerfully.
I was almost to my final landmark, which meant home was nearly in sight when I was jarred forward and had to grab the wheels to make sure I didn't tip over.
Massive sidewalk crack.
Mom's beautiful flowers upside down on the ground.
A new lady came running to help. She picked up the pot and handed it to me. Only one yellow flower and a little dirt remained behind but the flowers in the pot were flatter now.
"Do you want me to carry these for you a little way? I'm going into the store up here."
"Sure, that would be great, thank you so much!"
Just then, a car pulled up. The voice inside said, "I can drive these over for her."
New Lady eyed me, to see if I was on board. Asked the woman in the car questions. She was suspicious and I appreciated it. I appreciated that she didn't just pass off my flowers to this random person and go on her way.
I agreed, though, to let the woman in the car drive the flowers home for me. I'd already dropped them once. It was a miracle they survived. I knew I'd be silly to pass up help at this point.
"Yeah, that's fine," I told New Lady and she passed the flowers off. "Thank you so much," I added, to the woman in the car.
But the woman in the car wasn't talking to me. She was talking to New Lady. "Yeah, I offered to carry them for her, but she said no. I KNEW she would drop them!"
Oh crap. It's Pity Voice. I just agreed to give Mom's flowers a ride home with PITY VOICE.
New Lady, responded, "Yeah, I just picked them up off the ground..."
"Ohhh. Thank you for picking them up for her. That was SO NICE of you!"
So, we were off. She drove ahead and got out of the car, meeting me at the back door.
Every single thing she said to me was in that tone of voice:
"You're getting your exercise today!"
"Do you need help up this hill? I don't want to help you if you want to do it yourself..."
"My daughter likes to help out the kids who are in wheelchairs at school, so if she touches your wheelchair, don't worry about it..."
She brought the flowers all the way in, set them on the table and advised me that a little water would perk them right up.
"Thank you so much," I said, and hated myself a little.
When she said "You're welcome," it sounded like she felt like I had the worst life ever, AND that I was some infant who didn't know how to carry flowers home.
I don't think I'd ever been so glad to close and lock my door.
THE MOM SEAL OF APPROVAL:
Sunday morning, I got a text:
"Thanks so much for the flowers and candy. So nice!"
I apologized for the state of the flowers, but Mom insisted:
"They are gorgeous and will fill back in in no time!"
Well...I can't really argue with that.
|[Image is: Mom's pansies, only a little worse for wear.]|
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