I was 21 the first time The Husband sent me flowers.
To be exact, he was The Boyfriend back then, and I was living at home with The Parents. And, as any Mexican-American child of immigrants knows, our dating adventures were limited to two dates a week and a curfew severe enough to make a non-ethnic American teen point and laugh.
It was that bad.
It wasn't that my Dad didn't like The Boyfriend. In fact, he was thrilled with him. As a master mechanic with the know-how to talk cars while looking hotter than hell while covered in grease (my opinion, not my dad's), The Boyfriend was an automatic win with my father, which quite honestly, pissed me off at the beginning.
The Boyfriend was supposed to be my Bad Boy. He was almost five years older than me. Never went to college. Drove a beat-up truck that sat so high I needed a stool to get in and ran so loudly that everyone on my block knew when I was getting picked up for a date. But my master plan went to hell when my Dad proclaimed him "ok."
One non-descript afternoon in the middle of spring, the doorbell rang at home. My mom answered to see a delivery guy holding a pretty flower arrangement set in a mini red wagon with a teddy bear. (I was a teddy bear collecting freak until Buttercup came along and claimed them all.) My mother automatically handed the arrangement to me without bothering to check the card. We all knew Dad wasn't the flower-sending type.
It was from The Boyfriend. I melted. My mother gushed to her friends about how I got flowers and bitched to my father about how she didn't. But even that only made my dad chuckle. He never said it, but flowers on my doorstep made one hell of an impression with him.
I'm 32 now. We've been married for eight years in September. And unless you count the random houseplants we've purchased when out and about at Lowes and Home Depot, I haven't seen flowers with my name on them since I moved out of my parents house.
I called The Husband on it once after a friend got flowers delivered to work for her birthday at the job I once claimed. "Those flowers weren't for me, were they?" I was referring to the teddy bear days.
He raised an eyebrow, a smile beginning to form. "What are you talking about?"
"Come on, admit it," I said playfully. "Those were solely to impress my parents. They just happened to have my name on the card so you wouldn't get accused of kissing ass."
The Husband laughed out loud. Then he kissed me. "Ok, you got me. Yes, they were for your parents. And it worked."
Yeah it did. And you know what also works? Sitting down with Buttercup to play with her Mega Blocks this morning after he got home from work, whispering and laughing together, he finally handed her something to bring to Mama.
It was a flower. It was sweet. It was cute.
And it was just for me.