Lilacs in vintage watering can

I have heard it told that in every relationship, someone is the gardener and someone is the flower.

Apparently, in our house, I am the…can you guess?

But wait!  I think you’re wrong.

So, try again please…I beg you to re-consider.

Which do you think I am?

The gardener?  or…

The flower?

…REALLY?  That’s your guess?

Sigh.

If you guessed the flower, you are not alone.

Drat!

I don’t like being the flower, even though a woman being the flower does harken back to something rather vintage.  All that “the fairer sex” stuff.  My Grandma Verna actually told me recently that when my Grandpa Howard had an accident at work in the ’50s, one of the doctors wrote in his report, “the patient’s wife is a seemingly intelligent woman.”

Seemingly intelligent.   Because you know, intelligence is often suspect when it comes to the fairer sex.

Anyway, being the flower is new for me.  I’ve never been the flower before.  In past relationships, I was always the gardener; the very determined gardener, trying to get a (large and I was sure, misunderstood) weed to magically transform into the beautiful sunflower I just knew it was inside.  I am a people-pleasing, care-taking, co-dependant, gardener sort of gal.

Still, I conducted a little survey among our friends.  An innocuous little survey about gardeners and flowers.  Traitors that they are, they all agreed that when it comes to Practical Man and me, I am definitely the flower.

Positively, definitely, no doubt about it, they said.

Harumph.  Who needs friends anyway?

Well, fine then, if I must be the flower, I like to think I’m a daisy.  They’re my favourites.  They look so cheerful and they’re very natural (that is, not high maintenance at all) and of course, vintage, if you look at any wedding bouquet photo from 1972.

Daisies in our garden

However, even I can admit that sometimes, just occasionally, I am less like a daisy and more like the 40+ kinds of roses Practical Man used to grow in our yard when we lived in suburbia.  Or, the rose in one of my favourite books, “Le Petit Prince“.   That is, just a teensy-tiny bit high maintenance.

Just, the odd time.  For example:

1)  I am afraid of cows, like in a shrieky sort of way (not an especially handy quality to have when you live in the country).

2)  I can’t drink alcohol or I’ll faint.

3)  I can’t get too hot or I’ll faint.

4)  I can’t stay up past 9:00 pm two days in a row or I’ll faint.

5)  I can’t shriek or I’ll faint (see cow problem above).

6)  I can’t go on an airplane or I’ll faint (and cause an international incident where I’m almost banned from flying even though I’m thousands of miles and an ocean away from home in a German airport all by myself with somehow, unfairly, NO Ritter Sport chocolate bars on my person, but that’s another story).

You may be sensing a theme.  There’s more but the long and the short of it:   I’m like one of those fainting goats.  Well, not so much recently because I take medication that actually works, thank goodness.  But, that medication came about because of astute observations made by Practical Man which in turn, helped doctors finally figure out, after 17 years of swooning, what was wrong with me.  Once again, proving that I am (darn it!) the flower.

7)  You already know how I am with The Nature.

8)  But you probably don’t know that I have a thing about chewing.  Can’t stand to hear it.  Even three rooms over.   If I’m ever captured and tortured for state secrets, all they have to do is chew raw carrots in my vicinity and I’ll spill the beans (and possibly some of their blood) immediately.

9)  Also, I must eat my potato chips in a certain order (broken ones first, then ones that are misshapen, then ones with bubbles until I finish with one perfect chip).   I don’t know why.  But, I realized a few years ago that my mother does the same thing so I’m pretty sure there’s a potato-chip-ordering gene that scientists haven’t quite discovered yet.  There should be a study and then me and my mom will be vindicated (I can hear you mocking us even now) because the potato-chip-ordering gene could help solve important world problems, I’m sure of it.

10)  I can’t tilt my head more than 20 degrees in any direction without getting spinny.  I know, I know.  You already heard that I was fainty.   But, see, this is spinny, not fainty.   Spinny and fainty are totally different sensations but I’m pretty sure that they both add up to the same thing.

That is:  that I am the flower.

Luckily, like my Grandma Verna, I’m also seemingly intelligent.

Copyright Christine Fader, 2013.
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