A pile of flaky dust fell from the pages of my mother’s 1961 college student handbook and course listing as she pulled it from the shelf.
“What the hell is that!?” she cried. “I just vacuumed. Goddammit.”
“It looks like flower petals.”
She examined the bits more closely before brushing them into the dust pan and determined that they were, in fact, the fragments of a carnation.
“One day, when we were first dating, your father pulled off the side of the road on his way to pick me up and bought me a bouquet of carnations. I hate carnations. But they were such happy little things and I was thrilled. So I tried pressing them. We did things like that in those days. Pressed the flowers a boy gave us so we could have it as a keepsake if we ever got married. Of course, most of them turned out to be bastards. The boys, not the flowers. But I always did a shit job, totally mangled them, and usually forgot what book I used.”
“Case in point.”
When it comes to women, a well-picked bouquet from a fella goes a long way.
Which is why on Wednesday, along with my sneakers, a cluster of sunset-hued roses wrapped in damp paper towels and the cellophane from my 3AM room service order passed through the x-ray scanner at LAX.
My birthday had been only a few days earlier and these roses had been the feature of a bouquet that greeted me on that July 1st morning. Despite the resort’s legendary service, the elegant arrangement, I would soon learn, was not courtesy of my 5-diamond resort, which had also sent a cake. Even better – the flowers were from my new flame.
5-diamond concierge fail.
New flame home run.
The SoCal sunshine may have mellowed the east coast gallerist, but the roses from the boy who set my heart a flutter with just a glance put an indelible smile on my face for the duration of my “birthday week.”
“Did you go to a wedding while you were out here?” my flight attendant asked when she saw me wedging the roses gingerly into the seat pocket in front of me.
“No. They were a birthday gift.”
“From a beau?”
I nodded with a blush.
“Looks like he’s a keeper to me. Those are stunning.”
Thousands of miles and several changes in cabin pressure later, the roses looked a little worse for wear. Despite the suggestion, I elected not to press them. Much like my mother, home crafts and remembering where I put things are not my forte. I think for now, I’ll leave the act of preserving memories to my Canon… and a moleskin notebook.