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Tuesday, 15 November 2011


By Lyn Burnstine


I seldom got flowers from men. I never figured out why but perhaps it was because I was never a “giggly” girl. I like to think I was feminine and also sexy when it was appropriate to be so, but basically I was a nerd - a late-blooming brainiac with a drive to get myself and everybody else to achieve.

Sound familiar to you who know me well? We don’t really change; we just become more of who we are.

Even though the two true loves of my life tended to gift me with things like tires, appliances, furniture, a six-pack (for Valentine’s Day), there was one man who arrived with a small fistful of scarlet tulips. They felt prosaic somehow, practical like me.

He presented them, then proclaimed that had I known him in his alcoholic days of excess, he would have arrived with huge armfuls of roses! Why me? What kind of timing is that? I like roses!

I finally got roses – lots of them. Not from men in my life but from married-couple friends and women friends when I had surgeries, from my long-term roomer when my sweetheart died and from two of my oldest friends for my 70th birthday.

I love the roses’ delicate bouquet and their perfect velvety petals. I photograph them now so I’m able to keep them forever and share them with other rose lovers.

But along the way, there were some comic episodes concerning roses. Once, when presenting a musical worship service in a church in New Jersey, I looked up to see in the pew folk music’s leading, most-annoying misfit gazing at me adoringly,and in his hands a large bouquet of yellow roses,–,my favorite color, too.

Oh, Lord, I was mortified. I wanted to disappear right through the floor and seriously considered making a quick, back-door getaway before anyone connected him to me. However, I accepted them as graciously as possible, red-faced but somehow the roses must have sensed the negativity I felt because they were totally dead by the time I got back home, a mere two hours later.

One of my young Culinary Institute of America student roomers used to get more roses than anyone I ever knew - weekly at least, from one or another of her many suitors (I more than once threatened to put a swinging door on her bedroom).

I was admittedly jealous of the roses – not the parade of men – but I guess there is a generational thing at work here and if a woman is beautiful, the appropriate response today is roses.

Not so with the Great Depression-influenced men in my age bracket who never got used to throwing money – or roses – at their women’s feet. Darn it!


[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Lyn - Funny piece!

Spectacular photos per usual. "Though youth gave love and roses, age still leaves us friends and wine!" (Thomas More) - Sandy


Very nicely written and the photo is beautiful..

As Emma Goldman wrote:

I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.

I just drove home after a pleasant day's jaunt to visit with two old friends. Sun shining, memories of just having shared memories and feeling relief that I was nearly home. A new sign was on the marquee of a small, local flower shop--One Dozen Roses--$21.99.
I sat here reading enjoying your story about you experiences (or lack thereof) with roses throughout your life. Lucky for me, it was only last week that I saw a perfect specimen in the neighbor's garden--a real "last rose of summer."
The view and the smell were free.
I wonder in this age of recession/depression how many of us rose lovers will have to forego the pleasures provided by receiving roses this fall and winter. The nice thing about winter is that the gardens will be in bloom next year. If that special someone doesn't think to take us to a garden of roses next spring/summer. We could invite them to go along with us.

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