Thank you for not getting me a stupid potted plant. I don’t want anything that includes dirt. When it requires extended care, it’s not a gift. It’s a chore. I already have plenty of those.
I want to admire an object of affection.
Fresh stems? There’s the real prize.
“Wow. You had something killed for me.”
Presenting the “catch of the day” must have initiated this ritual. Back when we lived in a cave, the desire to please was clearly touching right up to the moment when I had to gut, pluck, clean, and prepare the kill for our sustenance.
“It’s the thought that counts.”
This concept has encouraged the ingenuity in which a Neanderthal will attempt to express his love.
Durwood piloted his bicycle over 35 miles of country roads through acres of cornfields, territorial dogs, and other potential hazards (that may have required a fair amount of slaying), just to bring me a once-living flower.
We had only recently met. He stood outside my door, all sweaty from his treacherous ride over the 1984 Oregon Trail, and presented me with a ragtag blossom that he had plucked en route.
He knew that I was in the process of moving out of my apartment over the next few days, and he wanted to offer his assistance. (Because, of course, the touring bicycle had recently been established as an effective means of moving shit.)
No matter. I had already procured a preferred method of transporting cargo. I had the moving van. What I didn’t have was a breathless and willing Neanderthal who wanted to be with me.
“He loves me,” I knew. It was the flower. No dirt.
This single act had secured Durwood’s position in the romantic qualifying round that has continued over the last 28 years. The primal stages of courting have evolved to include outsourcing his slain gifts to ProFlowers, with chore-free gifts now comprising the majority of his repertoire.
Nothing says “I love you” like the occasional dozen of long-stemmed roses,…or the unsolicited offer to go out and pick up my cigarettes, simply that I may postpone the necessity of donning a bra.