The Back-Up

Most first dates don’t last 48 hours. Most second don’t, either.

On our first date the subject of flowers came up. As in, what was my favorite kind. Which, is a tricky thing, because I am mostly allergic to them.

Carnations. Daisies. A limited list, I joked, perhaps, plants were a better choice for me.

The scene of our second date: an opening door, a smiling Jeff, overnight bag at his feet and hands behind his back.

“I hope I got this right. I brought you these,” he said, pulling around pink and white carnations.

My first. No date had ever brought me flowers, so I was excited and happy and thought it was super cute that he remembered (or tried to remember) which flowers I could tolerate.

I grabbed them, flung myself into his arms and stayed there so long, he finally said, “Should we go in, maybe?”

He turned for his bag; I went hunting for a vase. I didn’t have one because… flowers, right?

We ended up putting them into a spaghetti pot. As I was still beaming, Jeff said, again, “I wasn’t sure, so just in case, I brought you this…”

Now, an important part of the impact of the back-up gift was the way it was presented.

Held out as an extra offering, in one cow-milking, super-sized hand an … also unusually large… squash.

We cooked it for dinner. No. Jeff cooked it. I’d never cooked a squash before. I thought squash came in cans.

But, he stuffed it with sausage and peppers and onions, using croutons as bread crumbs, and a little maple syrup and  it was divine.

For Jeff’s funeral my mother prepared a speech, and had a poem she wanted to read.

The poem ended up being the one printed on the back of the funeral service leaflet. I didn’t request that; neither did she.

She read it aloud, anyway, and went on to tell the packed church of family, friends, coworkers and business associates that following our second, I had called her to tell her all about it.

My mom said she heard something in my voice that made her ask, “What’s so special about this guy?”

“He makes me happy every second I am with him,” I answered without hesitation. “ He makes me laugh.”

“… and Mom,” I said, “ He brought me flowers! … and a squash!”

If I had to pinpoint ‘the’ moment, even though at the time, I didn’t know it was ‘the’ moment,  that would be it.

He brought me a squash.

 Quote for the Week:

2015 11 24 the thought that counts gift of squash jakorte

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One comment on “The Back-Up

  1. Irma says:

    Your love stories about Jeff make me smile. Thanks.


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