Friday afternoon our office manager walked onto my floor carrying a huge, hand-tied bouquet of flowers. It was the birthday of the woman who sits outside my office and we both thought the flowers were for her. It was neither my birthday nor my anniversary and so I was as surprised as she was to learn they were for me. I double checked the card to ensure there was no mistake. My name was on the outside, and inside the inscription started with “poopie doopie,” a clear indicator they were from husband. The card went on to read “thank you for being so understanding.”
The flowers were my reward for a week of enduring husband’s latest fit of hypochondria, which in recent years has doted on various and assorted ailments including, memorably, colon cancer and AIDS. This time around husband had convinced himself he had diabetes. The speculation was less unreasonable than previous occasions given he had been asked to take a second blood test after a first one came back with high glucose levels. This coupled with the fact that his father had adult onset diabetes had convinced husband a diagnosis was inevitable, and he spent the week mining the Internet for other evidence to satisfy this conclusion. When the second test came back normal on Thursday afternoon, there was great relief. I was pleased husband didn’t have diabetes, but just as happy not to have to endure the nightly sessions reviewing his latest findings on WebMD.
The only other time husband sent me flowers at the office was in the very early days of our dating career. He had cancelled a rollerblading date at short notice and sent a bouquet by way of apology the following Monday. The card carried the message “Forget me.” The secretary and I had a good laugh at the melodrama of this instruction and then I did as I was told. Several days later husband called me, expressing exasperation that I had not yet telephoned him to thank him for the flowers. I explained I was just doing as he had asked and recounted the message. It turns out the clerk had transcribed the card incorrectly, and the greeting was supposed to have read “Forgive me.” The rest, as they say, is history.