Marion’s Mom Bought Her Flowers

At the grocery store yesterday, I swung by the floral section to get a deep whiff of a hyacinth. An older woman appeared out of nowhere, beamed at me and said, “Don’t you love it? You love them as much as I do. I can tell by the look on your face.”

I agreed that they were wonderful. She told me she couldn’t wait for spring, that her mother used to buy her hyacinths and she planted every one by the front door, so every spring she remembers her mom. Isn’t that beautiful? I thought so. I told her so. Anyway, we chit chatted a tiny bit. The scent of hyacinth and gardenia remind me of my mom, I said. She also loved lily of the valley, but where the hell do you find those? Not in the floral department of Wegmans, that’s for sure. And then I left, because come on, it was time.

So I got to the checkout and the young woman at the register started rubbing her nose. Then her eyes turned red. Then she started sneezing so powerfully she actually dropped the little white hyacinth I’d chosen to adopt (and fully intend to kill), the bulb flying from its soily nest and landing too near the trashcans. “I guess I’m, like, allergic or something?” she asked. (Well, not really asked. You know how people under 35 are incapable of making a statement sound like a statement.)

What’s the point? There isn’t one. But it could serve as a reminder that something you find lovely and meaningful could be an aggravation to somebody else.