After the first date I had with my future wife, I sent her a single Gerber daisy with a note attached that simply read, ‘I had a great time’.
I wanted to convey to her what I was feeling without the overt overtones something like a rose might have carried with it. I wanted to let her know, even after one date, there was something special about her. Something I felt even as we said ‘goodnight’ to each other after the date (I also wanted to impress the hell out of her).
As we continued to date and become more serious, I continued to get her Gerber daisies. Sometimes I would get them for special occasions and sometimes I got them for her just because. So much so, that I have yet to buy my wife a dozen roses because they could never say more than those daisies. A simple daisy I had originally used to send a simple message soon was used to convey so much more to her. It became my way of telling my wife, without words, what my heart was saying.
At some point in our marriage though, the Gerber daisies stopped coming. It wasn’t because I didn’t want her to know how I felt or because I felt any less about her but I think it happened when I was duped in to believing her when she told me she didn’t need to get flowers anymore.
I remember the conversation: “You don’t need to buy me flowers. Save your money.”
I responded with a skeptical, “Are you sure?” She said she was and I took her at her word. Little did I know this was one of those times when her word meant the same thing as when she told me she didn’t mind waking up with our daughter in the middle of the night. I was young…and stupid. I also thought there were better ways to show her what was in my heart. Coupled with my obvious stupidity, the hustle of life, and the ease of filling out a Kay Jeweler’s credit card, the gift once used to say everything, was no longer around to say anything.
For 11 years, I have bought jewelry, cooked romantic dinners, relied on Hallmark and my own words, secured Grandparents to serve as babysitters for a weekend, and even burnt mixed CD’s of romantic songs (and mixed tapes). This Sunday marks our 12th Wedding Anniversary and while I’m confident I could weave the right words to once again convey how I feel about her, I wanted something else. I needed something else but finding the right anniversary gift can sometimes be a lot like trying to find the Holy Grail at a Motel 6 in Schenectady.
I contemplated another CD, I thought about a weekend away, I thought about putting a balance on the Kay’s card, I went through the Fannie Farmer Cookbook sitting in our kitchen, I thought about something grand that would knock her off her feet but with all of the things crossing my mind, nothing seemed to be right. Then it hit me.
When I first wanted to get across how I felt about her, I bought my wife a Gerber daisy. It was something so simple yet said everything I wanted it to at the time and as we time went on, it was the flower that conveyed all my heart had to give to her. So I opted to leave behind visions of grandeur for an anniversary gift and go for the simple. Go for the thing that would let my wife know how much she means to me. How much I love her. How she makes my heart skip a beat. How, after 12 years of marriage, I still want to show her all my heart has to give to her. So this year for our anniversary, I got her 12 Gerber daises.