Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spreading Cheer, One Grump at a Time!

I was just visiting Rocksinmydryer – and read about her very bad day. Someone broke into her car and stole her purse. She was dealing with police and canceling credit cards and on the verge of tears when a woman, observing from across the parking lot came up and offered her flowers! How very sweet! An angel in disquise! It reminded me of an experience I’ve been meaning to share here for some time….

In my last job, I traveled all over the country to interview people about their homes. Pretty sweet job for someone who loves houses and architecture!

Most of the homeowners were so very sweet and thoughtful.
On one trip in particular, I remember arriving at my hotel, greeted by a bouquet of cheerful wildflowers native to the area. A welcome present from the homeowner I was to interview the next day.

Sadly though, my photographer and I had to travel in the dark from the last shoot – we arrived after dinner and just before bedtime. We had to wake up early for the next days’ shoot so there wasn’t much time to enjoy the flowers. When I packed up my bags in the morning, I brought the vase out to the rental car and propped it in one of the cup-holders. The flowers sat graciously in the car while we spent 10 hours shooting in the home of the woman who arranged them for me.

Then, just before dark, we set off in the car to the nearest town with an airport to fly out the next morning. So I enjoyed the flowers for maybe three hours.

Knowing I couldn’t possibly take them on the plane, it pained me to think of tossing them. So as we drove, I mentioned to my photographer that it would be nice if we could stop by a nursing home and drop them off for someone who needed the cheering up. I would ask the desk to give them to someone who doesn’t get many visitors.

But it would be late when we arrived to check in to the hotel, and we still had to eat. Driving around looking for a worthy recipient didn’t really fit into the schedule – we had to catch an early flight in the morning.

Oh well.

We went into a franchise restaurant for a late dinner. After we ordered, but were still waiting for our food, I noticed a woman with her elderly mother. They seemed to be having a strained conversation. We couldn’t hear, but it was clear it wasn’t a casual conversation. Not stressful, not fighting. They were just talking about something difficult. Maybe they were discussing a sick relative or something.

Well there you go. They could use flowers. I thought. I asked my photographer friend if it would be too weird to get the flowers out of the truck and offer them to the ladies. He thought it was a nice idea.

So I took the keys and dashed out to the car. I was a little nervous as I approached their table. I explained, "I’m visiting from out of town, and was given these flowers. I can’t take them on the plane and I’d really like for someone to enjoy them. Would you like them?"

"No."

Really? Who doesn’t want flowers? Maybe they didn’t appreciate the interruption. Maybe they were so caught up in their problems that they didn’t recognize the kindness I was trying to offer them. I was bewildered. Not even "No, thank you." Just "No."

I went back to our table with the flowers. My photographer friend tried to hold back his smirk and said, "Oooh. Shot down!"

Seriously. I wasn't a pimply kid asking out the prom queen, but suddenly I understood what that kid felt like!

Most of all, I felt sad for the two ladies who didn't embrace the kind offer. It was really sad.

In the end, we offered them to the restaurant manager who in turn gave them to one of his waitresses. So at least they didn’t go to waste.

I’m still stunned when I think about someone rejecting flowers!

1 comment:

Edge said...

They were from the cult of anti-flor-ites.

~Jef

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