Monday, April 30, 2012

Flowers in the Monday evening house

Late to the party, here's my offering for Jane's Flowers in the House...they are rather staged, aren't they? Sorry. Those are our evening's gin and bitter lemons. Our almond snack. We sat and sipped and crunched and talked about Stuff, and shed a tear and made a joke, and got on with our respective evenings: laptops, photos, cooking, this post.

I had to have the peonies. In tight bud, as they should be if you want them to last for a long time, and not fullblown like the ones I wanted to buy from Seaport, a pretty flower shop up the road, recently.

I had seen them in the window - we were rushing along Henry Street to the subway for Manhattan, to pick up my mom for dinner. The peonies were peachy-cream and blousy, still cupped, almost full blown, and I wanted them as a perfect gift for my mother, who comes from a peonyless clime. She would fly back to Cape Town two days later. In the shop I ask a lady behind the counter how much they were. I was feeling reckless and had actual money in my pocket. Lots (for once). Not for sale, she said tersely (it seemed). Huh, I thought, I guess they've been sold. Then she added. They won't last! Hope, I thought: Oh, I don't need them to last, only a a couple of days, max. They won't last a couple of days! snapped the woman. Buy these,  she said, pointing to the unsexy peony bud balls in the fridge. But...I want the fullblown ones, I whispered.

We left, peonyless, and genuinely puzzled. And quite sad.

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