Part 2 of 3 (see Part 1 here)
green grocer, it was too late, particularly in Manhattan, to buy quality roses from a flower shop. From my story that morning:
It was Valentine's Day in Manhattan many years ago, and I, like the others, had waited until THE LAST MINUTE. We had made the enormous mistake of attempting to buy flowers from a flower shop during the closing hours on Valentine's Day.
Certainly, I reasoned, a brand new flat screen TV is a more than adequate gift for Valentine's Day. Nonetheless, I had been ruminating from the inception of this gift idea over the prudence of giving no flowers on such a holiday. But there was an option.
My journey through the outer boroughs to my girlfriend's house takes me by this roadside vendor of flowers. It is a classic New York City juxtaposition - where else will you find a sign for roses at the astonishing price of $9.99 per dozen tacked to a barbed wire fence? I had seen this sign dozens of times, which always prompted me to reflect on the danger of purchasing discounted flowers, an observation which I discussed in my story, Happy Valentine's Day, that very morning:
Any astute woman will know quality and where such flowers were purchased.
As I traveled the last leg of my drive, I agonized over stopping at the $9.99 dealer, Ariemma's Garden Center. Here was the dilemma: Should I forgo the flowers, relying on the magnitude of the gift I had already purchased? Or should I buy flowers and cover my bases? However, there was risk buying these flowers. What if she discerns that they are CHEAP, and worse, that she recognizes or deduces that they were purchased at the last minute near her home as an afterthought? It could appear desperate, thoughtless and cheap, as well as undermine everything I had done.
Plus, with only blocks to go, I was anxious to get to her home, so, still a little conflicted, I passed the garden center and forged ahead. I arrived and pulled up, locking all my doors, even in her driveway. This was a New York City reflex for me when parking anywhere, perhaps stronger than the classic physiological knee-jerk reflex itself. The automatic response was permanently etched in my mind from the days of rampant vandalism in the city and No Radio signs.
The TV box was large, and rather than wrap it, I had decided to leave it in the original B&H shopping bag, a bit lazy on my part. I entered her home empty-handed, made an announcement that I had come bearing gifts, went back to my car and returned with the TV, a wall mount bracket and a handmade card. Voilà. Happy Valentine's Day! Was she elated? Her reaction will be revealed in Part 3, where you will learn whether or not I had pleased her or made a Big, Big Mistake…