You Don't Bring Me Flowers . . . 

Been a bonehead? Don't say it with a bouquet.

I have been in a committed relationship with the same woman for three years and have been out of town for a few months for my job. I sent her some flowers recently (for no particular reason), and when I talked to her on the phone, she asked if I had a secret agenda.

I don't have one; I just wanted to surprise her and let her know that I love and miss her. But after that, I will never send her anything for no reason again. I thought women liked surprises and unpredictability. Why do you think she asked me that? We were both previously married to cheaters. Do you think that has something to do with it?


I'm sitting here on my sofa, trying to concentrate on your (no offense) really fucking boring question, but all I can do is count the seconds (tick, tick, tick!) until my first real vacation in years. Yep, the Special Naked Friend and I will be taking off in a matter of hours (43, to be exact), bound for an undisclosed location where there will be swimming, oyster eating, sex on a bed that's not our own, and heaps of merriment and glee.

Yet even in my pre-vacation tizzy, my brain is clear enough to ponder—yet again—why most couples don't save themselves a lot of angst and just talk to each other instead of e-mailing strangers for advice. I realize I'd be mostly out of work if this were to happen, so I suppose I should thank you. But it is puzzling.

Instead of letting your panties get all wedged up in your ass crack, and swearing off gifts forever, why don't you ask her why she asked you such a stupid question? Maybe tell her that she hurt your feelings. Is that so difficult?

Frankly, it sounds like your girlfriend dated a lot of the same guys I did. The thing is, the overwhelming majority of the flowers I've received from men (and yes, I realize this is pathetic and awful) have been given not out of love but instead because the guy has done something so astonishingly stupid and/or cruel and/or hideous that mere words cannot express his wrongness, and so he's deluded himself into believing a couple posies might clear the slate. (Wrong!)

Over the years, I've received the "Please Don't Leave Me" bouquet, the "I'm a Jackass" arrangement, and the "Oops, I Ruined Your Birthday" assortment. The worst was a paltry bunch of dingy white mums (the most unattractive blossoms known to man) that my now-dead ex gave me to make up for some transgression I've long forgotten. See that—I remember the fugly flowers, but his sin? Who knows.

My friend Julie has had similar bad experiences with flowers. Once, a married guy who was avidly pursuing her had a giant arrangement sent to her office. Instead of wooing her, it only served to put her in an awkward position with co-workers. Another dude gave her a beautiful bouquet of rare and exotic flowers to make up for the fact that he was dumping her. Right then and there.

A year or so into our relationship, my current b.f. went for the FTD I-Fucked-Up floral atrocity. I sat him down and told him that the only offering that meant anything was a sincere apology. Furthermore, I was starting to hate flowers because I seemed to only receive them after I'd spent the previous night sobbing my face off.

Since we got this straight, he only brings me flowers out of kindness and gives me the gift of groveling when he's done wrong. So I can see how your girlfriend might think something is up.

She hasn't seen you in a while and is probably feeling a little neglected and insecure. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, the flower delivery guy shows up. If she was married to a cheater, she's probably doubly (or quadruply) gun-shy. So give her a break, will you?

Instead of getting all crabby, call her and offer a little reassurance instead.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go pack.

Want advice from a stranger? Write Dategirl at or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.

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