Story Sent in by Jonathan:
I met Vicki in my college dining hall. She was eating alone, and I wasn't there with anyone, either. I asked if I could join her, and she welcomed me to her table.
She was studying economics and hoped to start her own business. I was majoring in archaeology with hopes to go all the way to Ph.D. She asked me loads of questions, I fired a bunch back, and before you knew it, I had planned a first date with her.
On the night of the date, I took her out to a great Italian place near campus, the sort of place at which you have to make a reservation about a week in advance. I'm not a ritzy kind of guy, but especially back then, I thought that a pricey dinner would only help the date.
We had both dressed up, and she looked great. We were seated and the first thing she did was take the small centerpiece, which was a small vase of carnations, and sniffed them.
She wrinkled her nose and said, "Not roses. Damn."
I frowned at her. "Huh?"
A waiter came by with a pitcher of water wrapped in a napkin. He poured a glass for Vicki and another one for me. She looked inside of her water glass, studying it as if something was floating inside.
"What's wrong?" I asked her.
She looked around again and said, "I thought this would be the kind of place that put rose petals in their water."
"I don't know of any place that puts rose petals in their water."
She assured me, "Some places do, and I thought that this place would." She raised her hand and a server rushed over. She said, "Hi, I'm sorry to trouble you. Do you have any rose petals?"
"Rose petals?" the waiter asked, "I'm sorry, I don't think so, but we might have some in back. Let me check."
He hurried off. I asked her, "Will you be okay if they don't have rose petals?"
She said, "We'll see. Most good places have them, but sometimes you have to ask."
"Why rose petals?"
"They're good for you as an infusion in water."
We didn't say anything else until the waiter came back. He said, "I'm sorry. I thought we had some from a centerpiece in back, but we don't have any."
Vicki's mood noticeably soured. She groaned, "Okay," and looked at me expectantly. "Would you mind taking a quick run around the block?" She opened her purse and handed me a $10 bill.
I said, "You're serious? You want me to go and buy you a rose for your water?"
She asked, "Is this a date or isn't it?"
I took the $10 without a word and left the restaurant. As I suspected would be the case, my walk around the block yielded one closed florist. I returned to Vicki with her ten dollars. "Sorry," I said, "The florist was closed. Can we order dinner, now?"
"After all that?" she asked, "You couldn't get me a rose anywhere?"
I said, "What's the big deal with the roses? I'm sure you don't drink water with rose petals every time you drink water, do you?"
"No, but this is a nice restaurant and a date. I should get at least something that I want."
"Is it going to ruin the date?"
She said, "Probably."
We ordered our dinners and I was sure to ask for separate checks. She moped the entire time and hardly said a word to me, except to say, "Once you've tried water with rose petals, you'd understand."
Once we were done, I thought that I'd walk her back to campus, but she took off in the other direction and said, "You go ahead back. I'm looking for roses for my water."
That night, she sent me an email, declaring that she had not only found roses, but that she had a date scheduled with a guy who also liked rose petals in his water. I'm sure that they had lots to talk about together.
Story Sent in by Jonathan: