12/13/2011

Heavy Petal

Story Sent in by Marcia:

Glen and I were at a restaurant on our first date. He was a nervous guy who seemed to have trouble making consistent eye contact.

The table at which we sat had a small glass vase of artificial flowers. Not long after we had sat down, from his folded-up jacket, he pulled out a crushed bouquet of four flowers, shook them out a bit, then handed them to me. He said, "Sorry they're crushed. They were in my jacket."

"It's okay. Thank you very much. I appreciate it." I gave him a smile, then removed the table's artificial flowers from their vase, set them aside, poured some of my (not-yet-drank) water into the vase, then set up the flowers he had just given me within. He gave a weak smile, and I said, "They're terrific. Thank you."

I asked him a few more questions about himself, and then, in the middle of it all, he reached across the table for the flowers, picked off a few petals, and popped them into his mouth like they were popcorn.

It was so matter-of-fact that I wasn't sure what the proper response should be, if indeed there was one. I had stopped talking about whatever it was that I had been saying, and I asked him, "Did you just eat part of the flowers?"

"Yeah," he said, "I'm hungrier than I thought. Don't worry. There's still plenty of them left." He pointed at them and smiled.

I'm aware that certain species of flowers are edible. I wasn't sure about the ones he had brought me, but what mattered to him was that he was sure about them. He reached over and grabbed another few petals. "I'm sorry," he said, "I'll get you more. I just need some sort of appetizer, know what I mean?"

By the time our meals had arrived, he had eaten well over half of the still-attached petals. The sorry-looking flowers looked even sorrier, and it didn't help matters that he chewed with his mouth open. He offered, "You should try some," but I didn't. Not yet.

Dinner came, and he picked off a few more petals from the flowers he had given me and sprinkled them over his pasta. Caving to curiosity, I picked off a petal, myself, and tried it. It tasted like a sweet cucumber, from what I could tell. Before I could try another one, though, Glen picked off the rest of the petals and ate them along with his pasta. Well, that was that.

At dinner's end, as we left, I grabbed the stems (as that was all that was left of them) because I didn't want to leave them there for the waitstaff to clean up.

Glen said, "Oh, that's right. Don't forget your flowers."

I said with a smile, "What's left of them."

He froze and gave me a hard stare. I said, "What? What is it?"

He replied, "Nothing. I guess… nothing."

I said, "Don't worry about them. It was a nice gesture, so thanks again."

"Yeah, whatever," he said, then hurried out ahead of me. When I made it outside, he said, "Goodnight," without looking at me and fled away. I tossed the stems onto a grassy patch of ground nearby, and went home, myself. I didn't intend to contact him after that evening, and apparently, he had the same idea.

7 comments:

  1. Somebody bought me a little tin of edible rose petals. They're apparently a delicacy in Asia. Of course these were candied and sugared, so it's not like just ripping them right off a flower. They weren't gross or bad, but definitely a novelty and not something I'd probably eat again.

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  2. If he'd brought a box of candies for her, and kept reaching over to eat them, it would be considered rude. The fact that they were flowers adds a whole new dimension of weirdness to it.

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  3. In the book, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, by Judy Blume, the protagonist's little brother eats two roses out of a flower arrangement. He's a two-year-old kid. He's also a fictional character. Nuff said

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  4. Just another jerk who hates women and gets off making them uncomfortable with passive - aggressive behavior and tries to blame them when they react to it.

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  5. Don't be a litterbug, OP. that's a dick thing to do.

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  6. The only thought that grossed me out a little was whether or not the flowers had been washed beforehand, and how much dirt/pesticides might be on them, but meh. Sounds interesting. I kind of want to know what kind they were so I can try sweet cucumber-tasting flowers now. Could be cool in a salad :-)

    I can't believe you didn't gush over your leftover flower stems OP, I bet they were beautiful.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I was at a potluck once where a guy who worked at a farm showed up with a salad that was about half greens and half various edible flowers. It looked amazing and didn't taste too bad either. :)

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