Dandelion Whine

Story Submitted by Frieda:

Back in high school, I was attracted to Brad, a bit of a bad boy who would occasionally act out during class.  I volunteered to work with him on an English project and so I got to know him that way.  He asked me out, and I accepted the offer.

He picked me up at my house in his blue 1985 Firebird.  I opened the door to find him standing on my porch with a bouquet of... dandelions.  They might have even been picked from my front yard seconds before.  Still, it was the thought that counted, and I put them in water before joining him.

He took me to a Wendy's for dinner and I didn't have a great time overall, as he didn't speak much, and when he did speak, it was about his car.  It also didn't help that he picked his nose right at the table with a plastic fork. 

He dropped me off at home, didn't try anything, and drove off.  I tried to look on the bright side, as he had paid for dinner, and through his behavior, he had answered my question as to whether or not we'd make a good couple.

He called that night as I was readying for bed.  "Hey," he said, "You still have those flowers I gave you?"

I said, "Yes," and I did.  They were still in water down on my kitchen table.

He said, "You know that dandelions are weeds, right?"

"Yes, I know that."

He said, "Oh.  Can I maybe get them back?  I want to get you some real flowers, or at least chop off their heads."

I replied, "I really think they're fine.  They're very pretty, and I appreciate the thought."

He said, "I want them back.  You deserve real flowers.  I'll be right over to get them."

He hung up.  I was still living with my parents (as this was high school) and I told them the whole story.  They told me not to worry and to go to bed as I had been about to.

A half-hour later, I was in my bedroom when the doorbell rang.  I listened as my father opened the door and said, "Hello, Brad.  Can I help you?"

Brad said, "Hey, I gave Frieda some dandelions before, by accident.  I want to just take their heads off."

My father replied, "I think we can handle the dandelion beheadings from here, but thanks."

Brad said, "They're weeds."

My father said, "Are they ever.  We'll go ahead and pop off the heads.  You have a good night, now."

"Is Frieda here?"

"Good night."

My father closed the door and locked it.  I went to bed, troubled.  The phone rang a little while later, but my father or mother must have picked it up, and the next thing I knew, it was morning.

My mother told me that Brad had called after he had left to ask to speak to me.  He was, according to my mother, "very adamant about popping the blooms off of those dandelions.  What a strange boy."

In school over the following week, Brad repeatedly questioned me about it, and I assured him that I took the heads off the dandelions.  He also asked me if I wanted more, and I told him that I was good.  Mom was right.  A strange boy, indeed.


  1. Jared, you must have read Bradbury's Dandelion Wine. One of my favorite books of all time! Good call on that title. :)

  2. I reckon he really liked you, and was trying to be responsible.

  3. Rachel - great catch. Also one of mine. I've been meaning to reread it for a while.

  4. Me too. It's a hard one to find. They don't sell it anymore. At least nowhere I've looked.

  5. ^You can get it on Amazon for $7.99

  6. Thanks, Cheri! You're a rock star!


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