"Learning to live and living to learn"
Those of you who perused yesterday’s post will know of my latest faux pas with respect to my dear wife’s birthday card. Well, let me brief you now on how the day played out.
My dear wife, who despite it being her birthday, had to drag her exhausted frame out from under the duvet, to ply her trade, and satisfy the mountain of demands on her time and talent. As you will know from a previous posting, she is busier than Joe Biden on a particularly heavy day in the Oval Office. So, as she disappeared over the horizon in her trusty stead, “The Modus”, I took the hint from Lily, (the dog who must be adored), jumped into the car and headed for the florist.
The florist, Javier, (pronounced Have-ee-air), is a native of Seville, a beautiful, historical city in the Andalusian heartlands where orange trees line the city streets and the sun in summer is more than fierce enough to raise blisters on Irish skin.
Now, I know what you are thinking – isn’t it somewhat curious that he is on first name terms with the local florist, but Javier is more than just a florist. Besides his wizardry when it comes to arranging blooms, he gives good marriage counsel. (Although now that I think of it, perhaps I should take heed lest I find myself in future having to cozy up to the local locksmith).
Being a man, and I mean a real man, a carnivore who is proud to wear boxer shorts, I know nothing of matters floral and I have enough experience to know that, when you “err” in your role as husband/life partner, it pays to have a close relationship with someone who knows his way around a bouquet. In any case, I like Javier. I admit that he has a rather flamboyant taste in clothes and a somewhat unsettling obsession with scatter cushions, but I attribute that to his aspirations for interior design.
Javier greeted me with his usual affectionate, “Hola estúpido, que has hecho ahora”, which roughly translates as, “what have you done now, bonehead?” I gave him the lowdown and left with a bunch of impressive roses minus the cost of a tank of petrol – a small price to pay. Later that day, when my dearly beloved arrived home, I greeted her, blooms in hand, rather like Napoleon must have greeted Josephine, eager to brief her on his monumental victory at the battle of Austerlistz. My wife, although gracious in her acceptance of her prize, still smarting from the polling card debacle, (see yesterday’s posting), was more interested in a hot shower and a good meal.
As we sat down to dinner later that evening, a sumptuous Thai feast which she had chosen herself, (it was her birthday after all), the wife looked at me. As she spooned out a decent portion of sticky rice onto her plate, she sighed, shook her head with a sense of defeat and reminded me that, since it was on her birthday that we had first met, the day also marked our 20 years together. Naturally, I had forgotten that fact!
I sat back in the chair and caught sight of Lily. Her look said it all. Rather than Napoleon on his triumphant return from Austerlitz, a more accurate simile would be to describe me as a cannon ball, retrieved from the plains of Waterloo as Napoleon tossed and turned on his field cot at Quatre Bras, the night before his fateful date with the Duke of Wellington.
And now, as my poor, exhausted Josephine, did her best to enjoy her Pad Thai and Massiman, that ordinance was securely shackled to her ankle.