Worn Out Romance Handbook

Roses. (Credit: Krista Murray/The Quill)

There is an old worn out book, passed down over the ages. Sometimes it is a physical book with a broken spine or marked pages. Other times it comes in the form of hushed conversation, man to man over a short beer that has been purchased for a ha’penny. It is always the same. There is no better way to win a woman’s heart than with roses. Women desire nothing but roses.

It is not just men who talk. Many women have questioned one another, whispered over a cup of tea or a glass of wine. “Roses” they say “always roses, as though there are no other flowers in existence.”

Roses, nothing but roses.

And then, there is the contrived experience of The Roses Exchange, where he thinks he has done a good job and has met Relationship Requirement Quota For the Month, and she thinks “roses once again”. She smiles, thanking him for his kind gesture “they are beautiful” she says.

Later, that night after he goes to sleep she steals away, slipping quickly and quietly out the door roses in hand. She makes her way to the old stone bridge. The others are already waiting there for her, flowers in hand.

They line up along the edge of the bridge, each with their own bouquet of roses, and unceremoniously toss them into the current below. One day they will learn, women desire roses least of all.

However, men are fickle creatures, and their capacity to learn is greatly diminished. They do not learn, and so they continue to buy into the International Syndicate of the Thorn’s plan. Spending their coin on roses, when the flowers from an obliging field would do more to win over her heart, more than any hothouse bloom ever could.

Perhaps one day they will learn that the flowers should not be brought to the woman, but the woman to the flowers. A romantic whisper in the night “I’ve been waiting a long time to show these flowers how pretty you are.”

Disclaimer – No roses, or men, were irreversibly harmed in the writing of this article.

Republished from The Quill print edition, Volume 107, Issue 22, February 14th, 2017.