November 15, 2011

USA: We don’t really change; we just become more of who we are

LAKE OSWEGO, Oregon / The Elder Storytelling Place / / November 15, 2011


By Lyn Burnstine

I seldom got flowers from men. I never figured out why but perhaps it was because I was never a “giggly” girl. I like to think I was feminine and also sexy when it was appropriate to be so, but basically I was a nerd - a late-blooming brainiac with a drive to get myself and everybody else to achieve.

Sound familiar to you who know me well? We don’t really change; we just become more of who we are.

Even though the two true loves of my life tended to gift me with things like tires, appliances, furniture, a six-pack (for Valentine’s Day), there was one man who arrived with a small fistful of scarlet tulips. They felt prosaic somehow, practical like me.

He presented them, then proclaimed that had I known him in his alcoholic days of excess, he would have arrived with huge armfuls of roses! Why me? What kind of timing is that? I like roses!

I finally got roses – lots of them. Not from men in my life but from married-couple friends and women friends when I had surgeries, from my long-term roomer when my sweetheart died and from two of my oldest friends for my 70th birthday.

I love the roses’ delicate bouquet and their perfect velvety petals. I photograph them now so I’m able to keep them forever and share them with other rose lovers.

But along the way, there were some comic episodes concerning roses. Once, when presenting a musical worship service in a church in New Jersey, I looked up to see in the pew folk music’s leading, most-annoying misfit gazing at me adoringly,and in his hands a large bouquet of yellow roses,–,my favorite color, too.

Oh, Lord, I was mortified. I wanted to disappear right through the floor and seriously considered making a quick, back-door getaway before anyone connected him to me. However, I accepted them as graciously as possible, red-faced but somehow the roses must have sensed the negativity I felt because they were totally dead by the time I got back home, a mere two hours later.

One of my young Culinary Institute of America student roomers used to get more roses than anyone I ever knew - weekly at least, from one or another of her many suitors (I more than once threatened to put a swinging door on her bedroom).

I was admittedly jealous of the roses – not the parade of men – but I guess there is a generational thing at work here and if a woman is beautiful, the appropriate response today is roses.

Not so with the Great Depression-influenced men in my age bracket who never got used to throwing money – or roses – at their women’s feet. Darn it!

© 2011 Ronni Bennett
Credit: Reports and photographs are property of owners of intellectual rights.
Seniors World Chronicle, a not-for-profit, serves to chronicle and widen their reach.