I need to confess something.
As I approach a significant birthday, I’m starting to reflect on things I’ve learned over my life, or, probably more accurately, not learned.
I struggle with romantic gift-giving. It’s true.
Let me provide some context: I had a poor upbringing when it came to gifting. Growing up in Palmerston North, yes we acknowledged birthdays, Christmas, and Mothers/Fathers Day, but my Dad wasn’t really a deep thinker around teaching his kids how to gift, and Mum usually bought her own which she then gave us to wrap. Or she’d say something along the lines of “I’d really love a new measuring jug”
I still remember excitedly riding my bike to the store to buy the measuring jug. It was a no-miss opportunity. And yes, she loved it.
Fast-forward. Owing to a complete lack of romantic interests through my formative years, I was completely unprepared for the sophistication of Auckland women. Or, rather, the sophistication of any women.
I remember being a little panicked about having to buy a birthday gift for the woman I was to become engaged to. I was looking for clues. Clues please. Clues, please give me clues…! Anyhoo, walking through the local Farmers one day we passed by the Ponds stand and she said in passing, “hmm… I need to restock”.
Ding ding ding! We have a winner people!
Not long after, as she unwrapped a selection of Ponds’ finest, she looked at me with an expression that screamed “face cleaner? Where’s my real present?”
I’m now pretty good with significant day gifting.
However, I am not good with spontaneous romantic gifting.
Flowers. I just don’t get flowers. You can spend a lot of hard-earned cash on flowers. That you give. That die. In days. That have a potential underlying reaction of “what did you do”?
I can handle gift cards. Books. Something tangible and useful. But not flowers.
So, in the interests of self-improvement, I questioned the counsellors and clinical psychologists I work with.
They listened. They understood my perspective. They gave me sage advice:
Buy the damn flowers.
So that’s it. Don’t be overthinking everything.
Just buy the damn flowers.
P.S. I hereby formally apologise to all those who were deserving recipients of no flowers from me over the last 30 years.