The 2005 Valentine’s Anecdote

First, a little backstory, not really important but funny regardless:

Back in December, Katie’s birthday fell on a Saturday for once. Traditionally, I’ve ordered flowers for the day of her birthday, which normally falls within the context of the work week. But this year, it didn’t, and I got a joking call from Katie at about 10 AM: “What, no flowers?”

This made me feel tremendously bad, despite planning to pick them up on her birthday proper. A few calls later, we had hashed out some sort of weird understanding, where if I WERE to get flowers, there was a particular place near my office she wanted them from. A freak building evacuation provided a good opportunity to get over there, at which point I put in an order for a dozen roses and some orchids. When the guy taking my order said “it’ll be this big” and waved his hand above his head, I didn’t really pay much attention to this fact. But lo and behold, the arrangement was ridiculously huge, to the point where Katie almost hurt her back bringing it back to her desk. Additionally, I’ve been told it was so aromatic that a number of her coworkers wanted to inflict pain on me once their allergies stopped.

So, as for Valentine’s Day:

Knowing this florist has their shit together, I expected full well to be able to go into the store and pick up something, if not be able to get delivery. Happily, when I came in the door at 9 AM and asked if they could take one more delivery, the response was very much in the affirmative. We went to work putting together a nice arrangement (pink roses, purple fill), and everything was going fine…until one of the staff looked at my card and went “Wall Street? Uhhh…I think you might’ve missed the delivery van for that one.”

Everything came to a standstill, in a weird sort of time-freeze moment. I took a second to ponder how, at 9 AM, I’ve missed the delivery window for the entire downtown area, but I let that thought pass. I raised my brow and said, “If there’s no way you guys can deliver it, could I come back at lunch and pick it up so I can run it down there myself?”
Time resumed, they said sure, I paid the charge, and went off to the office. I made a point of not calling Katie, knowing that she was expecting flowers but not with any idea as to when. I knew I could take all of my lunch hour to get down to Wall Street and back, since I wasn’t eating today – had to save room for what would be a ridiculously large dinner.

At lunch, I took a package that had arrived with Katie’s V-day gift (the Katie fanclub will be amused to hear it was another handbag she had picked out), and trekked out of the building into a very cold rain, without an umbrella. I made my way to the florist and picked up my order. Annoyingly, it was still in a vase from the original assumption it was going to be a delivery – this made it very unweildy to carry both the package and the vase, but I trekked on west trying desperately to find a cab. I lucked out after a block and a half and we shot down towards Wall Street.

When I made it into Katie’s building, the guard on duty was more than willing to call up and say she had “a delivery in the lobby”. So this is what transpires:

I see the elevator open, and Katie looks very happy and is walking towards where I’m standing. I recall she looked at me at least a few times.

I say, “Hi!”

She responds, “Hi.”

I think, “That’s really weird, was she expecting me?”

When she gets about three feet away, she dead stops, eyes still focused on the flowers and the package.

She blinks.

She turns and looks at me for half a second.

She puts her head down on the reception desk and starts laughing – she had completely missed the fact that her husband was standing there with the flowers.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.