The Scoop On Heartfelt Gift-giving

It is a cold Sunday morning after Valentine’s Day. Looking out the window, the mountain ridge is sharp against the clear blue sky. It’s a good time to play outside, but I have work to do on my computer. Thankfully, comfort and beauty abound indoors today.

I plop myself on a soft microfleece throw over a worn brown-leather chair in front of a simple, old Chinese wooden makeshift desk just tall enough so I can cross my legs, rest my arms on them and type away on a MacBook Air perched on the desk’s edge. To my left is a you-never-know-what-you’ll-find-ina box-of-chocolates and a few plump, red and sweet I-don’t-care-if-it’s-GMO strawberries. To the right of the keyboard sits a warm cup of latte in a thick Santa mug that matches my excuse-for-a-Christmas-tree that stays up year-round.

Finally, towering behind the small laptop is a lovely bouquet of white mums and daisies, pink carnations, a perfect red rose, fragrant maroon lilies and splashes of bright purple papery statice. In it stands a puffy red glittery heart accented with a thin red translucent bow.

The candy, strawberries and coffee come and go, but the bouquet stares at me with its impressive presence, making me feel so special. Fresh-cut flowers like these are what my daughter got if she made it to the final ballet performance after practicing all season. This is what I give to people ailing or on their deathbed. It’s not my funeral, I’m not sick and I haven’t danced my heart out. In exchange for this pleasure, what did I give to this special someone?

It’s not what one might expect. Here’s the scoop.

I tried to find something perfect a week earlier but to no avail. So, at the last minute on Valentine’s Day, I went to the neighborhood grocery store. In the process, I witnessed how this day of love brought out all kinds of frenzied romantics. A desperate customer picked up the last “I love you a latte” coffee mug. A 30-ish man at the store’s flower shop hurriedly picked up a custom rose bouquet. Momentarily jolted by the price, he quickly justified, “Gotta do it ’cause I married her.”

I couldn’t find anything special and left the store with just fresh strawberries for dessert. As I walked to my car, I noticed a man still in his construction garb crossing the parking lot, his silhouette outlined by the waning hours of this annual deadline. In his hands was a pathetic-looking orchid. It was a sweet sight, however, and definitely better than nothing.

Something is better than nothing, I am reminded as I made dinner that night. I turned my glance to the washer and still sitting on it was a pooper scooper, unused and with the tag still attached. I had bought it a week ago to pick up after a stray black feline who thinks I’m God’s gift to cats and repays me by doing her thing under my house. Suddenly, I remembered that my special someone is a delirious cat lover and had commented on that purchase, calling it a “Cadillac pooper scooper.”

So this Valentine’s Day, guess what he got? Complete with a red ribbon.

As I enjoy the floral bouquet on my desk the day after, I imagine how he too is reminded of me this morning as he cleans his beloved cat’s litter box.

At least he will think of me often.