The scene at the flower department was a disaster; flowers flung everywhere; stems bent, leaves torn, and flowers missing petals. I searched desperately for a gift: a small bouquet, a potted plant, or even a single rose. Nothing. Several other men in my predicament also searched in vain like #zombies from the Night of the Living Dead. At some point, I bumped into the department manager. Her hair was in disarray, her blouse wrinkled and stained, and she wore no shoes. I asked if I could get a corsage. She gave me an exasperated look and shook her head.
I decided to use my well-developed technique that seems to help in desperate situations; I began to cry. She took pity on me, put my head on her shoulder, and patted my back.
“Perhaps,” she said. “They can make you one in the back.” As I shuffled in the direction she pointed, I heard her shout, “Dead man walking!”
When I arrived at the rear of the store, the scene was not much better. I saw two women making corsages as fast as possible. Both had Band-Aids on every finger. The trash was full of flowers ruined by blood from pricked fingers. As fast as they made one, they put it into a petite white box.
When I asked if I could buy one, both women immediately stopped working, and looked at me as though I was the person in the elevator who farted. I was in trouble. The bigger of the two leaned forward.
“Do you realize how many local high schools have dances tonight?” Pointing to the stacks of white cardboard boxes, “We still have to make 150 more corsages, and have them ready for pick up in one hour.”
I fell back on my proven technique and began to cry; my lower lip quivered and tears collected in the corners of my eyes. She softened. “Oh God, not another cry baby!” she shouted. “Okay! Okay! You can have one.”
I returned home carrying the corsage like a cat with a bird and presented it to my wife. She looked surprised and uttered those two words that every man loves to hear. “You remembered!”