Romance

coolangatta-ocean-view

In a seminar I’m doing we’re asked to think of our most romantic moment. When I look I see most of mine involve flowers. How funny. Here are some. The interesting thing is what happens after I recall one or more of these moments. If I’m out on the street, everyone starts smiling. Try it for yourself.

I’m 20 and very unhappy. I’m sitting on a train on a Saturday morning. Sunk in gloom, I barely register my stop is coming up next. Then a young man who I haven’t noticed leans over the space from the window and hands me a flower from the bouquet he is carrying which I also hadn’t noticed. I feel embarrassed and don’t know what to do. I want to get on with being miserable. I’m glad my stop is close. Looking back now, I send my love and gratitude to him.

Another time. I’m 30 maybe. It’s the Friday night of a long weekend about 8pm. I’m at my cousin’s house to pick her up and drive up the coast for the weekend. As I walk out to my car I see her husband has covered the dashboard of the car with flowers from the garden. I am astounded. When I look at my cousin, she just shrugs as if to say it is nothing special or that kind of thing happens every day in her marriage. I wonder if she reads this post whether she will recognise her husband :)

Another day, just a few months ago. It’s the day for the gardener. I see him out in the garden. An hour or two later, I open my front door to leave for an appointment and see a pale orange rose on my doorstep. Delight and surprise take over the day.

A night this time, about 8 years ago. No flower this one. I’m at a pub in South Melbourne with a group of “hash harriers” planning to run around the suburb down to the Bay and back again. There’s a man there looking at me intently. He introduces himself. I’m going to run with another group, one man and a couple of women. The man in my group has sprayed himself with Lynx and my stomach’s churning. I’m running to get away from the smell. At the Bay, as a gag, they have tied cans of VB to the pier posts. The intent man is drinking a can and he comes up to me and offers me a swig. Looking back, this occurs as very romantic.

A final one for now. I’m 20 and on holidays at Coolangatta. I’ve met a guy who’s also on holidays from south of Sydney. He’s a professional lifesaver with dusty brown legs and yellow shorts. He and his mate and me are in a mini-moke driving through leafy tunnels in the national park near Murwillumbah. The sun is streaming through the trees. It’s a public holiday and we want to make a barbeque and all we can buy is some pieces of steak and a few white bread rolls. We find a deserted picnic area and the steak sandwiches are the best thing I’ve ever eaten. Later, we decide to sleep in the surf club bunk bed for something different, and when I want to go to the bathroom he escorts me to the communal men’s bathroom in the middle of the night holding my hand.

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