When I was a very young woman I received a dozen dozen roses, one hundred and forty-four long-stemmed red roses nestled in floral greens, in a standard-sized bushel basket with a fancy bow, costing $300 or more (in today's money). The card read only, "From A Secret Admirer." When the floral delivery service brought in the bushel basket full of roses I was dumbfounded. I did not enjoy the mysterious extravagance, the strong emotion that it implied was unsettling. My very first boyfriend and I had broken up months ago, I had had some bad experiences dating other men, and I was not currently dating. I was, as they would have said in the 18th century, not entertaining visitors. I was in recovery mode.
I called my ex-boyfriend to see if he had sent me a dozen dozen roses to renew our relationship? No. I called some of the bad experiences to see if any of them had sent the roses, to ask for forgiveness? No. I had recently done small work for a young, eccentric, self-purported man of wealth, but I did not call him as I had seen him only twice, we had never dated nor discussed dating, and I no longer had his name or phone number. He was taciturn, unattractive in appearance and manner. If he had talked I might have listened, but I never heard from him. The source of the dozen dozen roses remains a mystery to this day. On rare occasion the profusion of those dark red, velvety roses fills my memory with a cloying rose fragrance from the past.
Caption: A Winter Rose From My Garden
by Annmarie Throckmorton 2017