Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Water Stones, Oil Stones, or Scary Sharp...How Does Cupid Sharpen His Arrows?

I don’t like cut flowers. Flowers don’t do anything for me. I do know that they work. I understand the pheromone rush they ignite in women, but they sort of kick off the opposite reaction in me. I truly don’t like the smell of flowers. I have tried to explain to my wife, Gail, that flowers affect my nose and almost create a tingling/burning reaction. (I think they negatively impact my allergies).

However, I am not anti-flower. For me, I think flowers are a lot like colonoscopies. I don’t personally like them, but I’m glad mankind has them around for the people who want and need them.

In years past I would do the roses thing. I think the only flowers I provided to old girlfriends were roses. However, when I met Gail it somehow came out that roses just weren’t her thing. So, for the last 11.75 years, I have not purchased roses. Instead, I just call the florist and say something like this, “Give me something nice between $75 and $100. You guys are professionals so I’m going to defer to your expertise.” I can tell you without question…this technique works.

Earlier this week Gail achieved a personal goal. (She made it 24 hours sober.) So I decided to send her flowers yesterday. I called the florist and quoted a dollar amount, and had them write the following item on the card, “This has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day. This is because I am proud of you. Love, Jeff.” The lady took the credit card information, and then she said, “Would you like to go ahead and set something up for Valentine’s Day?” I responded, “Despite what the card said, this is going to cover Valentine’s Day, too.”

Gail works in a Doctors’ Office. The nursing staff is comprised of all women. The physician Gail works for is female. So I know that when I send Gail flowers, I am putting myself up there on the pedestal so that Gail can say, “Y’all lookee here at what my man did!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Let me also say this…I really love women. If Gail was 1/100th the flirt that I am, we’d be divorced in a week. So it is my goal to always be the guy that Gail’s friends compare their husbands to. It’s just my sick and twisted, spotlight-hogging personality that I want all hot chicks on the planet to think that I am the greatest guy in the universe. (I am always working on back up plans in case something happens to Gail...) At Gail’s office the flowers went over BIG.

Gail didn’t bring them home yesterday. She will leave them at work this week so she can enjoy them (and so they continue to get shown off to her coworkers). She emailed me this morning and said that when she walked in the office she could smell them when she was in the hall around the corner from her desk. I emailed back, “So you’re saying your entire office smells like a funeral home????” I am glad the flowers aren’t coming home yet. I really do hate the smell of flowers.

However, this afternoon it hit me. I finally figured out what flowers truly mean to women. It’s something like this….

I’m coming back to the office after lunch and the Woodcraft van is sitting in the parking lot. Oooohhh…somebody’s gettin’ a present!!!!! I go back to my desk and sit down thinking about who in the office is dating someone new, or who has an anniversary, or who may have learned some new X-rated move. Suddenly, the phone rings and I answer to find the receptionist asking me to come up to the front desk. I get that little flutter in my belly, and I head toward the front. As I round the corner, I can see the brown cardboard box with the Lie-Nielsen logo. It’s a BIG box!!!!!!!! The receptionist is smiling and she tells me that I have a present. The box is about 10 pounds, and when I flip it open I find a Jointer plane. It’s the Big One. It’s the #8. Also, it has the optional Cocobolo Handles. I open the card and read, “Just because I love you….G.”

Rather than put it back in the box, I cut open the blue anti-rust plastic and pull it out. I sort of embellish it with the packing paper (my version of wrapping it in swaddling clothes) and I take it back to my desk where I set it up on top of my overhead bin. In a steady stream every guy in the office comes by to look at my Jointer Plane and tell me how beautiful it is. They take it down and sweep it through the air smoothing imaginary timber sitting on an imaginary bench just outside my office.

The women in the office see all of this, but most don’t get involved with my gift. But every guy tells me how beautiful it is, and they tell me how lucky I am to have a wife like Gail.

Beautiful tools unexpectedly delivered to you at work so that all of your friends can see how much your wife loves you. That’s what flowers are.

(Ignore the fact that Lie-Nielsen Jointer Planes don’t rust and disintegrate over the course of 8 days… it will destroy the analogy and drag you back to the reality of expensive dead flowers and realistic gifts from your wife…like new socks.)


jasonb said...

I have determined that flowers have no effect on women if no other women see them delivered. However, the value of the flowers grows exponentially based on how many other women are jealous of the flowers. Also, flowers given on non-flower-expecting days, like the ones you sent, are worth double points.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jeff, Great blog! Exceptionally well written, very funny.... I always look forward to reading more.

Dave in Ontario, Canada

Anonymous said...

Belly laughter and joy. Well said and a joy to read.

Thanks for writing it.


Ron said...

I'd like to try that but the guys at work just don't understand tools all that well.

Maybe I should have flowers delivered to them?

Jeff Skiver said...

Jason, Gail confirmed that your hypothesis about flower points is dead on accurate. (Where were you 15 years ago when I really needed that kind of insight?)

Jeff Skiver said...

Dave & pH...

Thank you for the kind words. You made me feel good about myself, but I bet the new blog entry (on Presidents' Day) will surely condemn my soul to eternal damnation. So it was nice to get a compliment from you two guys on the platform as I boarded the Hell-bound Train.

Jeff Skiver said...

Ron, the flowers are a good idea, because I forgot to mention something important about tools at the workplace:

In most offices in America, it is almost certainly against corporate policy to bring a weapon into the office. Given the sharp blade associated with fine woodworking equipment... bringing a tool to work will land you in trouble with HR faster than patting a staff assistant's butt. (But I don't know what to do to control myself when Tom wears those Khaki Dockers...)

asthma virginia said...
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