Sunday, February 14, 2016

24 years ago, on Valentine's Day

This is a blog for recipes, but hopefully you will enjoy this story that I am sharing, even though it has nothing to do with food, as "food for thought" on this occasion.

I still remember vividly the conversation I had with my husband (then my fiance) 24 years ago today, on Valentine's Day, a holiday we didn't really celebrate in Romania then, although it has since started to catch on. He still lived in the UK, where we had met as students, while I had since had to return to Romania. And so we spent a lot of time writing (letters back then, not e-mails) and talking on the phone as often as we could. When he called that day, he said "Happy Valentine's Day," and then thought that I was being sarcastic when I replied by saying "Thank you for the flowers." But I was being sincere. He then asked, with confusion in his voice, "Wait - you got flowers?" Then it was my turn to be confused, at his confusion. I think you will enjoy the story of our very different experiences, and the surprising way they fit together.

Romania did not at that time have good connections with the international companies that allow one to send flowers anywhere in the world. But apparently my fiance had managed to arrange something, because I got a phone call, telling me that a local florist in my town had been trying to deliver flowers to my apartment but had not found me home. They asked me to come to their shop and choose the flowers I wanted - a very large amount, since British currency went very far in Romania in those days, and what might have bought a nice bouquet with shipping in the UK would get you too many flowers to count in Romania, basically everything she had in the store that morning! Indeed, the woman at the store wondered if I was somebody famous and important, to be getting so many flowers. 

My then fiance had a different perspective on what had happened. He had placed an order for a bouquet of flowers to be sent to me, using a company in the UK which said they could deliver even to Romania. But to his great disappointment, they called him back the day before Valentine's Day, to let him know that they had not succeeded in getting through to their contact at the destination in Romania, and so would be unable to fulfil his order, and thus were refunding his money.

Apparently, somewhere they got their wires crossed, because the order did in fact get through. And so I had the lovely surprise of receiving more flowers than ever before or since in my life, while my then fiance had the experience of disappointment, followed by confusion, followed by surprise, and then delight that I had in fact received the flowers. And we were both happy when we realized that apparently neither of us had had to pay for them!

I hope you have a Happy Valentine's Day, filled with memories that you will recall happily for years and decades to come!


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