Megan, a friend of mine from teaching days, was retraining as a florist. Enthusiastic and committed, she organised a class which was to run for 10 weeks. Having newly retired, I wanted to support her, and I loved flowers anyway.
Now I’d been on courses before, but this was a little different, as Megan was known to me, but not in her capacity as teacher. I thought I was going to find this fairly easy. Not a bit of it. Yes, it was about making the flowers look as attractive as possible, snipping and primping and inserting into green floristry foam but the RULES! Many of them.
Let me see: balance, proportion, and scale, unity, harmony, rhythm and balance, and finally emphasis. Gosh, so much to keep in my head, so much of it abstract!
Everyone set to, and it must be said that some of them did find it a doddle. But revealed that they were church flower arrangers. A head’s start then.
Looking round the class, I spied a woman who looked equally mystified, and like the bad student that I was, I turned round and our eyes met, and she smiled, with a twinkle in her eye. Aha! Someone with a sense of humour I thought! Indeed, as I got to know Rosa better each week, I learnt not only that she was an Argentinian who lived in Madrid, but was over here for one year, and that her husband, an engineer, hoped to secure a job over here. We met outside the class, and towards Christmas, she told me her husband, working abroad, was coming home on leave. That week, we were making a display of roses, and put all our energy into remembering the rules, trying to produce our best work ever.
Triumphant, Rosa arrived home from the class, and arranged the dinner table, making it as attractive as possible. The crowning glory was of course the rose display. Husband Pablo duly arrived, as did dinner time.
I phoned to see how things had gone. Had Pablo been impressed by her beautiful creation?
Well, said Rosa, with emphasis! I left him at the table to fetch the food and when I returned, the roses were gone! Pablo had thought, “What’s THIS , clogging up the table, and dumped them on the floor!
Aaah, what did you say? I asked
I said to him “Pablo , I made this for you WITH LOVE! And put them back very firmly on the table “ replied Rosa, giggling by then!
I burst out laughing. I could just imagine the scenario. Rosa exaggerating her indignation, and Pablo probably asserting , “They are beautiful, very , very beautiful indeed.”
A number of years on, we still joke about the “I made this for you WITH LOVE!” Why find it amusing? Because there is truth there. Rosa was asking for consideration and respect for her achievement.
Do you have a single sentence that has stayed with you, because it’s taught you something? I’d love to hear.