Not Magnolia


I brought Curtis flowers for his birthday. He's not the kind of guy you'd think would like flowers. I mean, look at him.

"Not that into flowers."

This guy wants guns and ammo and scotch, not flowers.

But we have a thing about magnolias. He would like to have a magnolia tree in our yard. I would not. He has fond memories of his mother picking magnolia blossoms, putting them in a bowl of water and letting the smell fill the room. Being from the North, I have no such memories (unless you're talking lilacs… oh, I miss lilacs). All I know about magnolias is that they come from huge trees (like take over your whole yard huge) and they drop large leathery leaves all year long (what is known as a "dirty" tree).

For his birthday, though, I decided to pick him some magnolias. Mike helped.

We put them in a bowl of water, just like old times. I even put one on his bedside table, so he'd awaken to the smell of sweet memories.

First of all, he didn't even notice the huge bloom and bowl by his bed when he woke up. I had to point it out.

"Oh. A magnolia." [sniff] "Thanks."

His enthusiasm was underwhelming, but he just woke up, so I'd give him a break.

Not much later, I asked, "So how did you like your magnolias?"


Still underwhelming, so I persisted, fishing for enthusiasm... something... "Smell like you remember?"

"Actually, no."


"They don't smell the same. Maybe they aren't ripe enough."

"Ripe enough? We aren't talking about fruit here. These are flowers. They open; they smell; they die. They are about as "ripe" as they are gonna get."

"I'm thinking maybe it wasn't magnolias that my mother used to get, after all."

Actually, as it turns out his mother used to pick gardenias, not magnolias. Happy birthday, anyway.