“Happy Anniversary!” Rich leaned down and gave Barb a kiss as he handed her a dozen yellow roses.
“Oh, honey, they’re beautiful. Thank you.” She beamed back at him.
After he went downstairs to his home office, I asked her how many years. She told me thirty. Later that night, he gave her a 3-carat diamond ring, one carat for each decade of their marriage. It was obnoxious, but the roses were gorgeous. As Barb’s personal home health aide, I was often witness to the couple’s relationship interactions. Today I would become privy to a secret.
“Would you please put them in a vase and set them in my office?” Her office was a small room off the kitchen that she rarely entered.
“But you won’t see them in there. Don’t you want them in the kitchen or living room?”
She leaned toward me from her wheelchair and stage whispered, “I hate yellow.”
“What?” I was astonished. She’d seemed genuinely pleased to receive them. “I figured it must be your favorite color since men usually give red roses.”
Barb sighed and sat back. “He gave me yellow roses on our first anniversary. We were newly married, so I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. I gushed over them, and he forever believes they’re my favorite.”
“Why don’t you tell him otherwise?”
“It’s too late.”
I put them in a vase and set them in her office, drawing in their scent deeply before leaving.