Flowers and Fears


For the first time in 35 years I have fresh flowers sitting in a vase. When I was a kid I’d gather them from outside; lilacs, peonies, and occasionally a bunch of weeds I thought looked pretty. I stopped doing it when I was 15 or 16. Maybe it was the beginning of real depression for me. All I remember thinking was how sad it seemed for the flowers to die off in that vase, cut off from their sisters and shoved into a foreign environment. It didn’t feel right anymore. It made me more sad than happy. Then I convinced myself (and, I think, everyone around me) that I didn’t like flowers by loudly declaring that I thought cut blooms were a waste of money. So I never got them. Correction. I got flowers once. From a friend for my birthday. That’s the only time. But, you know…flowers were expensive and it seemed there were always more pressing things I had to spend money on.

Not so in the land of flowers.

Yesterday I picked up two bunches of tulips that were on sale for €1 each. Yellow and purple. I wanted fresh flowers for when J comes to visit. For me, nothing screams Netherlands like fresh flowers. I know it’s a bit early, but with the sale price I thought what the hell. I’m so glad I did it. Can’t even begin to describe what those bright blooms are doing for me right now. It’s like two dozen bits of sunshine sitting on my table.

I think fresh flowers will be found in my home more and more.

My hair is sublime. The roots are done and I’m sporting a new cut. More layers for the hot weather. Showered yesterday and my hair went complete Shirley Temple. Ringlet curls EVERYWHERE. Not frizzy, out of control stuff, but perfect little swirls that look like I put curlers in my hair.

Shit…okay. Gonna talk about something that I don’t feel so good about. I made the mistake of bombarding my bro with information the other day. He’d just come home and was wound up. I didn’t help. It’s been a long time since I did something like that, but the sting of his reaction – which I KNOW he didn’t mean to so sound so snappish, but he did – really hurt. I’ve been berating myself for it ever since. It was a set-up. I KNOW it was a set-up. Had he been more relaxed or had I been a wee bit less manic myself, none of it would have happened. Nonetheless. I’d like an apology from him. I’d like to apologize TO him, as well. But my gut says I’ll apologize and he won’t. He usually doesn’t. Maybe that’s my fault. I don’t ask for an apology. I always feel apologies should be given freely, not asked for. An asked for apology is kind of worthless. Is that my stubborn pride? I don’t know.

I guess the best thing I could do is just tell him I felt hurt. Not like he attacked me verbally, but I DO feel skittish over broaching the subject with him again. That’s just a basic break down in communication, and should be addressed. There’s no real hurt feelings over it. He didn’t say I was wrong or ‘bad’ in any way. He just got that ADHD/Autism look on his face, which unfortunately conveys a lot of anger and frustration. I took it in. Not my fault and not his fault. But it does need to be brought to light so it doesn’t fester in the dark recesses of my head.

Ugh. I may need to write that down in detail to bring up much later on. The timing isn’t right for a long discussion. We’re both attempting to take care of various tasks before our guests arrive, and we’re both a bit naturally wound up. Talking about it now…smells like another set-up to me. Too easy for one of us to say the wrong thing and set each other off.

Right. Check. Handle this in adult mode. Unfortunately, the discussion involves a purchase. If I wait to talk to him until after our friends leave, the purchase will already have been made and the consequences will just have to be dealt with. If I broach the subject at the wrong time, we might have one hell of an argument just due to our own moods.

DAMN! This really is an adult moment. Make a fucking decision on your own, Beeps. People do it all the fucking time. It can’t be THAT hard.

Right. I need a few questions answered first. That means getting them on my own, not relying on my brother to sort it out. Okay. The question is over some train tickets on offer by a local supermarket chain. They sound almost too good to be true – which is what I want to find out. That means heading downtown to the train station to talk to someone in English. Go right to the source. What, exactly, will these tickets get me? If all seems okay, I’ll buy them. Any flutter of doubt and I won’t.

Great. I can do it tomorrow. I can even talk to my teacher today, in case I don’t get someone with good English at the train station. Get a few easy Dutch questions ready that I can handle. Or maybe my teacher will just look it up on his computer and tell me right there.

Oh, hell. I didn’t count on all this grown up stuff. I guess I can handle train tickets, for Pete’s sake. Still…

One more opportunity to prove to myself I can do it, right? That’s what I need to see. Not a mountain of obstacles to get over, but a chance to say to myself that I did it all by myself and feel some pride, some confidence in myself.

I hope I’m ready.


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