“Oh, my dear, those white roses are beautiful. I’m so glad that Fanny chose white roses for her wedding bouquet. I think it’s quite elegant, don’t you dear?” Aunt Mamie softly touched the petals and took a big sniff. Her husband Mike was not so impressed.
“A flower’s a flower as far as I’m concerned. You women handle those delicate decisions. I just dig, plant, and weed.” He put more of the special fertilizer around the white rose bush to encourage more blooms. He wanted to make sure there were plenty when the time came.
Mamie came out from the kitchen with two large glasses of iced tea for her and her husband. “I really appreciate all the work you put in to make a lovely garden, Mike. You are sort of a sweetie to me, you know.” Mamie and Mike had been together for forty years, married for thirty-five. Right from the beginning he knew he loved her, but their romance was interrupted by the Vietnam war. He was lucky not to be permanently injured. Truth be told, he loved doing the gardening to make his wife happy. He groaned a bit as he stood, and slowly walked over to join Mamie for tea.
“I’m glad Fanny is finally getting married. I was beginning to wonder,” Mamie commented. “That first fella, Jim, was not the one for her. I’m glad she found out he was no good before they set the date.”
“They were both too young, and not really suited, that’s all. Not like you and me, Mamie, we are equal partners!”
Mamie had to protest a bit. “Well you know what Joanne said….” Mamie and her sisters loved to gossip. When they found out Jim pulled a ruse on Fanny, they immediately despised him. The neighborhood grapevine reported to Mamie’s sister that Jim was seen down in the local bar. He was caught romancing a waitress and ended up getting thrown out. Of course he denied the whole thing. A lot of nonsense happened during those times. Some soldiers coming home looking for drugs, gangs starting up, and violent crime was rising. In the seventies a lot of unrest was the norm and most “nice folks” didn’t venture into that part of town.
“Don’t get yourself all worked up. Gossip is just that, gossip. It doesn’t do anyone any good.” He got up and went over to the rose bush and clipped one of the prettiest blossoms for her. Mamie loved the gesture and Mike knew it was just the trick to calm her down.