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Fancy store-bought flowers are not a romantic surprise.

Velvety red roses and frothy white baby's breath don't say I love you.

I am a romantic. It's hiding under thick layers of old-man crustiness. It feels stupid and girly and completely impractical. It likes to poke its head up when no one else is looking.
It giggles. It blushes.
that is a secret.

But it doesn't think that there is anything romantic about stopping off at Kroger before heading home. Pretty flowers don't take the beer off of one's breath or the smell of unfamiliar perfume off of one's skin. They don't make a good first impression, either.
Hi, I brought you these because, um, I'm supposed to. Am I smooth now?

If I am crazy about someone, I forget how to be nonchalant and smooth. I knock things over and I curl up into a little ball with a goofy expression and I forget that I'm wearing sunglasses and I start looking for them. I think it's endearing when someone else acts this way too. I like it when men blush! Then I don't feel so dumb. But when I sense that someone has a romantic agenda, I get suspicious.

There are women whose practical side loves being flattered. Nifty 'Hi. I was thinking about you' gifts for them include: Toasters! Teabags! Nifty pens that write upside down! Their favorite foods! Books!
Do not give them: Expensive things that will die shortly!

I realize that I speak for a small number of women. But thank you for your time and attention.

But if you wake up one morning to pick flowers and come hand some to me with an embarrassed smile and dew-covered fingers, I will love you forever.

Two years later: You got me a toaster! A Hello Kitty toaster! You know me. You grok me. You're still the best.