Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Daffodils, Jonquils or Narcissus?

Over the weekend, I was flipping through the channels and I found a gardening show on OPB. They were talking about daffodils - one of my favorite flowers - so I left it on channel 10.3 (I love that CREATE channel!) and watched the show. Normally, gardening isn't my thing - too much dirt and too many bugs...but daffodils. The guy was talking about how there are so many different kinds of daffodils and how people call them different names. Huh? Different names for daffodils? Well, yes, as a matter of fact. Apparently, the latin name for daffodils is narcissus.  And some kinds of daffodils (I read about it - it is some kind of scientific Division thing) are considered jonquils and some are not.  All of this and my drive to work this morning made me remember one of my favorite Roby memories...

In April or May of 1986, we finally got Roby away from his evil boyfriend.  This was the man we later found out had AIDS and had passed it along to Roby and a number of other young men in the Portland area.

The night he moved out of G.'s apartment, Roby and I went to my house to bake “break up” cookies. They were some of the best sugar cookies I have EVER had – he stirred them by hand and the creaming of the shortening and the sugar allowed him to get all of his frustrations and anger out. Once the last of the cookies had been cooled and packaged, we went out to the car so I could drive him home - he lived in downtown Portland at the time. I had borrowed my mother's car -  a brown grenada at the time – a big boat of a car with a glow-in-the-dark sticker that said “Lose Weight Now – Ask Me How” from Herbalife with a phone number on it. As we were driving up the hill to get onto the freeway, Roby spotted some daffodils growing on the side of the road (at a car dealership).

“Pull over – I want to pluck one.” At that point, I would have done anything to cheer him up. We pulled over and plucked some daffodils. We started at midnight and followed the daffodil trail ALL around the area. I was starting to get a little nervous, even though I thought it was really funny, as well. We ended up plucking daffodils from every house, driveway and business from Beaverton to Portland. One hill in a cute little neighborhood near a park had daffodils all over it and at the very top, one lone iris. Roby left a little clump of daffodils on the hill and the poor iris. I drove by the hill the next year and a few years after and they never had daffodils there again - other flowers, but no daffodils. (It was worth it to see him smile.)

Once we were satiated with daffodil stealing (eventually, I freaked out because of the whole glow-in-the-dark phone number thing), we dropped daffodils off at the homes of many of our friends. Even then, we had 2-3 vases full of daffodils left, which we both gifted our mothers with. They both said, “I don’t even want to know where these came from.”

It was the first of many nights I spent trying to heal his heartache and one of my fondest memories - the sweet smell of the flowers, the PILE of flowers in the back seat and the return of my best friend after a long, very bad relationship.

P.S. I tried to insert a photo of a daffodil in this but the Blogger-in-Draft has limited where I can pull pictures and it won't let me pull from MY OWN COMPUTER!! Grr. I will figure it out.

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