Why My Husband Won’t Send Me Flowers This Valentine’s Day

Every year on February 14, the high school office turns into a floral distribution center. The front counter is covered in roses by the dozen, single roses in bud vases, stuffed animals, bouquets, balloons—stuffed animals holding bouquets and balloons.

A whiteboard is posted outside the office, listing the girls who can stop by between classes to squeal, “He’s so sweet!” To avoid classroom disruptions or broken vases in the hallway, the flowers remain in the office until the end of the day. It really is a spectacular sight. (And expensive! How do teenagers afford this?)

And then there are those girls—like me—who will never see their name on the whiteboard. And every year a student will ask, and I will have to explain, why my husband doesn’t send me flowers. This scenario has played out so many times over the years that they all blur together—except that one time.

That one time that is my favorite Valentine’s Day story…

It is the last hour of the day and, of course, one of the freshmen has to ask, “Mrs. Sargent, did your husband send you flowers?”

I smile and prepare to launch my mini comedy routine. “No, he didn’t. Do you want to know why?”

The students nod, and so for comedic effect, I work up a ridiculous twang to deliver Hubby’s excuse for not sending me flowers. I deliver it slowly, twangy, emphasizing each syllable.

“Flowers are not a good symbol of my love because they die.”

The students laugh, not so much at what I said but at how I said it. But I laugh because it’s funny. I know the real truth: Hubby is a tightwad.

Before the laughter dies down, my classroom door opens, and guess who’s standing there?

Yes. Him.

My students giggle and look at me with big eyes because…well…I almost got caught making fun of Hubby. So I decide to let him in on the joke.

“Hey, I was just talking about you.” (The crowd snickers.)

“You were, huh?” He smiles. He gets my brand of humor and knows something’s up.

“Yeah. I was telling the kids why you don’t send me flowers.”

Immediately he launches into his excuse (twang-free): “They’re not a good symbol of my love because they die.”

The kids burst into laughter. He waits for it to die down.

And then…

He raises a decorative tin heart into the air.

And says…

“That’s why I bought her fudge. It will stay on her hips forever.”

Silence. No one laughs.

Okay, that’s not true. The classroom erupts!

And so do I.

Because I get his brand of humor.

My favorite part of telling this story over the years has been the responses I get. Most ladies laugh with me, some can’t believe I laugh about it at all, and a few seem downright insulted…and that really makes me laugh.

But still, after all the years, and after all the retellings of that story, I won’t get flowers for Valentine’s Day this year.

But that’s okay, because before we go to bed tonight, Hubby will grind coffee beans and set the timer, so I have fresh coffee in the morning. And when my alarm goes off, he’ll hit snooze for me at least three times even though he may have gotten off duty at 3:00 a.m.–because the clock is on his side of the bed where it’s been for almost 32 years. And nobody has mastered packing a dishwasher like he has. I think he’d call those good symbols of his love.

Oh, and the fudge? Yeah, it’s still hanging around.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love. –1 Cor. 13:13

What is the best Valentine’s gift you’ve received? (It’s okay to make me jealous.) Or the worst? Comment below or share The MOM Journey and you could win my Valentine’s give-away–a Hobby Lobby gift card! I’ll email the winner on Valentine’s Day!

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  1. Tina Rice says:

    This is great! I don’t have a favorite or worst gift, but your story is priceless.

  2. Sarah Miller says:

    I didnt actually know about the gift until March 8th 2015 but she was conceived around Valentines day so I would say my baby girl is and was my best valentines gift!

  3. linda wilson says:

    well Charles would buy me candy every now and then but it was the day after Valentines’ day so he could get the marked down candy . now you know what a tightwad does really look like aw memories love you

  4. APRIL M SMITH says:

    I love that story and can imagine you both playing it out. 😄
    I have to say that my hubby definitely got it right one year. I was helping at the flower shop, and since it probably wasn’t a good idea to have flowers delivered from the other shop in town, he got creative and appealed to my sweet tooth. Our neighborhood UPS guy delivers me a MyDaddy`s Cheesecake. I didn’t know that that was possible, but so glad that it was. He still hasn’t topped that one, but I’m not complaining.
    You two have a great 💘day!

  5. Kelly Rushing says:

    I must say lunch with my mother on Valentine’s Day takes the cake. Since my father passed away, I make the two and a half hour drive to Illinois, to take her out each year. I love her so much and can’t imagine life or Valentine’s day without her. Every year I look forward to seeing her. Even though I may not always have a Valentine each year, I can count on lunch with my mother, letting her know how important she is to me.

  6. Pat Wahler says:

    Flowers are pretty, although I’m not a rose person. I love the beauty of wildflowers that look like what you’d discover growing in a field or by the side of the road. They last longer, too! Yet we long ago agreed flowers are an extravagance.

    Instead, Hubby used to purchase flowering plants that last as long as I remember to water them. But lately his favorite gift is a pound of chocolate covered strawberries, so I can feel virtuous instead of guilty when I eat them. 🙂

    • Karen Sargent says:

      Very clever hubby! I relate to “as long as I remember to water them.” My hubby nicknamed me the plant assassin. 🙂 Enjoy your chocolate strawberries this year! 🙂

  7. Oh, that’s fantastic!! My husband doesn’t buy me flowers either. Because, I told him back when we were dating that I’d rather go out to a nice dinner than spend money on flowers that will just die.

    My favorite Valentine’s memory happened in 2004. My sweetheart took me out to a super fancy restaurant overlooking Lake Michigan. We watched the sun set over the lake in fiery shades of red and orange while a live band played love tunes, and we ate a most delicious meal. We then we back to his apartment where he presented me with a DVD that he had made of photos of us set to our song (When God Made You by Newsong). Then he gave me a coffee table photo book (that he made) with the same photos of us and the words from the song on each page through the book. As I was flipping through the pages, I wasn’t really reading the words, because I knew the song. But he insisted that I take the time to read the words of the song. So of course I did. On the very last page was a photo of him that I’d taken and the words underneath said “Will You Marry Me?” Then he got down on one knee and asked me. Of course I said yes! We got married in June of that same year! We’ll celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary this year! <3

    • Karen Sargent says:

      Trisha! This is THE best story! That is definitely an unforgettable Valentine’s Day! Thanks so much for sharing.

  8. Marna Strahl says:

    Love it, Karen! Roles are reversed in this household, with me being the one saying, “Don’t buy me flowers, because they are just going to die and it’s a ridiculous amount of money!” I’d much rather see the dishes done, laundry folded or house vacuumed. Ha! That would speak volumes of love to me! 🙂

  9. Erica Anderson says:

    I think that I may have heard this tale a time or two…. love it!!!

  10. Vicki Brunk says:

    During a rough time in my life, my kids surprised me with a bouquet of sunflowers on Valentine’s Day and it was delivered to my classroom at school. I cried because it was such a surprise and spoke volumes to my heart. And the office didn’t put my name on the white board in the hall. Imagine that! By the way, I used to make the gift fudge for the husband and for some reason it always went to MY hips and not his. Not fair!

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