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I’m Not That Kind Of Girl…But My Boyfriend Is

February 22, 2010

Ryan and I have come to an understanding on the subject of gift flowers.  He’s into them, insofar as he enjoys flowers in general.  Me, I like them in the wild, and in other people’s gardens or homes…but I told him if he’s ever thinking of getting me flowers, he can offer a bouquet of kale, instead.  Now that would set my heart aflutter.

Our little inside joke came to mind Saturday morning as two friends and I were drinking in the Alemany farmers’ market (best show in town, far as I’ve seen).  Small, tight brussels sprouts glowing like alabaster; giant purple-and-green sugar cane stalks; heaps of bright, cartoon-shaped carrots — well, an inventory isn’t the point.  Let’s call it heaven for shorthand.  (Especially given the row of prepared food vendors, including a lovely older lady at the helm of a large pupusa stand.)

So I’m browsing and reveling, already saddled with a heavy shoulder bag of asparagus, beets, and all manner of Brassica oleracea (broccoli, cauliflower, b-sprouts, and my beloved lacinato kale), when we come upon some buckets of fresh flowers.  I picked up these beautiful tulips to give to Ryan.

Feeling cheerful and rather delighted with the low-risk gender role reversal, I parted ways with my friends and boarded the bus home to downtown SF, where Ryan and I planned to meet up on Market Street.  A fellow rider — gaunt with thick bangs and a charming toothless smile — complimented my kale and flowers, volunteering that she would actually prefer the former to the latter.  I was in good company.

When I arrived at 8th and Market and settled against a wall to wait for Ryan, I discovered another perk to the gender bending.

A much older man walked straight up to me, staring intensely.  He looked a bit off.  Started talkin all this about Do I want to spend some time, and What am I up to.  I smiled and said, “I’m waiting for my boyfriend, to give him these.”  It wasn’t exactly a brush-off or an evasion tactic — though, like many people, I sometimes have to use those with aggressive men.  Here, I was simply relating to the situation, with more warmth than irritation.

The man glanced down at the flowers, mumbled a goodbye, and strode off toward 9th.

When Ryan did arrive, even though I handed him the tulips, he assumed I’d just bought them to dress up my own bedroom.  Took him a while to realize that they were for him.

And the rest of the morning we spent cooking kale.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. noa permalink
    February 22, 2010 9:43 pm

    i love this. and the photos, too. and you.

  2. bohemiankitsch permalink
    February 22, 2010 10:01 pm

    beautiful. :)

    hey! that’s OUR Ryan!

    very happy for you. haven’t seen him in a couple of years, but i really like him. give him a big hug for me.

  3. Susan permalink
    February 24, 2010 10:59 am

    Nice! Hope I get to hear more about Ryan, in person, in your city! ;)

  4. February 25, 2010 4:45 pm

    I love this. But here’s a binary break: what about when Kale, itself, flowers? Should those be removed for ideal-KatieKaleHeart?

  5. February 25, 2010 6:01 pm

    heeheeheeheeheeeeeee :)

    um, are kale flowers edible? this is my question. if so, then they may remain.

    i love you, leora.

    and Susan, seeing you and Sara made my day!!! I may have to sabotage Karen’s job so that y’all can move out West.

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