A Rose By Any Other Name…

…can’t seem to be found in Costa Rica. At least, that’s what I am learning down here. So far, it is really the only thing that I can’t seem to find or for which I can’t seem to find a good alternative. It’s unexpected. I didn’t even think about it during our planning for our new adventure. I’m at a loss.

Why is it so important? Well, I’ve been buying them for a very long time.

When Deb and I met in grad school and fell in love, I knew immediately that I wanted to spend my life with her. I wanted to propose to her but I had so little money. I had already burned through savings and cash in the first year, adding a ton of debt on top of it. I had actually planned to leave grad school for a great job in Seattle…until I met Deb.

We became very close friends first. We spent all of our time working together on class projects (and we still work incredibly well together). Pretty soon we were deeply in love. After 7 weeks I really wanted to ask her to marry me.

I couldn’t really afford a ring. So, I proposed to her with a single red rose and a promise. A promise that I would always get her a rose, every week, for as long as we lived. I’ve kept that promise for 19 years now. Every week, I would buy her a single red rose and put it in a vase for her. Until now.

I knew all of the stores around us in Seattle. I knew where they sold red roses, but not single red roses. I knew which ones reliably carried single long-stemmed red roses. I knew where the nicest ones were. And occasionally when one of them wasn’t open or when I couldn’t make it there, I had backup stores I could go to where I’d have to settle or a shorter red rose. I took for granted the fact that I could find a single red rose almost anywhere in Seattle and beyond.

Several years ago, I even designed a tribal rose tattoo and the folks at Slave to the Needle kindly put it on my back. The top just hits the back of my neck so that it shows even if I wear a shirt and tie. I want people to see it.

So now, you see my dilemma. For now, I can resort to digital roses. They are really just a shadow of my intent. But, while I continue to look for options, they will have to suffice.

The word for “rose” exists in Spanish (“rosa”) so I hold out hope that in my exploration I will find one here someday. The journey should be half the adventure but this one gnaws at me. Like everything else we are doing, I’ll embrace change and adapt. At least, she has the opportunity out in the sun all day to see my rose tattoo 🙂

8 thoughts on “A Rose By Any Other Name…

  1. Oh my…that’s sooo lovely Andy. I really hope you find it.
    Btw, I so love your love story (the rose story specially) that every time I meet someone new and I tell about my time in Seattle, I always talk about you guys and the rose story + tatoo. People love this beautiful, peculiar and particular touch in your story.
    Also, i love the last part of your post…good for you guys!!!!
    Enjoy!!!

  2. Andy, how about you make an oragami rose every day? I bet you could make them different and unique each day with paper, folding, etc.

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