Hearts and Flowers

Eighteen years ago this week, I called Mr. Blandings from my miserable, temporary, call-center job, to see if he had our big city friend's current phone number. This was before he was so big city and when Mr. Blandings and I were friends.

We'd been friends since college. Not talk-on-the-phone friends, but hang out when you're out friends. Anyway, he gave me the number and asked if I wanted to get a beer on Wednesday. Hmm-umm. Couldn't. You see Wednesday was Valentine's Day and I had a very pretty little pity party planned for myself, including old movies and ice cream.

Mr. Blandings suggested we ignore the fact that it was Valentine's Day (in fact, his initial response was, "Is it on the 14th this year?") and go out anyway. Leave the pity at home. Agreed. Good plan.

When I got home from work that day it was dumping snow. I was nervously getting ready. Would he really want to go out in this? Then the phone rang. Darn. Mr. Blandings, he would be late, he had to take his grandmother candy on his way to pick me up. Can you hear the violins swelling in the background?

I don't know what changed. We had known each other - pretty well - for five years. Maybe I grew up. I had certainly had my fill of scoundrals. But I was sunk. We've spoken to each other every day since.

Yesterday, a reader on another blog was asking about a rug, and I thought it was a Rug Company rug, but it doesn't seem to be. But while I was flipping through their gorgeous catalogue, I was stuck by how pretty and romantic it is. By how many images contain hearts or flowers or "love" itself.

The company is owned by Suzanne and Christopher Sharp, who are married. I'd love to think their catalogue is a reflection of how they see themselves. And how they see marriage.

Marriage is the most romantic love there is.

All images, The Rug Company catalogue.