Currently, my boyfriend, which I received on valentine's day, is soaking in a glass, trying his plasticy hardest to grow four times bigger and become the man I need.
So, while he fails, I am going to describe 24 real men, men who have made me happy in the past year (or many years) to some degree, as a way of paying tribute to the anonymous sender of 24 short-stemmed roses the morning of Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012.
Thanks to you, anonymous friend. So, here, in no particular order, is a heartfelt prose for each red rose, one for each man whose kindness and love has at some point been as petals enough to wrap and warm my heart all the year long.
1 Brad Fairchild
He's my dad. He would give me a rose because he cherishes me. Maybe I'm no perfect daughter, but I know he loves me and wants what's best for me and helps me now and again to get it. He inspires me constantly to work hard, to earn my many blessings. I love my dadda.
2 Daniel Sowards
I don't know that I could say enough about this man to ever fully represent the love in my heart for him. He's the kind of man that makes everyone else think they're his favorite. But I'm pretty sure I am indeed his favorite; but no matter, he's my favorite. I believe he would give me a rose the way Bert gives Mary Poppins field flowers that turn into butterflies when she smells them. That's just what people with magical love do for each other.
|me, 4 friends of Daniel, Daniel. You may recognize the boy next to me as the one and only It Only Gets Stranger blog writer, Eli. So through Daniel I am also semi-friends with him. Also semi-famous. Probably.|
3 Jeremy Riddle
He is a star: immovable, a shining brightness in the dark moments, and he kind of sparkles. Truly. He's real, that's what I love. He tells me how it is, asks me sincerely how I'm doing and listens until I sincerely answer. He would give me a rose like he would give me a hand. He is gentle and loving, he will be a wonderful husband and father.
|jeremy and me, small pic :/|
4 Kevin Stuart
If you're in need of a true and loyal friend, find Kevin. Here's a guy who sticks up for himself, but also for the little guy. He's beyond generous and wholly friendly. I don't think there's anyone in the world he wouldn't befriend if they'd let him. And boy, therefore, does he have connections. Somehow he always knows someone who knows someone who knows exactly what would help in whatever situation. I'm probably not much of a connection for him, but I'm glad he knows me and keeps me as a friend. He's got roses for everyone, just because he cares that you're happy.
5 Jason Bartlett
Since there's only one of him, if you never meet Jason, you'll miss out on knowing the most attentive and thoughtful man on the planet. Once a group of us went on an overnight fishing trip in Alaska and I bemoaned my forgotten toothbrush. When he and another friend went to buy firewood, then came back, he came over and handed me a toothbrush. He would likewise bring me a flower. He's a heart-warmer at just the right temperature. Plus, he sent me this:
|popcorn factory fun!!|
6 Brandon "Sweetheart" Donadt
Thinking of him lights up my face. He's usually crude and sassy, but he has an undeniable sweetness, too. I met him in Alaska and we connected because I'm deeply mormon and he's deeply metaphysical, and he inspired me to just let loose and have more fun with life. I really appreciate that. If he sent me flowers his girlfriend would flip, but he'd whisper "rose" in the universe and I believe I'd hear it somehow.
|Matt, Kevin, me, Jason, Heath, Sweetheart. All great friends!|
7 Craig Collette
He's funny and energetic and nice, buff and good looking; ladies, if you love high adventure you should look him up. There's something about Craig that just soothes every care. I forget I have any when I'm around him, he's so positive and forward-moving with life. He gives me roses of energized optimism, that boy.
8 Seth Coombs
Oh, Sethy. I love him. You know that awesome feeling you get when you and another are laughing at an inside joke? That's how being around Seth always makes me feel. He'd have a rose waiting for me at home, because that's the way I feel whenever I get to see him, like I'm coming home. :)
|we love ice cream, Seth and I|
9 Grandpa Bowen
Father of ten children including my mother, WWII navy sailor, 3-year missionary in Brazil, counselor for married couples and families--this man has left unfading footprints of good all over the world. In his old age as he slowly loses footing on the current reality in which he lives, I am honored to be a physical product of his goodness and will never forget the many great things his life has brought to mine. The rose he would send would carry the scent of eternal grandpa love, which smells something like chimney fires, newspapers, button up shirts, and Eastern Oregon wind.
10 Aaron and Jason Fairchild
My brothers make me laugh. If I didn't have brothers, well, I'd only have sisters, and what kind of life would that be? Aaron reminds me that responsible and professional people do best when they maintain a sense of humor. Jason reminds me that you can push yourself to be the best even when others may have been blessed with more "natural" talent. My brothers would split the cost of a rose and send it to me from Amazon, and I would open the package with Christmas morning delight, knowing they were thinking of their sis.
|Here are my brothers, and my sisters. This photo was featured in Awkward Family Photos (it's on the board game. See, I'm not even semi-famous. Totally famous|
11 Khalid Zeineddine
Here's a man who won't kid himself and has sincere care for bettering himself and others. He is a loyal man, loyal to truth and freedom, wherever they are found. I admire that he went from not knowing God, to loving and praying to Him, using his head and heart. It is beautiful to see anyone come to know that God truly cares about him or her specifically and eternally; it was a privilege to witness Khalid open himself to that knowledge. He continues to inspire me, giving me roses that blossom with thoughtful attention to detail, always displaying a sincere energy for life.
|me, Khalid, Maryna Kryvenko|
12 Corey Sherwin
Few men have ever succeeded in making me laugh as much as this one. He has cured many a drooping spirits with his singular dose of laughter medicine. He is dedicated and hard working, but never forgets to laugh. I love people like that. Well, and Corey maintains a certain cynicism that is like the pepper that balances the salt of the world. The way I see it, Corey would give me a fake rose. Not because he's by any means unromantic, but because he would remember that cut roses die quickly, especially because I'm inherently an indoor plant killer (unredeemable neglect) and that I'd then throw them away, but he would see the sense in having me remember him year round. I like that. Makes perfect sense.
13 Darek Purcell
I won't be surprised to one day look in the wikipedia and see his picture displayed under the page all about loyalty. It's not like he has any reason to be loyal to me in particular, that's just his personality, he's loyal. Loyal first to himself, and dedicated to good causes and good people. I appreciate that I can be totally myself around him, which is a rare species of rose right there. And then, he's a fountain of depthless knowledge. He's a great one to hang around and learn many new things from!
14 Michael Hammon
Do you know people who never fail to bring a smile to your face when you think of them or see them? Michael is one such friend for me. He's busy and I'm busy so we don't really spend time together, but whenever I see him at church, I get a new determination to just be happier. I love that unspoken quality he has. But then, when he does speak, you'll soon have tears flowing for how much humor he pours into your mind. Roses along the roadside that I take a moment to stop and smell.
15 Leandrew Tirrell
Quick like a gazelle. He told me to write that. He's funny and loving. He really seems more cuddly like a koala, but he's my home teacher, so I don't think of cuddling him. ;) But he's sincere and caring, so makes a great home teacher and friend. And he's a nurse, or "murse" as I've heard said. He'd bring me a rose to make me feel better any time I needed it.
16 Jay Wanzer
Baby Jay is my hero. I don't know what else to say. He'll talk smack, he'll act rough and tough on the outside, but you will never find a harder worker, a more faithful Christian, or a man more fiercely devoted to me...I know that sounds egotistical or conceited, but how can I assure you that I most humbly acknowledge that he is far better to me than I ever deserve? His roses give my heart a humble prick and I will always love my baby Jay.
|Jay and I are on the right; looks like he's about to pinch something he shouldn't|
17 Graham Bradley
Now, Graham is married, so he wouldn't be giving me roses; but, figuratively speaking, he sends me inspiration to reach beyond my abilities and just 'get to work' on my dreams. That's what he himself always does, and his passion and energy are the type to inspire anyone, especially writers, that hard work and determination will take your talents to the top. Be on the look out, some day he'll be famous.
18 Thomas Bowen
Uncle Tom has always inspired me to be upbeat, no matter what happens. Even when we make mistakes, there's a way to turn around and make things right. I love him for his generous heart, forgiving nature, and unmatched creative gusto. He would give me a rose to cheer me up, any time. That's what our conversations always do for me!
19 Matthew Walker
He won't give up on anyone. He'll always urge me to do better, keep creating and using my talents. I'm grateful for his persistence, because when I feel complacent, he reminds me to be humble and return to the basics, and create with purity of intent. Maybe he doesn't know he does this for me; Matthew is a modest fellow, he'd never talk himself up. But he loves the beauty in life, and together we make up analogies and other ways to see that beauty around us, then we share it. He gives me wild rose bushes: the kind that keep on giving.
20 Nate Crenshaw
If I were to pair myself with a friendly intellectual rival, that would be Nate. We have no fear challenging each other's self-supposed brilliance. His way of thinking makes my way of thinking work harder to justify itself. And if it doesn't come up with a good reason, I reconsider. That's a good power to have in a friend. Nate gives me roses of wisdom, thorns and all.
21 Sean Smith
He's my cooking buddy. This guy is an endless sausage tube of advice and other entertaining things, I tell you what. If you want random and nuts, Sean's your man. He's honest, steady and goofy, a refreshing scent in the bouquet. Really, this kid owns some serious real estate in the field of charm and wooing. He'd give me a rose because he's a die hard romantic.
|in the kitchen where he belongs|
22 Cameron and Caleb Bosley
Okay, so they aren't of the age of men yet, but, one on the shoulders of the other, they measure up to the height of a man. We wrestle and spin till we're (I'm) sick. They would give me one rose from the both of them, because they know deep down they love their Auntie Em (but only if I first gave them a piece of gum to split). And I would add their father, Brian because if roses were laughter I'd have dozens a day from him. He even mentioned, regarding this blog post idea and the anonymous person who sent them: "Short-stemmed, huh? You know what that means. He's shorter than you and he feels like he can't approach you." See? Funny.
|i love love love them|
|also this picture is the most epic|
23 Axel Giraud and Williams Bastide
Ces deux hommes sont des anges à Nimes, France. Mes freres et mes amis, ils sont remplis de gentiesse et d'amour. Ils m'inspirent et encouragent, parce que ce n'est pas facile à vivre en France et avoir la foi en Jésus-Christ, mais les deux sont forts et fidels au pouvoirs de la Pretrise qui leur ont été donnés. Ils me donneraient une rose parce qu'ils sont les vrais messieurs ("gentlemen").
|Williams, sr Walton, jean-marc, Axel|
Ah, now here's a great fellow to end on. Tim is the sort that inspires and supports dreams. If Tim says you can, believe it, and believe he will believe in you to the end. He will also make your belly ache for all the good laughs he'll cook up and feed you. He's kind of quiet and maybe seems shy at times, but he's a real riot. He owns a jeep. He's an artist and moviemaker. Tim would give me a rose to make me smile. Always, always can make me smile.
As I contemplated which 24 names to tribute, I realized this is by NO means a comprehensive list of the many awesome men (like you, if you're reading this, are male, and aren't on the list) who have enriched my life in some small or major way!