Roses are my favorite flower. The configuration of their petals, the way they blossom, revealing a sun like interior, their incredible scent, how their petals feel like a baby’s skin.
Back in the nineties, I worked for Albertson’s in the Drug and General Merchandise department. Coming up on Valentine’s Day in 1996, I was placed on the overnight shift in order to assist the floral department manager in floral arrangements. I’d taken a floral design course in high school and for that reason, I found myself yawning over a ten-gallon tub of roses. The manager of the department gave me a stripper (guys, put your tongues back in your mouths, that’s the actual term for what you use to remove thorns on roses), and I set to work.
I had a total of thirty-three pricks on my fingers that day from the thorns I encountered.
Roses, for all their glory and amazing beauty still have thorns.
Which leads me to the title of this particular post: ‘Everyone has a but.”
Giggle-worthiness aside, the title of this blog references how when we are talking about someone we know, we tend to state their good qualities, followed by their but, whatever it is that is their quirk that sets them aside and makes them imperfect. “She’s got a great personality and a sense of humor, but she tends to be afraid of commitment,” “He’s very sweet and thoughtful, but he tends to have a wandering eye when he’s out to dinner with his girlfriend,” and “She’s a good friend, but she’s very spoiled” are examples of buts.
But are buts really all that bad? We all have our own individual imperfections, our flaws, some form of a rose’s thorn. But if we did not have these flaws, we’d be perfect. And perfection isn’t really all it’s cracked up to be. And ideals of perfection tend to be a form of masking of the true story, so even perfection is flawed.
But let’s say there was a perfect person: everything about them is without flaws, without thorns, without the but. Wouldn’t that feel a great deal intimidating? Could you really bring anything to perfection to add to it in any significant way?
The answer is no. Because once perfection is achieved, in any one person or any one thing, that’s the end of it. There’s nothing more to be brought to it or added to it. And having lived behind the lie of perfection for a good bit of my life, its not worth it.
Me? I have several thorns, several buts, as anyone who truly knows me can attest to: I’m anxious in situations I’m not familiar with, I have a hard time letting go of things and people long past the point when I should have. I don’t place enough necessity on what’s best for myself and instead put other people first. I’m unable to go half way, and am very much a balls-to-the-wall type personality in all areas of my life. I’m far too sensitive, far too emotional of a person in a world where people rarely value kindness and compassion.
But I am kind. I am compassionate. I will help someone if it’s within my ability to help them. I’m loyal. I fight like hell for those I love. I make a big deal out of the little things. I say I love you without hesitation when I feel it. I forgive easily and with grace. I abhor cruelty in any form.
I have many, many buts, many, many thorns. But if you take a stripper and remove those, you’ll find someone who will always be there for you, always support you. You’ll find someone who can see your own thorns and ignore them for the larger picture: a rose, gentle in its beauty, soft in its touch, sweet in its scent.