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“Latins are tenderly enthusiastic. In Brazil, they throw flowers at you. In Argentina, they throw themselves." -- Marlene Dietrich

The inscrutable flower

A poinsettia was mysteriously delivered to my previous apartment in Adams Morgan yesterday. No card. No information. Nothing.

I got six calls on my cell last night from the downstairs buzzer. Coincidentally, I was having dinner with my friend DJ Roo, who still lives in the building, and told him about the strange calls. He told me that someone had delivered a poinsettia to me.

Arjewtino: “A poinsettia? What is that? Chocolate?”

DJ Roo: “No, it’s a type of flower.”

Arjewtino: “I like chocolate.”

DJ Roo: “It’s not chocolate.”

Arjewtino: “Do you know what marzipan is?”

DJ Roo: “No.”

Arjewtino: “I think it’s a type of bread.”

After several minutes of discussing the possibilities of marzipan, I called the building’s Board President. She called me back later that night and left a message, telling me she had no idea who delivered the poinsettia.

“It’s starting to wilt, anyway,” she said.

Who would send me flowers? It’s not my birthday; I didn’t finish a grad program; I didn’t get a promotion. Who could feel comfortable enough with me to send me flowers yet NOT know I moved out in August? Let’s deduce the possibilities.

1. The Princess

She loves flowers, especially tulips. I bought her flowers in March for no reason and had them delivered to her work. She was so happy you would have thought I had asked her to move to Japan for a year. But I’m not big into flowers. She knows this because of the face I make every time she invites me to the Arboretum or Botanical Gardens. Also, she knows where I live – with her.

2. The ungrateful homeless man at 7-11

I once bought a homeless guy standing outside 7-11 a sandwich. When I came out to give it to him, he looked at it carefully and said, “What is this?” I told him it was a ham sandwich. “I don’t want it. Can you get me another one?” I told him I had to go and it was his if he wanted it. He said no and handed it back. Maybe he still feels bad and decided to make amends by sending me a poinsettia.

3. Joe Mathlete

After writing a post about some blogger who decided to emulate Joe Mathlete’s very funny Marmaduke Explained site, Joe posted a link to my blog, an action which last week resulted in a crazy spike in my readership. If I ever wondered how much traffic Joe got, I no longer have to wonder since nearly 2,000 fans clicked on my blog last Wednesday, giving me a false sense of instant popularity. Maybe the flower was Joe’s way of introducing himself. But where could he have gotten my old address?

4. Credit bureaus

After suffering through years of debt and bad credit in my early 20s, I have slowly but surely built up my credit the past few years. I am (mostly) debt free and I’m sure the companies who track my credit standing wanted to say, “Job well done.” Because credit bureaus are thoughtful like that.

5. My mailman

I once said hi to him in the lobby. Maybe he remembered me and wanted to say hi back. Then again, he HAS been delivering mail that’s being forwarded to my new address.

My powers of deduction, as you can see, may not be as fine tuned as when I was a reporter. So if anyone reads this and sent me the flowers that I’ll never see, I just want to say thank you.

Next time, get me tulips.
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