Tuesdays With Murray (Chapter 42)

I save flowers. I dry them out and I save them. I have kept a bouquet in a homemade vase for several years. The picture below was taken of our place before we had a baby, before we moved the futon from the guest bedroom (now the nursery) into the dining room (now the makeshift guest room/storage area).

The flowers and the vase are outlined in white. And at some point it moved to where the food processor sits in the picture above. (Also outlined.)

The bouquet has grown a lot since then. It grew larger each and every time Tobyjoe bought me flowers. Sometimes I’ll add one or two from a bouquet, sometimes more. It represents a timeline of moments and holidays.

For example, there was that really difficult day last year. I was very pregnant and becoming more and more immobile by the minute. I had just discovered a massive band of stretch marks all over my underbelly. I called Tobyjoe to complain about it. He asked me if I wanted anything, needed anything. What I really wanted was a cupcake, but cupcakes are what got me there in the first place, so Tobyjoe brought home flowers instead.

One might assume, given what I just wrote, that I’m really attached to said bouquet. It does cover years worth of loving memories after all. And to some degree that assumption is true, but probably not to the degree that it should be.

For starters, they are dust magnets. I haven’t ever seen any other household item gather so much dust. And they’re impossible to clean. If you touch them, they crumble. But they’re sentimental, right? And so I have held onto them because throwing them out feels like burning books, trashing art, shredding old love letters.

Plus, we’re moving soon. The idea of moving a bouquet of dried flowers doesn’t sit too well with me. I knew that once we moved, the flowers would have to be destroyed. Tobyjoe and I would have to start anew.

The point is, the flowers had a lifeline. I just had no idea how short it’d be.

Two days ago, I was in the kitchen cooking chili cheese tofu dogs for Tobyjoe and me. Murray was sitting on the back of the futon, watching me move to and from the kitchen. At some point he grew bored with me and decided it was time to play with my memories.

I’m not going to go on and on about how it happened. I think I’ll let the picture below sum up the aftermath. (Keep in mind, this was taken after I removed the still whole branches, some of which were still covered in thorns. Ouch.) The really good news is the vase I so lovingly threw while living in Washington was still in tact. The flowers weren’t as lucky.

I’m a little relieved that I don’t have to figure out a way to get rid of the memories, throw out the dried flowers. Murray took care of that for me.

Now if only he could do something about the memories my body saved from eating all those damned cupcakes.


  1. As the owner of a very busy young cat, I fully appreciate your story and that picture!

    Add this to the list of things we can learn from our cats: Never get too attached to any object!


  2. You are so right, Mel. Kids, too. And dogs (who will eat anything and everything in their way.) We mustn’t forget about the dogs and kids. (Sorry, paranoia. Cat haters don’t need more ammo.)


  3. Ouch. But interesting that it took Murray this long to do it. My cat finds flowers within a day of their arrival in this house and by the end of 2 days, there are no survivors.


  4. Oh, believe me, whenever flowers enter our home now, we have to lock them in another room, which is hard because we live in a railroad apt. The top of the TV used to work, but he figured out a way to get his fat butt up there. This is probably why TJ hasn’t gotten me flowers since Murray “grew up”. There’s really no where to store them. Plus, the lilies, if eaten, are poisonous and Murray eats everything.


  5. FYI – and I only know this because of my angst-ridden teenage breakups many years ago – dried roses smell AMAZING when on fire, like floral honey. I don’t know how you would do that SAFELY (perhaps in a barrel in your future backyard?), but there you go. :)


  6. I wish it were possible to favorite comments on here, because Debbie? You made me laugh out loud.


  7. I threw out an entire trash bag full of old wine and champagne bottle corks the day of our move. Years and years worth. In the end, when the moving truck had departed and we were desperately trying to cram the rest of our stuff into the car (leaving room for ourselves and the cats), they just didn’t matter anymore. I had plans to make them into corkboards or trivets or something cool like that, but we just left them on the curb, and I’m okay with the fact that we did.


  8. Oh, holy crap! Other collections I need to part with.

    I have been saving movie stubs for YEARS. I stopped recently (Well, not sure if i stopped saving them or stopped going to movies since we’re with child now) but yeah, I used to save them. I could tell you who i was with and where I saw each film. Weird.

    I know they are somewhere around here. I’ll probably find them whenever we move. I continue to keep them because they take up such little space.

    Although, right midway through writing this, I got the sinking suspicion I already did toss them out whenever we moved here from San Fran. hmmmmmm


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