It’s the first day of May also known as “May Day.” That’s when people “secretly” deliver baskets of fresh flowers to their friends, neighbors and loved ones. I say “secretly” because part of the ritual is to place the “May Day basket” on the doorstep, ring the doorbell and vanish into thin air (or go home).
Wherever you go, you must n-e-v-e-r speak of the basket. You are to act like it never happened. If someone says they saw you, deny it.
So many red flags…
When I was very little, I willingly participated in this vandalism. I wasn’t allowed to use the good flowers, so I’d rip violets, dandelions and clover out of the earth and arrange them in a handmade paper basket. Sometimes the lilacs would be in bloom so I’d snip a small bunch, shake the ants off of it and stick it in the basket.
Making the paper basket was simple and we completed this task at school. You take a piece of construction paper, make a few little cuts, fold up and Scotch tape the four corners into a shallow basket. Then you staple the paper handle to the sides.
Honestly, I don’t know why I don’t do this more often. They’re adorable catchalls for pens and pencils. Rubber bands and whatnot. Note to self: Make baskets.
Anyway, even though I worked quickly, within seconds my flowers wilted. I’d place their droopy, lifeless bodies into what was now a paper casket. Inevitably, there would be at least one ant crawling over the carnage.
I was never proud of my work. Looking back, I should have just thrown the baskets in the trash. But this was before I learned how to “kill my darlings.” I didn’t know what an editor was back then. All I knew was I created something and goddamnit, I was going to force it on someone. But who?
I decided that my very private next door neighbors Miss Collier and Miss Norris would be the victims. I was equal parts giddy and terrified to ring their doorbell. I wasn’t even sure they had a doorbell because I never saw anyone visit them. The thought of leaving them my basket of doom made me dizzy. But I was all in because I thought I was doing my neighbors a great service by sharing my “art” with them.
I have so much shame about how much I’ve shared over the years. But you don’t really see me stopping, do you. Consider this blog a May Day basket from me to you. Not something you really want or need but, ding dong, here it is.
Thanks for reading my blog. I greatly appreciate it. Hope you get some real flowers today! -Connie