Back in the fall, as our two gardening librarians were planning what bulbs to plant for our library garden, I mentioned that I like tulips. A few weeks later, Charles gave me some tulip bulbs.
After Christmas, I mentioned that I didn’t actually plant the bulbs until New Year’s Eve.
Charles asked, “You drove up to the library to plant tulips?”
I shook my head. “No. I planted those extras you gave me at my condo.”
He laughed at me. “Those weren’t extras. Those were for the library garden. I was passing off the responsibility for planting them to you since you were the only one who wanted tulips.”
I can’t even justify my position. My only defense is that I had never once planted anything in our garden, and Charles is known to give his colleagues gifts.
But the lesson is clear: Make sure you understand what the other person means and wants you to do. A simple question can often prevent tons of hurt feelings later.
Still, in our case, all ended well. The few tulips came up in my patch under the front window and then promptly had their petals blown away by the first March wind. And our library garden is lovely even without tulips.