Here in Panajachel, Guatemala there is a man who buys a dozen roses from a vendor who has the best roses ever, and gives them away – one at a time – to the women of this town.
Some think it’s scandalous since he’s a married man, but others (especially the women receiving the rose) think it’s sweet. Charming. Generous. Delightful.
This man says he does it because it makes the women smile, and he loves the attention these grateful women shower on him. He also says he wishes he had learned this engaging habit decades ago when he was on the dating scene in college!
Every rose-receiving-woman has a story to tell.
One lady with a bubbly personality and no legs pulls herself down the street on a leather sled. She is well known in town and she brings joy with her everywhere. Besides donating cash to her, The Rose Man also gives her a rose when he sees her.
The first time she received her rose she began to cry because no man had ever given her a flower before.
Can you imagine?
Such a small gesture, but it brought delicious happiness to her.
Men in the company of this odd expat aren’t sure what to think and they shake their heads. They see the results; smiling women, friendships developing, and the guaranteed beaming appreciation he receives. Some have been smart enough to emulate this same uncomplicated pattern.
So now… women everywhere – Maya and Gringa – are receiving roses… just because. From the women who make him coffee in the morning at his favorite cafe, to the woman and her daughter who make his fresh cheviche, to strangers on the street, and women friends – married or not – they receive a rose which lights up their faces.
Everyone is just so darned happy about it.
When questioned about what his wife thinks of his giving these roses away to women all over town, he said his wife has one simple rule. Bring home TWO roses for her, to show that she’s first on his list. She herself loves the idea and is happy to share in the good humor he brings back with him after a “rose day.”
Who is this non-conforming, creative thinker?
Have you been to Panajachel, Guatemala? Share your stories with the Frayed Passport community!