A few months ago, Champagne Gillian talked about a game where you pick alternative careers. In the comments, I suggested that I’d leave the world of academia to become a florist. I’ve thought about those comments for a while now and pondered what precisely appeals to me about being a florist. And in short, it’s the flowers…. obviously. I love receiving flowers, I love picking flowers, I love looking at flowers. I even love drawing flowers (badly). And with Valentine’s Day approaching, well, I can’t help but think about flowers!
I’m very lucky that my partner brings flowers home from town most weekends. He takes our son into the park in Dublin’s city centre to play on the swings, ride his bike, feed the ducks and otherwise run about the place (the downside of living in a Georgian building is that there is no yard), whilst I get a well-deserved (according to me) lie-in. They then run their errands and stop by Jerry the flower seller to pick up a couple of bunches of flowers – well one bunch, but Jerry always gives them an extra one for free.
I used to think a weekly bunch of fresh flowers was an extravagance, an indulgent spend that in our budget-conscious times was probably unnecessary. I’d be grateful – sure – but in the back of my mind was the little voice nagging, “Oh, we could have spent those measly few euro on blah blah blah”.
But I’ve learned to simply say thank you. It’s a lovely gesture, I love flowers – where’s the problem? But the receiving of flowers on random days not associated with birthdays, anniversaries or other “worthy occasions” is perplexing for many. Surprisingly, many of my girlfriends seem to think it’s a sign of a guilty conscience. “So, he just brought you flowers. For no reason, like? Are you not worried he’s up to something?”
Indeed, random strangers have called out to him from passing cars as he’s walked down the street with flowers. “Ya really must’ve screwed up badly!” the lads commiserate, as if flowers are only bribes to win good favour from the missus. Importantly, not all flowers are created equal. I love roses (not yellow), despise lilies (sadly, I do receive these quite often, but I’m not one to say no!), adore tulips, freesias, lizianthus, agapanthus, irises and pretty much any other purple bloom. And if baby’s breath were to pass the threshold, it would be immediately met with divorce papers! Ugh – how horrible is that stuff?
But it’s not all roses in my house (see what I did there?). Despite the fact that he loves to bring flowers home and I’m more than delighted to receive them, neither of us can abide removing dead stems and washing out the vase. It’s like an unspoken stand-off – the ex-flowers will stay until one of us relents. And more often than not, it’s the cleaning lady who caves first!
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching and the inevitable price gouging that occurs at all levels along the supply chain, the best advice is to give your beloved a flowering plant rather than a bouquet. Not only will you receive more bang for your buck, but the flowers will last and last – a much better metaphor for enduring expressions of love, no?
Do you get flowers often? What are your favourites?