Patience! This is actually a post about Flowers and Valentine’s Day and Love — even though it starts out quoting an old sad song. Poor Neil, he really got admonished in this late 70’s popular ballad for not being romantic enough. Did you know that Streisand and Diamond each sang those same lyrics separately until their recordings were famously spliced together by different radio stations, creating unofficial duets, the success of which led to the studio bringing the two performers together for an official duet recording? Okay, back on topic.
Recently I did some crowdsourcing on Facebook and this was how I presented my subject.
Ladies, do you genuinely love getting flowers?? Or do you look at it as a “default gift” when your mate cannot think of anything else you might like? Men, do you think ALL women must like receiving flowers and so that’s the first thing you gravitate to for a nice gesture? Or is it out of sheer convenience/ease?
Out of 42 responses, only five females were not flower fans. Here were their comments:
No flowers for me . . . I would prefer to be taken to a field of daisies or have him plant some rose bushes for us to witness their growth, rather than pluck beauty from the earth to watch wither.
Chocolates any time. Flowers, never! To me, I’m just waiting to see when they will be dead enough to throw away after making a mess on the counter.
I have asthma. Flowers make me wheeze. Please bring me jewelry. Or coffee. Or a candle. Or a toy for my dog. Just not flowers!
Honestly, they just don’t do a thing for me. It’s such an “I’m Going Thru The Motions” empty gesture. I’d much prefer something that has some meaning attached to it.
Okay, I hope there’s enough room for me to fully respond to your question. First off, the main reason I don’t care for a man giving me a bouquet is that after my father passed away I got lots of floral arrangements sent to the house, so I tend to associate them with funerals and the loss of a loved one — not to mention flowers themselves run through their life cycle extremely quickly and will die right before your very eyes, no matter HOW WELL you care for them. I once had a boyfriend who got flowers for me only after an argument … so when I’m not associating them with death, I’m linking them to quarrels, apologies, and/or multiple breakups! The tight plastic wrapping frustrates the heck out of me. Ouch! I’ve gotten stuck hard by roses while trying to arrange them. Speaking of water — I never have a vase I can safely reach. Twice I’ve fallen off barstools trying to get one out of an upper cabinet. The water gets all yucky and gross smelling if you don’t change it often and try washing the vase after it’s all gunked up with encrusted floral droppings. My kitties play with them, knocking them over or ingesting them. They can trigger my allergies. Flowers with yellow in them always stain everything they touch, including my granite kitchen countertops. And lastly, yes flowers do feel like a “generic” gift, leaving me to think “I guess he doesn’t know me well enough to pick out something more personalized.” See aren’t you sorry you asked me?
~Little Miss Menopause
Astute readers will notice I took the liberty of responding to my own crowdsourcing survey with quite a lengthy rant. (Talking to myself, nothing new here!) I also embedded a similar display of emotion in my novel as one of my main character’s personality traits. But would I ever directly tell a man I was seeing how I felt about receiving flowers? Never.
A man is conditioned to think all women love flowers and so in his mind, he’s done good! How could you fault a guy for that? How could you burst his romantic bubble by pricking it with a sharp rose thorn?
I bet there are a lot more women out there like me, secretly hiding the fact that flowers just don’t bring them as much joy (or any?) as the giver assumes they do. Perhaps (like me!) they’re also keeping silent so as not to hurt his feelings. Bottom line, what if all these men are bringing all these women flowers and nobody sincerely wants to give them and nobody sincerely wants to get them?
“A Rose by any other name … might just be a vicious cycle of poor communication and wasted $’s.”
I’ll leave you with my one amusing, touching, adorable tale of receiving flowers from my youngest son. Once Upon a Time on a Mother’s Day long ago an eight year-old boy waited until the last minute to get anything to show his adoration. Picking a bunch of last minute blooms from multiple neighbors’ gardens, he rushed into the kitchen to hastily try and find a suitable vase (remember they’re all stored inconveniently in the highest cabinets!) before his mother came downstairs that Sunday morning so he could shout, “Surprise!” Realizing his search was in vain, he grabbed the closest thing that emulated the shape of a vase. And that was the first, last and only time I’ve ever received flowers displayed in water (yes he remembered the water) sticking out of a Hamilton Beach Blender … of which he did thoughtfully unplug from the outlet.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Female readers….hoping for flowers? Fess up in my comments section! Male readers… Is it a cop-out gift because you’re feeling lazy or do you truly believe there isn’t a woman alive who won’t swoon at posies?