Monday, June 15, 2009

Send Me No Flowers

Somewhere in the world, there must be a Lady's Code of Acceptable Behavior. Probably included in this respectable manuscript is a chapter on the receiving of flowers, outlining all of the possible reasons for flowers to be given to a lady, and how she should behave upon receipt of such lovely blooms. She will gush and admire. She will thank and arrange. She will fuss and (maybe even) weep. She will love the flowers and enjoy them profusely, as befits a proper lady.

I must not be a proper lady, because I'd rather not get flowers. A blender, a garden tool, a candle - anything but flowers.

My feelings are complex and deeply entrenched (I'm a vast, wide ocean...), but I'll do my best to sum them up in one word: embarrassment.

Memories of a high-school fundraiser come to mind. Boys were allowed to purchase single carnations from some booster club to send to a girl of their choice in one of her classes on Valentine's Day. Only, in my junior year, an admirer broke the rules and had a half-dozen roses delivered to me - one each hour of the day. It was a sweet thought. Directed at the wrong girl. Nothing screams LOOK AT ME like an interruption in the middle of class for a rose to be handed to the shy girl with flaming cheeks. I had liked that boy, but from then on I could only remember how embarrassed I'd been due to his actions. (Side note: girls are cruel, huh? He was only following the rules that most girls would've appreciated...just not this girl.)

Memories of working in a busy department store come to mind. A boy I was dating had 2 dozen roses delivered to me one busy Saturday at work. He and I had gotten in trouble for lying to my parents about where we'd been the night before, so I was grounded and upset. He wanted to cheer me up. Except, a young kid ordering such an extravagant arrangement aroused suspicion, apparently. The people I worked with assumed we had done much more wrong than just lying about our whereabouts. Not to mention all the random customers ooohing at me and my ginormous bouquet. All these people paying attention to me. It was unbearable, and I disposed of the flowers as soon as I was able to do so without anybody noticing. That poor boy. He didn't stand a chance. (Again with the cruelty. I feel bad now, knowing how much money he wasted on the roses and how unappreciative I was.)

Memories of working in a tiny office with just one other person - my boss - come to mind. My husband had flowers delivered for some occasion, I no longer remember why. My boss was not the kind of person to let me retreat into my shy shell. He noticed my embarrassment, and exploited it whenever he could, just to see what shade of red my face could conceivable become. So when I got a beautiful bouquet from Justin, he speculated aloud, in front of customers, as to the reason behind them. A lover's tiff? A newlywed's apology? Was there infidelity involved? I (and whatever innocent client) always knew my boss's personality enough to know he was just joking, and I tried to play along...but that didn't stop the embarrassment from showing up in excess blood form behind my thin skin.

So flowers? Not my bag, baby.

Even now, when I'd be the only one to witness my flower delivery, I don't appreciate them as much as most women presumably do. They're pretty, sure, but you spent HOW much money on them? And they're going to DIE? And I'll feel bad for not being able to keep them alive longer? No thank you. May I suggest a nice novel instead?

Thankfully, my wonderful husband now knows my feelings about flowers even if he doesn't understand them. I'm quite the girly-girl, and for me to beg him not to get me flowers must've confused his years of man-training. But knowing me as he does, and accepting me anyway, he got me the best possible gift for our anniversary yesterday.


And not those mysteriously-filled chocolate shells where you never know if you'll be biting into nougat, pecans, or orange creme either. (I'm noticing quite the picky streak within myself...) He got me LINDT Petits Desserts. Little chocolatier creations that are perfect and wonderful. Truffleicious bites of chocolatey goodness. I LOVE LINDT CHOCOLATES.

And I have no negative memories associated with them. Score!

He knows me so well.

Or, I've trained him so well.

Whatever the case, it feels good to be so accepted - weird gift regulations and all.


  1. Who knew that sending and receiving flowers could be so fraught with a plethora of emotion? (Dude, check out my vocabulary!) I love chocolate too. But stop talking about it! I'm trying to be GOOD during my third trimester and all I have to do is check into your blog for inspiration to cheat (hee hee!) Enjoy yours... I'll be enjoying whatever I sneak into the grocery cart later :D

  2. Oh my goodness, you poor traumatized thing! ;)

    We are certainly cut from different cloth in this respect... I just love getting flowers. In front of people. :D

  3. I totally understand the flower thing! One time in high school a guy brought me a single red rose to cheer me up - he had noticed that I seemed annoyed on the phone (he didn't know I was annoyed by him). When I saw the flower I wanted to throw it on the ground and stomp on it! And I'm seriously NOT a violent person! I guess for me, it's how I feel about the giver. My husband isn't big on buying flowers (for the same reasons you've stated - they cost HOW much? And they're going to DIE?), which is fine with me, but I doubt I'd ever stomp on anything he gave me!

  4. Marcos Mais TerraOctober 06, 2009 2:46 PM

    Well, I gave my wife a bouquet of flowers once. She told me she didn't like them. It was SEVERAL years before I ever gave her any more flowers. In general, the whole "get-your-wife-a-present" thing is NOT my bag. I too have too many traumatic memories of failed attempts when proffering tokens of my deepest love, admiration and joy at being a husband and father.


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?