Sunday, 14 February 2016

The Truth About Flowers

Men, listen up.  Ladies too.

Flowers suck as gifts.

No, I’m not bah-humbugging Valentine’s Day.  I’m just setting the record straight.

Sure, flowers are pretty.  Sure, they smell nice.  And yes, there’s the whole romantic headiness of a barely-open blossom tinged with the melancholy of impending decay…  It's damn fine poetic stuff.  But they still suck as gifts.

You see, when I buy flowers for myself, which I do from time to time, I buy them knowing that the lilies I choose are a perfect fit for my tall square vase or that two-dozen tulips will look great in my black ceramic jug.  When I get home I grab the appropriate vessel, just add water and voila; happy flowers, happy me.  One of life’s simple pleasures, as flowers are meant to be.

But that simple pleasure gets shot to hell when given as a gift.  Picture the moment when a dinner party guest arrives bearing an enormous arrangement, all fancily wrapped in tissue and cellophane and reams of raffia.  The hostess’ “Aren’t they gorgeous!” is code for “Aren’t you a bitch.”.

Because now, instead of joining her guests on the sofa with much-needed cocktail, she’s stuck searching for an outsize vase; a search which involves step-stools, dark corners and possibly cobwebs.  The arrangement then has to be unwrapped, producing more waste-paper than Christmas with the Brady Bunch.  Wayward leaves get everywhere, a few of which have to be fished out of the soup.  Stems need to be snipped.  And ouch, this sucker’s got thorns.

15 minutes of hard labor later, the slightly disheveled if not actually bleeding hostess walks into the living room carrying a heavy, water-sloshed vessel brimming with those blasted blooms - and nobody even notices because they’re already two drinks in.

Fast forward to Valentine’s Day, when millions of men around the world seek to say it with flowers. But unless that ginormous bunch of long-stems comes suitably contained, he might as well have gift-wrapped a vacuum cleaner because the message is the same: Here dear; now get to work.

So pardon me for saying so, but thanks a fucking bunch.

fig. 1

Style File Followers Take Note:

1. While flowers suck as gifts, flowers in vases do not suck as gifts.  In fact, they make fabulous gifts. They show foresight on the gift-giver’s behalf - and the vase will come in handy when the next asshole shows up with a random bouquet. 

2. To be honest, “just add vodka” is probably more likely to make me happy.

3. Nope.  Come to think of it, not vodka.  Champagne.  Specifically Pink Champagne and if you want to put a name to it, Billecart Salmon Brut Rosé.

4. Which is what you should bring to my next dinner party.

fig. 1 ~ The perils of receiving a mega-huge floral arrangement without an appropriate vase.