I will be the first to admit that a bouquet of flowers is not a sure-fire indication of love or devotion. Generally speaking, a gift of a CD or a new book by a favorite author takes more thought than calling 1-800-FLOWERS. In addition, flowers on an anniversary or Valentine’s Day seem like the easy way out.
However, sometimes a bouquet says “I’m thinking of you and I don’t mind wasting a few bucks to show you,” and can mean a lot. At the very least, flowers brighten the day. Unfortunately, I’m married to a man who sees flowers as a colossal waste of money. Hence, when the florist visits, I know I can thank my women friends or my son for the sentiment.
To make matters more interesting, my hubby devotedly takes flowers to his parents’ grave nearly every week. I’ve tried reasoning that the living probably appreciate a rose or two more than those on the other side, but he remains unmoved. Try making sense of this!
I love fresh flowers and I love a spontaneous gift of them. However, at the end of the day, I am grateful to a spouse who buys me books, CDs, and the occasional cupcake “just because.” He shows his thoughtfulness in myriad gestures. And while I would enjoy being surprised by flowers occasionally, I want to make it clear that I don’t want to trade in a spa day for a bouquet any time soon!
By MARK GRAY
I know when I am defeated; there is no way I can win this argument. Women enjoy receiving flowers and it is an easy way for a man to express concern, sympathy, happiness and love. I get it!
Since the 1920s, the floral industry has spent millions of dollars convincing Americans they see flower bouquets as an expensive way of buying a little bit of sentiment. I would rather spend money on a service (a spa appointment) or a product (a book or jewelry piece) which holds more permanence. (Okay, the spa appointment is not a long-lasting event but the enjoyment of it will probably exceed the fresh look of flowers!)
Poet Samuel Hoffenstein understood longevity. “The stars, like measles, fade at last,” he wrote. He also acknowledged flowers:
“You buy some flowers on your table/You tend them tenderly as you are able/You fetch them water from hither and thither/What thanks do you get for it?/They wither!”
Most men don’t appreciate the sending of flowers. They are only guilted into it. The easy thing would be to surrender this fight because the war is unwinnable. I am merely a lowly member of the infantry, battling a lost cause.