In case you couldn't tell, yesterday's rant was motivated partly by floral deprivation. However, this is a symbol for something else.
I found out about the ACS Daffodil Drive when I arrived at work, and noticed that most of the women had bouquets of flowers on their desks. How sweet! They had received them from their bosses, co-workers, significant others, etc. At the time, I thought nothing of it.
Then I learned through a friend over my lunch hour that my bf had been spotted at a nearby daffodil kiosk, chose to donate the money, and left the flowers there.
Naturally, I emailed him. "Where's my daffodils, you jerk?" (Honestly, I thought it sounded playful.)
He wasn't mad. He bragged about making a donation. Then he said
>> What was I going to do with a bunch of flowers & no water-filled vase? :-)
Doesn't he have a cute smile...
At some point, he mentioned that he personally found the unopened daffodil buds to be unattractive, and went so far as to say he thought I wouldn't like them. (Which is a classic line of BS, as I will address in a moment.) It is true that unopened Daffodil buds atop thick green stalks resemble, as several of my co-workers pointed out, asparagus. A bouquet of asparagus.
All about how HE felt about it. At no point did I enter his mind.
I didn't feel playful anymore.
I will admit that the fact that I received no flowers on Valentine's Day either contributed to this. He made lots of other beautiful, expansive gestures. It was a lovely weekend. But no roses. At that time, I felt horribly guilty about feeling disappointed in a lack of roses.
This time, the words "thoughtlessness" and "insensitivity" floated through my brain and plagued me for the rest of the day.
Now, this man is not thoughtless or insensitive. He is in general a generous, giving man. He has spent a great deal of money, time, and effort on me in many other ways - dinners out, movies, even a vacation. I am generally treated wonderfully - like every person ought to be treated by their beloved - and I try to be good to him in return. It was a sin of omission... he didn't REALLY do anything wrong...
In spite of every excuse I could make for him, I was very upset for hours.
This is not really about flowers. This is about the fact that I never entered his mind.
We have been dating for 4 and a half months. I think everyone who knows me for two weeks knows that I'm a neo-hippie pagan earth-worshipping lover of all things green. I don't think it's a huge mental leap from there to "likes flowers."
I don't just like them. I am obsessed.
If I could afford it, I would have fresh flowers in every room, year round. Little bouquets in the bathroom. Big ones in the living room. A vase of seasonal blooms on both sides of the bed. I'd like a tall, flowering tree standing in the corner of my living room, next to the window. When I was living alone, I fantasized about painting one on the wall, but my lease didn't really allow it, and I'm a pretty lousy painter. One gift I have always dreamed of receiving is the "Flowers by the Month" deal from Martha's Flowers.com.
Not diamonds. Flowers. I honestly would rather go to a local Italian restaurant and be given flowers and some cheap jewelry than flown to the Riviera and presented with diamonds, caviar, champagne, opera tickets, and no flowers.
Ok, I'll take the opera tickets. But you see my point.
Below are several excuses reasons why flowers aren't given. Believe me, over the years I have gotten every excuse in the book, but here are the most common ones:
1. "Aren't you allergic to them?"
2. "They just die anyway."
3. "I never know what kind to get, and I'm afraid of getting something you won't like."
4. "Those cheap half-dead things at the bodega on the corner? Don't women resent cheap gifts even more than no gifts at all?"
5. "You're such a modern, feminist gal, I thought you'd be insulted by such a traditional gift."
6. "Wouldn't you prefer something more practical?"
7. "They're so expensive! I'd rather spend the money on a nice dinner out."
8. "They're so cliche!"
9. "You're just buying into the Hallmark marketing scam."
Here and now, for posterity, are my answers:
1. I am NOT allergic to flowers. I have a SLIGHT allergy to pollen. The only flowers with problematic pollen are lilies, and it is very easy to remove the pollen from the lilies once they are in a vase. I do it every year.
2. Even if they only last one day, I have a day of joy!
3. There has never been a flower I haven't liked. If it's blooming, I'll love it. Any color. Any variety. Roses are my favorite. But I love them all.
4. Nice try. Are you accusing me of being superficial and pretentious? Do you think I'm too proud to love a $5 daisy bouquet? Then what are you doing dating me?
5. Ah yes, the backlash argument. Feminism is about not being discriminated against, it is not about the rejection of expressions of love. Statements like this usually indicate a much deeper issue than flowers and will spark such a conversation, you'll wish you'd never brought it up.
6. I buy myself all the practical things I need. I like flowers.
7. First of all, I can tell you where to get them cheap, and so could any random lady on the streets of New York. But clearly finance isn't really the issue: YOU'D rather spend the money some other way. Who is that really a gift for? Oh... you don't really want to give me a gift unless it's something for you too. Thanks.
8. So what?
9. Fuck off. I'm not trying to make a socio-economic statement, I don't give a rats ass about Hallmark or Martha Stewart or fucking FTD. Buy them at the bodega on the corner for $10 if you're so anti-establishment. If my happiness isn't as important to you as your anger against corporate marketing strategies, then don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out of my apartment. Creep.
Bottom line: I love flowers. That should be enough.