“I would melt if someone brought me flowers.” – a recent Twitter post.
How sad! How is it that a romantically involved woman has not received flowers recently?
It’s almost as if cut flowers have become cliche. The movie image of a geeky nerd arriving with an awkward wrist corsage certainly hasn’t done much to convince guys that flowers are a quality romantic gesture. Similarly, cut flowers have never really been something most guys are comfortable receiving, so they haven’t learned by example either. But trust me, flowers are still a quality romantic gesture for most – you just need to know how to use them.
First off, if you give your significant other flowers and their first response is “Flowers. Nice. What did you do?,” you have some work to do. As with all truly romantic gestures, flowers are not about you. They aren’t for getting you out of trouble or even for making her love you more. The gift is all about her. For example, does she have a favorite type of flower. I, for one, really don’t care for orchids – but many women swoon over them. If she doesn’t have a favorite type of flower, maybe she has a favorite color you can mimic. Where is she likely to place the flowers? Is there a color scheme to that room that you can match with your bouquet?
On the flip-side, giving flowers isn’t as easy as it may seem. It’s important to know your special someone before giving more than a single red rose and even that is a little risky. Some pitfalls to watch out for:
- Many flowers, roses in particular, have special meanings depending on their color. Be sure you know what you are saying before you say it. (Of course, these rules are irrelevant if your SO simply likes a particular color of rose and that trumps the meaning in her mind.)
- Some flowers can become associated with specific memories – some good, some bad. In our house, a sprig of lilacs brings back happy memories of our wedding and are always welcome. For others, some types of flowers (e.g. lilies) remind them of funerals or previous bad relationships – traumatic memories you don’t accidentally want to bring to mind.
- If you pick flowers, be sure that you do so legally and safely, with the environment in mind. Also, beware bringing insects to your SO via your bouquet. Nothing puts a crimp on a romantic evening like a good case of anaphylactic shock brought on by a bee sting. Also, falling into a ditch or getting run over by a car would also be counter productive.
- Some do not have a vase in the house. Know and be prepared for that possibility. Also, be prepared to be the one to cut the ends and place them into water.
- Some hate cut flowers because they eventually die (I’ll talk about potted flowers another time).
- Make sure the flowers you give do not reflect poorly on your financial responsibility. Carnations, for example, can give some receivers the notion that you are cheap (but my Mrs. loves them). Buying two dozen red roses when there isn’t enough food in the house could show that you cannot responsibly care for your household.