Valentine’s Day is but a week away, which means florists across the land are drooling uncontrollably in a Pavlovian response to the large influx of cash they’re about to receive. You can’t blame them, really. February 14th aside, think about the prospects of your local petal-pusher. Their bread and butter sales are for weddings, funerals, and cheating husbands trying to buy their way out of sleeping in the garage. If those don’t pay the bills, they’re forced to fling some farfetched florist flop at us about how ‘flowers are special for any occasion‘, and hope some of it sticks.
“Fourth of July? Oh, flowers are wonderful for the Fourth of July! And don’t forget the Thanksgiving bouquet — just like the Native Americans used to buy for their tables.
And Arbor Day? What better way to show your love for Mother Nature’s trees than to yank a few dozen of her flowers out of the ground and shove them in a vase? Of course we’ll deliver those for you!”
“We’re expected to supply flowers on Valentine’s Day, and we do so happily. We give you flowers because we love you, because we care sincerely about your happiness, and because you deserve to be surrounded by delicate beauty at all times.”
Clearly, these are desperate and unstable individuals. Thank heaven Valentine’s Day has blossomed into the merchandise-moving cash cow florists have come to enjoy, or many of them would likely have snapped by now. There’d be an avalanche of thorn-related injuries. Pistil whippings would go through the roof. Innocent bystanders stabbed in the eye with daffodil stems. It’d be chaos. So it’s lucky for everyone that Valentine’s Day is around to keep the florists sane.
But what about those of us buying the flowers?
We boyfriends and husbands and significant male others know our V-Day roles — get down to the flower shop and bring back something pretty that isn’t the blonde girl behind the counter. We’re expected to supply flowers on Valentine’s Day, and we do so happily. We give you flowers because we love you, because we care sincerely about your happiness, and because you deserve to be surrounded by delicate beauty at all times.
(Also, we’re very interested in getting into your pants. We’re not trying to be pigs here, and we don’t want to ruin the sentimental moment or anything. Just keep it in mind, is all we’re saying. Pants. Off. Later.
It’s only recently that I’ve learned different flowers send different messages. I had no idea; I thought they were all the same, a sort of technicolor floral one-size-fits-all proposition. I’d been buying flowers for years indiscriminately — daisies, pansies, gardenias, peonies, roses of all colors — with only one message in mind:
‘Please don’t make me sleep in the garage. Please don’t make me sleep in the garage. Please don’t make me sleep in the garage. Can I get into your pants now? Please don’t make me sleep in the garage…‘
But all this time, I’d been sending mixed signals. And so, just in time for Valentine’s Day, I’m going to save my fellow menfolk a world of grief. Below, I’ve compiled from reliable sources the traditional messages — with a few modern updates, of course — for a whole shop’s worth of flowers. Take heed, gents:
Rose, Red: “I love you. Let’s make sweet sweet love together.”
Rose, Pink: “I’m not positive I love you, but I’ll definitely call you if you sleep with me. Probably. ”
Rose, Yellow: “How about we just cuddle tonight? And maybe lay off the doughnuts, okay?”
Rose, White: “It’s quite possible I’m gay. Nice pumps, by the way.”
Ambrosia: “Your love is reciprocated.”
Ambrosia with a thank you note: “Your love is appreciated.”
Ambrosia bent into a square: “Your love is rectangulated.”
Ambrosia with unidentified chunks: “Your love is regurgitated.”
Ambrosia covered in blood: “Your love has been eliminated.”
Lily of the Valley: “Sweetness.”
Lily of the Mountain: “Tallness.”
Lily of the Ocean: “Wetness.”
Lily of the Tomlin: “Not a flower. Difficult to carry. Needs lots of water.”
Tulip, Yellow: “There’s sunshine in your smile.”
Poppy, Yellow: “There’s success in your future.”
Dandelion, Yellow: “There’s a cheap deadbeat bastard giving you flowers.”
Chrysanthemum, White: “Truth.”
Chrysanthemum, Pink: “Dare.”
Chrysanthemum, Wilted: “Consequences.”
Chrysanthemum, Black: “Lies!”
Sweetpeas: “Thank you for a lovely time.”
Sourpeas: “Don’t let the door smack you in the ass on the way out.”
Blackeyedpeas: “And make me some dinner before you go, bitch.”
Carnation, Red: “My heart aches for you.”
Carnation, Pink: “I’ll never forget you.”
Carnation, Yellow: “You have disappointed me.”
Carnation, Striped: “I can’t be with you.”
Carnation Stems: “I ripped the flowers off and threw them in your yard because I can’t remember which fricking color is which, and I really don’t want to sleep in the garage. Again..”
I hope this guide will help you make the right — and avoid the wrong — floral purchase this Valentine’s Day. At least now when you buy that bouquet for your sweetie, you’ll know what sort of ticking time bomb you’re holding in your hand.
Come to think of it,. maybe we should all just give chocolates instead. A poke in the eye with a tree trunk would be less painful than this mess.