I’ve never liked receiving flowers, not that it’s happened too many times. I get that “give pretty object to pretty lady” is just something lots of people are inclined to do, but why would anyone want to receive authentic plant pieces as a gift? Several years ago I happened upon one of those demotivational posters with the phrase “Nothing says ‘I love you’ like slowly dying reproductive organs” and I said, “Hey, perfect! If anyone ever doubts me when I tell them I don’t like getting flowers, I’ll quote this!”
I kept that phrase handy, but the situation didn’t really come up much. I ran into a nonbeliever or two who thought I was just trying to be difficult I guess, but generally there was no need to explain myself. Then I got married. As it turns out, people will usually believe a lady when she insists she doesn’t want a certain gift, but nobody believes a poor husband when he’s asked what he got his wife for Valentine’s Day and he doesn’t say flowers. “She doesn’t like flowers,” he tries to explain, but his coworkers or acquaintances or dialysis nurses scoff at him. “Every woman likes getting flowers,” they say. “If she says she doesn’t want any, she’s just trying to be polite and save money or something. You should surprise her with flowers anyway! She’ll love them!” Fortunately, my husband is not an idiot and takes me at my word. He’s had to quote me quoting that poster just to get people to stop giving him a hard time.
Flowers can be pretty, but I really like when they’re attached to whole plants. (The plants like that, too.) I don’t want a handful of them to slowly wither and rot on my table. Not to mention the smell is just never that good. The grocery store I frequent has recently moved the flower section to the front entrance, and I get smacked in the face with pungent, musty, sweetness right when I walk in. I have to dodge the displays and zoom through to the milk before my eyes start watering.
A load of chocolate truffles or peanut butter cups; now there’s a fine Valentine’s gift! Not those chalky, chewy assorted boxes of junk in the Valentine’s aisle, mind you. If you’re going to give someone candy, it should be a bag of their favorite kind. Anyway, moral of the story: People like different things. Also, if you’re the type to give perfectly thoughtful husbands flak for not buying this or doing that for their wives, knock it off.