Erin's Journals

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Just a thought… Buying flowers is not just a way to bring home beauty. It’s an expression that better days are coming. It’s a defiant finger in the face of those naysayers who would have you believe your fortunes will never improve. [Pearl Cleage]

This will be one of those blogs to which some more cynical people might say, “First world problems.” (Luckily, they don’t come here, right?) I happen to want to write today about the sweet things in life, and one of those is flowers. What nicer image to conjure on a February day?

On this, the eve of Valentine’s Day, I couldn’t help but notice this week that an entire section of our local grocery store was just filled with the sweet aroma of roses. What a lovely sensory treat to stand with my eyes shut, taking in that snippet of springtime amidst the chaos of carts and consumers! A simple pleasure, free for the taking.

Maybe you’re like me and find it hard to buy flowers. Before my sisters arrived this week, I chose a bargain bouquet and added a few single stems to embellish it, choosing not to go for the more expensive collections: those over 15 dollars.

Poor Rob braces himself when I turn towards the flower section of the store. He knows that they’re something I hate to buy for myself, and therefore feels guilty for not picking them up for me more often. He knows that I love them.

I’ll gush over a few sunny, colourful blooms every day that they adorn a table, and then keep them far longer than I should. Petals and sad sprinkles of pollen softly fall from their perches; I carefully pluck away the saddest ones until only a few, even sadder survivors finally lose the last of their beauty. Then they, too, are relegated to the garbage.

Perhaps it’s saying that good-bye that makes buying flowers so hard: their demise is inevitable and their longevity is at the mercy of the store or the florist, as well as our own careful eye. It’s one of those true luxury purchases: there’s nothing practical about buying flowers. It just feels good.

So often we deprive ourselves of so many of the little things in life. My love/hate relationship with good chocolate or the occasional dessert gets in the way of my enjoyment of them, then I often remind myself of the ladies on the Titanic who said, “Oh, no, I just couldn’t!” when the pastry cart went by.

Why don’t we treat ourselves – and I’m not just talking about food loaded with calories – with more self love and a lot less guilt? Are not flowers some of the most beautiful gifts from the gods? Are they not just a sparkle of brightness when we’re feeling down or just simply want to feel better?

Some will wish that on Valentine’s Day their sweetheart would get them a bouquet; others will scoff at the prices (from wholesalers, I’m told, and not from the vendors from whom you purchase them) and the pressure that comes with feeling that you should buy them, or should receive them.

Maybe you’ll take a page from Rob’s and my playbook: after all of these years of a wedding anniversary coming in the days just following February 14th (by design, I might add), we eschew the manufactured romance of Valentine’s Day.

I don’t look down at anyone who chooses to brighten a winter’s day by taking the opportunity to tell someone that they love them, but here’s what we do: when we’re passing a card store or that section of the grocer’s, we pick out a card that we would buy each other, hand it to the other to read, say “thank you” and put the card back (sorry Hallmark and Carlton). If it’s truly the thought that counts, then we’ve shared our sentiments.

And as for flowers? I love a quote above. I’ll pick up flowers next time someone comes to visit so that we can all enjoy them.

Have a lovely weekend and I’ll be back Tuesday. Your presence here is a gift to me, always.

Rob WhiteheadThursday, February 13, 2020