Let’s set the record straight: Flowers aren’t just for when you’ve royally screwed things up. They’re also commonly afforded to dead people and people getting married! And as we’ve previously noted, they were even once used as a secret language:
“During the Victorian Era, different flowers could mean very different things, right down to the specific colors within the bouquet. The concept is called floriography — the language of flowers — and it was, in many ways, the precursor to current messaging platforms.”
Now, you may be the kind of guy who thinks flowers are a waste of money. But because the Valentine’s Day romantic industrial complex has brainwashed your partner into thinking that they’re not, you too will have to occasionally wander into the grocery store’s floral section and buy a bunch of soon-to-be-dead plants to appease the invisible Hallmark forces.
To you, irritated man, I say this: Buck up, because a bouquet of roses is so much more than just a bouquet.
But like, flowers are lame and stupid and clichéd and stuff.
Look, not to make any sweeping gender assumptions here, but most women tend to like flowers. Now, maybe they actually like them, or maybe they’re taught to like them by myriad societal influences, but either way, end result is, they like them. And as is the case with most anything that anyone likes, they develop certain personal preferences based on their own experience.
In short, your wife/girlfriend/mom/sister likely has a favorite type, category or general aesthetic when it comes to flowers. Maybe she likes roses because they’re classic. Maybe she likes birds of paradise because they look like something out of Jurassic Park, or tulips because that’s the type of flower her dad always used to get for her mom. Point is, she has a preference and at some point or another, if you’re paying even an inkling of attention, she’s voiced said preference to you, right before you gave your oft-delivered diatribe on how much you hate all the gimmicky romantic stuff that society tells women they’re supposed to like.
First: Shut up! No one wants to hear the relationship argument of the sulky teen on Thanksgiving ranting about smallpox. We know. We get it. We do it anyway. Second, flowers are perhaps the easiest and least labor-intensive way to appreciate anyone in your life. Be grateful they exist!
“One of the best (and easiest) benefits about flowers is they tell your woman how much you care without actually having to talk about how you feel. It’s this ‘secret language’ that works a charm. Flowers communicate how you feel, and unless you have the ability to write her a song to say it or give her a card with written words from yourself, it’s highly unlikely you’re penning love notes to her on a regular basis,” reports Dumb Little Man.
Getting her the exact flowers she likes is the perceptive equivalent of noticing when she styles her hair differently — it’s acknowledging something about her that she’s chosen for herself, and the difference between this and some generic bunch of droopy whatevers is vast.
Okay, fine. I’ll get her the flowers she likes on her birthday and on Valentine’s Day, but that’s it.
That’s not it! In fact, I’d argue that flowers on her birthday and on Valentine’s Day are probably the least important and most anxiety-inducing days to brave your local flower shop or grocery store in search of a $30 bouquet.
You lost me again. If I shouldn’t get her flowers on Valentine’s Day or on her birthday, when should I get her flowers?
Well, I’m not saying you shouldn’t get them on those days too, although ideally you’d put a little more thought into her birthday gift, at the very least. No, what I’m saying is you should also get her flowers just because it’s Tuesday. Why? Because the unexpected bouquet, the one that’s apropos of nothing, is the most important bouquet of them all.
“You must — absolutely must — give her flowers at random occasions ‘just because,’ two to four times a year. To make it really seem random, try to time it at least a week or two after any major events or big arguments. This keeps her on her toes, makes you seem slightly dangerous and unpredictable, and helps maintain the illusion that you both live in a Romantic Happy-Times Fantasy Bubble,” writes Jesse Stern for Primer Magazine.
Put another way, the “just because it’s Tuesday” flowers tell her that, even during the worst day of the week — when the upcoming weekend is still three days away and the previous weekend already seems like a distant memory — you were thinking about her, so you stopped to get her a bouquet of peonies.
That’s still only two things. You said a bouquet is “so much more than just a bouquet,” so come on, pony up the rest.
Glad you’re suddenly so eager to learn! Which actually happens to be another lesson of the floral subtext society. Chances are, you didn’t wander into the flower aisle by way of your own curiosity. Instead, upon finding out that your significant other likes flowers, you made the decision to learn about flowers. That means you’re, generally speaking, willing to open yourself up to learning about new things, especially things that she likes. And this already puts you several notches above, in all likelihood, pretty much every other dude she’s ever dated.
So does all this mean that I shouldn’t buy her flowers just to apologise for getting so drunk I missed her sister’s wedding and instead was found by security the next morning asleep in the giraffe enclosure at the zoo?
Er… no. In that case, you should definitely still get her flowers. But I doubt a grocery store bouquet is going to cut it.