Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Flowers in the Doghouse

I'm sitting at my desk, face to face with the shining visage of a salmon-colored Gerber Daisy, which was brought to me by a lovely man I had a date with last week. So here I go again with that thinkin thing...

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Great Reasons to Bring a Gal Flowers
  • She makes you smile.
  • You want to make her smile.
  • You love that little girly squeal she makes when you show up at the door with a fistfull of her favorite blooms.

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Terrible Reasons to Bring a Gal Flowers

  • You thought she'd be more likely to sleep with you.
  • You thought she'd be less likely to make you meet her parents.
  • You did something stupid, but can't swallow your pride enough to tell her, "I'm sorry," so you try to make up for it by stopping off at the gas station and springing for the $1.99 wilted wonder in a cellophane diaper.

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I remembered a spot on my local radio station a few weeks ago, about men who bring women flowers when they've done something wrong.

I really don't know what most women think about that, but I can tell you, for myself, that flowers will absolutely not get you out of the doghouse. In fact, it's not even a good idea to think about flowers when you're contemplating sleeping on the couch. Here's why:

1. You make a habit of bringing me flowers when you're "in trouble". Today, you were driving home from work, thinking of me, and struck with the brilliant revelation that it'd be a stellar plan to do something simple and sweet and totally out of the blue. You swing through the local florist and pick up a fist full of fragrance, then come sweeping through the door with them, grin firmly plastered across your mug. My first reaction? "Okay, what'd he do this time?"

2. I'm not for sale. If you wanted to make nice-nice and crawl into the bed with some one, you'd have been better off hittin the corner and picking up some leggy blonde in torn fishnets and red lipstick. Instead, you came home to a leggy brunette in torn fishnets and red lipstick. I'm still pissed, and you're still not gettin any, but I know what the outfit does to you, so yeah, I'm gonna wear it while I put together a pot pie.

3. When FTD claimed, "Nothing says -I'm sorry- like roses!"... They lied. You can't make up for being an asshole with a dozen long-stemmed buds. Try this novel concept on for size: the next time you do something stupid, apologize. That's right, just come right out and say, "Yanno, that wasn't the most brilliant thing to do. I really didn't mean to hurt your feelings." You don't need to self-depreciate. I don't want to emasculate you, or bludgeon you over the head with it. You're human. You make mistakes, just like every one else-- except me, of course... we all know I'm perfect!

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Don't strew me with roses after I'm dead.
When Death claims the light of my brow
No flowers of life will cheer me: instead
You may give me my roses now!

(Thomas F. Healey)


25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Brilliant - as usual!

Anonymous said...

And one more comment:

I'd rather have a single rose
From the garden of a friend
Than the choicest flowers
When my stay on earth shall end.

So bring me all the flowers
Whether pink white or red
Or perhaps I'll take just one rose now...
Than an ass-load when I'm dead.

Regards

Mouth said...

Well, Mister (or Miss) Mysterious, I've no doubt that if you look long and hard enough (pun intended) in the right places (yes, that was the second intentional pun), you'll find SOMEbody SOMEwhere who'll give you that ass-load you're lookin for.

m.

Anonymous said...

Women really find flowers impressive? Really? I can't believe he didn't bring chocolate too because that would have been original. Oh wait, that wouldn't be original at all would it? Maybe he'll bring you a bottle of rainwater next because surely no one has ever thought of doing that.

Women need to raise the expectations they have of men otherwise they will continue to reinforce unthinking unoriginality.

Anonymous said...

Originality isn't a bad thing by any means, but sometimes it's overrated.

Sometimes a gal (or a guy) just wants to know you've been thinking about her (or him).

--
Pauper

Mouth said...

I dont see where I called it impressive. And no, flowers are neither particularly inspiring, nor particularly intimate. I do, however, think that it was a perfectly appropriate gesture for a second date. Something that said, "Hey, I appreciate the time you spend with me," without being too forward or too personal. It's a simple, sweet thing, and I enjoyed them very much.


m.

Anonymous said...

I guess I misunderstood this sentence:

"You love that little girly squeal she makes when you show up at the door with a fistfull of her favorite blooms."

to mean that it is impressive. Generally, I find squeal=impressive. Perhaps not so in your book.

Mouth said...

Ah, tricky, tricky... but I didn't squeal when Gerber brought me the daisies. In fact, I'm not a squealer, in general. I'm more the type whose "eyes get soft", as one man aptly put it.

m.

Anonymous said...

Ah, so it seems we have just reduced your "Great Reasons to Bring a Gal Flowers" by 33.3%, at least where you are concerned.

So that leaves us with:

1. She makes you smile.
2. You want to make her smile.

Since there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of ways for either one of those, I maintain bringing flowers is, in general, rather pathetic.

Mouth said...

I maintain that I'm an optimist, and try to appreciate generosity of spirit as it's intended, and accept love as it's given, rather than attempt to design it as I would have it.

m.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anonymous,

Trust me. She can keep this up way longer than you can.

On the other hand, it does make for amusing reading, so perhaps you want to keep it up a while yet, too.

Mouth,

*wave*

--
Pauper

Mouth said...

I'll take that as you complimenting my tenacity, P, rather than the obvious inference to being stubborn.

Part of that optimistic outlook, I guess...

m.

Anonymous said...

Well, you *are* stubborn!

But yes, it was meant as a compliment, not just about tenacity but about general endurance. Mr. Anonymous won't be wearing you out or breaking you down any time soon, and while he probably knows it, this was the best way I could think of to let it be known that I know it, too. (Because, really, isn't this all about me? *grin*)

I suppose if I had to add something of substance to this discussion, it would be something like this: flowers and dating rules and the like are all very well and good as guideposts to help a person enjoy the ride of being with someone while reducing the odds of ruining the experience by sticking his foot in a gopher hole (or his own mouth). Ultimately, though, all the flowers and politeness in the world can't change the basic question of whether you enjoy spending time with someone.

It's kind of like the chapter in "Freakonomics" about parenting: most of your influence as a parent on your child has been done before that child is even born. It's not that what you do as a parent is meaningless, but the key factors - socioeconomic status, genetics, general attitudes and life situation - are mainly set before you ever have that first argument over whether or not you're going to let the kid take that shiny new toy home from the store.

Likewise, flowers and regular phone calls and the like are nice to have, but nearly all of what makes you interesting or attractive as a person has already been set before you ever meet for that first date. 'The rules' are probably best considered as a rough map to avoid the quicksand and minefields of interpersonal relationships while the other person gets to know you.

This may be what Mr. Anonymous was driving at, and I doubt any of us has any real disagreement over the general point. But watching two people disagree on a point is a fairly basic form of drama - and that can be fun!

Keep up the good work!

--
Pauper

Dustin said...

all this this flower talk is making my allergies act up.

*sniff*

Mouth said...

Well, well, he joins the party after all. Sorry you got a case of the sniffles, hot stuff, but welcome. Thanks for checkin in!

m.

Anonymous said...

Of course you can't design love as you would have it. However, if you know "how you would have it" then you can more quickly reject it when it doesn't meet the standard. Most women have a standard that is entirely too low and accept behavior that should not be acceptable. Expecting more is just one step towards getting more.

Just to make sure I understand...
you assume the giving of flowers means generosity of spirit and love?

Or is it the optimist part of you that hopes this is true?

And why does everyone assume I'm a Mr. Anon? Could I not be a Miss?

Mouth said...

I don't believe I've addressed your gender, thus far. I can't answer for P.

And yes, I'd label a man bringing me flowers on a second date as a sweet, simple expression of generosity of spirit. I didn't expect him to bring me anything at all, so the flowers were a peasant surprise.

I don't think not expecting a man to bring me trinkets and bobs every time he sees me as having low expectation. I don't think appreciating a bunch of flowers, brought for no reason other than to put a smile on my face, as having low expectations. I think it means I'm firmly rooted in reality. It means I appreciate the pleasant surprises life passes my way. It means I don't place a lot of significance on the material.

Appreciation, joy, admiration, respect, and yes, even love, can all be expressed without presenting gifts. I wasn't expecting anything at all, other than the pleasure of his company and a nice evening out, so the flowers were an added bonus.

From what I understand thus far, you would rather I had thrown them back at him and snipped, "If they're not 24K, I'm not interested!" I'm just not built that way.

I'll keep my appreciation for the simple things. You're welcome to your cynicism.

m.

Anonymous said...

Stubborn, squealer, sentimental, seemingly 'COLD' and soooooooooooooooooo hard to deal with sometimes. I know a woman that is all of these things and I know that she really likes to get flowers. I don't give a flying fuck if it's original or boring or old school or what. It makes her soft eyed and that's a really lovely thing to see.

Anonymous said...

Since you love to restate what you have not stated, for the record I haven't said anything about seeking material value. In fact, if I read the intent of my original post accurately, and I think I do, I was emphasizing orginality.

Is that cynical? I think not. If anything, perhaps, just perhaps, consider the fact that I am more optimistic than even you because what I expect is at a higher level. To think that I ever might get it, requires it. Trust me.

Mouth said...

At this point, it appears we're arguing apples and oranges.

Essentially, the heart of what I'm getting at is this:

I don't see anything at all wrong with appreciting effort of any kind, and rewarding it with a smile, and saying, "Thank you." To me, looking at a gift of ANY kind, simple though it may be, and saying, "Yanno, that's nice, but couldn't you have tried a little harder?" is the epitome of bad taste. It reminds me of the sixteen year old teeny-bopper who, upon being gifted with a Mustang for her birthday, whines, "But DADDY! I wanted a CAMARO!"

You appear to percieve my appreciation for a light, perhaps unoriginal gesture as settling for something less-than, as though the entirety of my expectations for a relationship are wrapped up in the sweet, simple joy found in a bouquet.

If it will put your mind at ease, I'm happy to reassure you that this isn't the case. It WAS an "early" date; it isn't as though I've been seeing this man for any real length of time. Showing up with flowers for a second date is perfectly appropriate. However, I also know myself well enough to know that even if I'd been seeing him for two or three years, if he showed up at random with flowers, I'd be just as appreciative.

That's my nature. I'm built in a way that allows me to appreciate the simple things in life. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate or understand the complex. It doesn't mean that I don't expect a deeper connection from people, when I choose to move in that direction with them. All it means is that I smile when the sun's shining, without asking it to burn a little brighter for me. I laugh when the birds sing, without asking if they know a different tune.

I'm not arguing that people shouldn't expect the best from one another. I just don't think we should lose the light of appreciation because we're so focussed on the expectation.

Make sense?

m.

Anonymous said...

Alas, life rarely makes sense and to be honest, that is the only reason I'm still here. If I had it all figured out, I'd fold my hand and walk away.

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