#380 Flowers in my Attic

The Hyperion Chronicles
“A rose by any other name, would not have given me this column”

#380 Flowers in my Attic

For Valentine’s Day I wanted to send a girl some flowers. This proved to be more difficult than I thought.

I didn’t used to be a proponent of flowers. It just seems stupid to give a gift that’s going to die within a few days. It’d be like giving a girl a sick puppy. However, I have learned that getting the flowers are only part of the story. The gift is much more appreciated if the woman gets the flowers where she works or goes to school, so her friends and co-workers can see them. This lets everyone know how valued and loved she is, and more importantly makes the other women jealous. (And if you think that’s not an important aspect to the whole flower thing, you’re crazy.)

The first problem I encountered is that the girl doesn’t live near here, and I didn’t know exactly where she worked. I couldn’t well ask her, or the secret would be up. I did some Googling, and eventually talked to a receptionist in her building complex (who I took into secrecy. The one way you can make sure a chick won’t be jealous is to bring her in on a secret, and then she’s all gung-ho to help).

Anyway, the next step was to work on the card. I’m a writer, you know? There was pressure involved. How do you say meaningful things on a card? I eventually called my sister in Nashville to work on it.

I had the first stanza, which went like this

Roses are Red
Violets are Purple
Your eyes are as rich
As sweet Maple Surple

I know, I know: corny as hell. But trust me: chicks like that stuff. The next stanza was proving to be much more difficult.

So far I had

I hope that these flowers
Brighten your day

And that was it. My sister was no help. She kept suggesting rhyming couplets, which while undeniably hilarious, were not only inappropriate, but would have caused my mother to have a stroke.

(The least objectionable one, which I actually told my mom I was using just to make her mad: I hope these flowers/Brighten your day/For as much as I’m paying/I better get laid.)

Eventually we came up with:

I hope that these flowers
Your spirits do lift
Love always, Hyperion
(sniff sniff)

Not only does this contain my patented “sniff sniff” that Koz and I invented years ago (imagine you were hearing me audibly do it, as if it suddenly got “dusty” in here), but the second line was turned around a little bit, to class up the poem with some Shakespeare-esque flair.

So, the poem done, I called the florist. I ended up going with a dozen yellow roses. I wanted to do purple (they were out), or better yet green or black, but I was told curtly they don’t make those.

I was a little nervous about reading my poem to the matronly-sounding florist, but when it came time she said, “Do you want ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ on the card?”

“Uh…” I began adroitly, “I wrote a poem and everything. I mean, it’s hokey, but I worked on it with my sister for like an hour….”

“The card is only about two inches big. There’s no room for a poem. Most people just go with ‘Happy Valentine’s Day.’”


Well, that sucked. Still, I regrouped. I found e-card company called Care2, and designed a nice card with some pretty roses. I put the poem on there. Then, when she got to work she’d see the e-card, and think that was the gift and be happy. Then when the flowers came…I’d be the Man.

At least, that was the plan. I should have known something was up when I was designing the card. The site doubles as a Left-Wing recruitment, and they kept trying to get me to save things or abort things or otherwise get involved in “Progressive Politics.”

I’m not making this up. Here is just a sample, from an actual email they sent me:

Race for the Rain Forest: http://rainforest.care2.com

Race for Children in Need: http://children.care2.com

Race for the Big Cats: http://bigcats.care2.com

Race for the Oceans: http://oceans.care2.com

Race for Pets in Need: http://pets.care2.com

Race for the Primates: http://primates.care2.com


How typical of the lefties. All gung ho to save the world1, but so disorganized they can’t send a simple e-card.

The card never arrived. I talked to her a couple of times Valentine’s Morning, and tried to fish for it, but of course didn’t want to ask. To make matters worse, her Ex sent her an e-card, which did get there, making me fume.

But he didn’t send her flowers.

They arrived right before lunch. I wanted the delivery guy to take them directly to her, for full effect. Instead they went to the Office Manager or somebody, but eventually they were brought to her.

And there was no card.

Actually, let me back up a step. The girl (or woman, or better yet, just to please the Care2 people, womyn) works with several guys, and they descended on her in a horde when the flowers showed up. This flustered her quite a bit, and she didn’t see the card, which—as you recall—at only two inches long is hard to see in the first place, and apparently fell into the wrapping.

Thus, I get a call from the womyn, and she blurts out, “Did you send me flowers?” A lot of things went through my mind right then, like “All that trouble, and the card isn’t even there?” Another thought came to me, to say, “No.” If you think about it, calling me is a risky move. Either I sent the flowers and am possibly offended she didn’t know they were from me or possibly upset the surprise was ruined.


I didn’t send the flowers, and suddenly I look like a jerk because I didn’t and wait a minute, WHO DID SEND THEM?????

I attribute her lapse in decision-making to her flustered state, and decided punishment was not in order. I assured her I did send the flowers. Unfortunately, talk was limited, as the aforementioned Neanderthal men got it in their heads to steal her flowers. She had to let me go to rescue them.

(if Hyperion had more money or class, these are the flowers he wanted to send. Still, she seemed pleased)

Eventually the flowers were returned and the womyn (who by the way, is oppressed by society, something that can only be alleviated by donating to Care2) was able to display them on her desk proudly. Of course every womyn in the office came by to look, and were appropriately jealous, so it all worked out.

The next day I got the poem sent with a new picture, this time using My Post Cards. If you learn nothing else, I heartily recommend you avoid using Care2 and instead go with My Post Cards, who called the card a “posty,” which even I thought was cute.

So there you go.

February 17, 2006


1 I had a wickedly funny joke here, but at the last minute realized too many people are touchy about these things, and took it out. Sigh.


TWM said...

Nice post. Flowers are a killer no matter whether you are dating or married 23 years like me.

Dragon said...

Giving a girl flowers is like giving her a sick puppy? Sheesh! Way to kill the romance, buddy.

Anonymous said...

Ah welcome to the gift giving life. SNAFUs like this are bound to happen. Get used to it.

Claire said...

I'm not big on flowers (allergies), but purple roses-a nice dark shade- would totally rock. That's good taste. :)

Anonymous said...

Good boy! ;)

Anonymous said...

That's my boy! I still remember fondly the Birthday when I worked for the lawyer from Hell (Georgia, not Ohio) and you sent me ONE DOZEN RED ROSES to the office. That was the coolest day, with everyone so surprised and pleased I had a son with that much class! Of course you learned it from your wonderful Daddy! (going on 33 yrs)

ab said...

wow, you are the man! :)

Blundering American said...

I felt the same way about flowers being pointless until I read this poem by Peter Mienke:


The man who invented the plastic rose is dead. Behold his mark:
his undying flawless blossoms never close but guard his grave unbending through the dark.
He understood neither beauty nor flowers,
which catch our hearts in nets as soft as sky and bind us with a thread of fragile hours:
flowers are beautiful because they die.
Beauty without the perishable pulse is dry
and sterile, an abandoned stage with false forests. But the results support this man's invention;
he knew his age: a vision of our tearless time discloses artificial men sniffing plastic roses.

Sea Hag said...

Hey, where are my flowers?

ChickyBabe said...

I'm glad your persistant efforts paid off in the end!

"The one way you can make sure a chick won’t be jealous is to bring her in on a secret" - that is so true!

Fatma said...

lol! I loved the post! Whats the wicked joke? I wanna hear it! lol!
So you grew up in Kenya... I was there for a week before coming to Mauritius; Nairobi! I just loved it!!!!

Stop by whenever! I like what you write, be blogrolling you!

Take care!