In defence of ‘worthless’ pretty things

I like flowers.

There. I’ll admit it.

It is not a popular opinion among my peers to like flowers. To want a bouquet of cut flowers on the table. But I do.

I like the brightness of them, the pretty freshness.

A waste of money,” sniff my friends disdainfully. “I’d rather have a garden, or potted plants.

I would not. I’ve never had a talent for plants. I always manage to kill them. My heart droops when I’m gifted with one, or entrusted with the care of one. It terrifies me and stresses me out.

I like cut flowers. I cannot kill that which is already dead.

Why do we give the mutilated sexual organs of plants as a love token, anyway? It’s just stupid Hallmark marketing,” a fellow feminist wittily jokes, rolling her eyes at the idea. I smile uncomfortably, quietly signaling an agreement I don’t feel.

It’s not Hallmark marketing. Flowers have been a token of affection, of friendship, of regard, of love, for centuries. Hallmark is a pretty new company on the historical timeline. Maybe there’s an argument for the romance marketing of it, but know what? Don’t care.

They’re pretty. They’re bright. They say, “Hey, I saw these and thought of you.” 

I like that.

I like the idea that during the course of a day, someone saw a bright bouquet of golden roses, or cheerful wildflowers, and was reminded of me. I like the idea of being associated with something so inherently happy. 

I secretly envy people who get flowers often.

Ugh, what a waste of money,” kvetch the practical-minded of my peers, when such purchases come under discussion. “Useless and dying! Who would even want a gift like that?

Yeah. Exactly. They’re temporary — a gift that doesn’t clutter; something I don’t have to store or display forever or dust or remember to wear on special occasions.

They’re just there, brightening my life for a span of time, wordlessly saying, ‘hey, someone loves you,’ with a splash of color … and then they’re gone. 

As ephemeral, brief, and delightful as spring. A beautiful memory, captured in a photograph and a warm smile.

I am practical, and a feminist, and not known for being particularly feminine. I like dresses, but find pants more practical for most activities. I prefer boots to high heels. I’d rather spend money on books than makeup, or motorcycle gear than expensive jewelry, but … flowers, I like.

I just wish I didn’t feel so guilty about it.


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