Just Because Flowers
It’s funny how fragile the balance of things really can be. My commute into the city is typically easy, quick, and very comfortable. I take the ferry across the river every morning, and that ferry ride used to be the most comfortable and convenient way to travel. It’s still plenty convenient, but the comfort factor has fallen significantly over the winter.
See, when the Hudson River started to freeze on a regular basis, two things happened that have impeded on my comfort. First, most of the out-of-town ferries started to dock at my ferry terminal instead of going all the way to the Manhattan terminal. Then the passengers would transfer to my ferry and cross the river. So there was suddenly a huge crowd, where previously there was plenty of space. Also, the ice on the Hudson was large thick chunks, marginally broken up by the coast-guard boats, but still plenty large enough to stand on. These ice chunks were slowly degrading the propellers of the ferry. So it didn’t take long before the ferry couldn’t fly across the Hudson anymore because the propeller was no longer strong enough to bring in any reasonable amount of speed.
So, Things Change
I’m sure that once spring sets in, the ferry will be serviced, and a new propeller will be added. The routes will go back to what they were, and the crowds will be much more manageable.
That’s what I would call regular seasonal maintenance. It’s not any different from getting my car serviced, or doing spring cleaning in my apartment. Spring cleaning…well, I might slightly be exaggerating it because spring cleaning can take quite some time and efforts to carry out, and I usually call in Maid2Match, the cleaning company in Canberra ACT, to do the spring cleaning. It needs to be done, and so I do it. It’s an acceptable cost that goes along with the privilege of riding the ferry, having a car and having an apartment.
Buying flowers for my wife, though, is different. It’s not seasonal maintenance. It’s not an acceptable chore, or cost of participation. Buying flowers for my wife is a conscious, intentional action, not done periodically like maintaining my car or going to work, but done more like going to the movies. It’s a treat; for me as much as for her.
They’re always for a special occasion: “Just Because.” Just because she’s worth it. Just because I was thinking about her. Just because she made me smile with a joke at lunch. Just because.
Why is a chef thinking about flowers?
It’s all about the presentation. Food, wine, candles and flowers. They’re so intimately connected. If you stick with me long enough, I’ll certainly spend some time, eventually, talking about decor and music too. Maybe even how I dress for a meal or restaurant.
Today, though, it’s about the flowers. Flowers can make or break a meal. Imagine an intimate setting, a small table, room for the two of you, drinks, a candle, a bud vase, and some appetizer plates. Then the waiter brings out a platter. What now?
The same goes for the flower presentation on the table. If it’s a tight, intimate setting, a bouquet of Peonies would ruin the table! It would completely overshadow the meals, even potentially get in the way of the conversation. Similarly, if the flowers are tall, or brightly colored; they’d be a poor match for the setting. A single Lilac in a bud vase might be just right though; they’re a fairly muted color, the smell is lovely and subtle, and they’re not very big. So, like so many other things at the table, the person envisioning the meal is also in a position where they can make, or break, the presentation of that meal. And that’s me.
Buying flowers for my wife on a regular basis is one piece of continuously building my relationship with her. Like my continued passion in creating great food, my relationship with my wife (and all of my friends and family) takes constant care, attention, and effort.
Why “Just Because” Flowers?
Something special happens when anyone is told they are special, appreciated, valuable, and especially when you tell them that they’re important to you. This is true for all people. And the more personalized you can make that message, the more impact it will have. Of course true connection is an art, not a science. It takes time to really understand what you have to do, inside yourself, to allow a meaningful connection with another person. It takes work and it’s not easy. And it’s so worth it!
I get to know that something like “Just Because Flowers” are more important to my wife than anything I can do on Valentines Day.
So, I have a confession to make:
I didn’t buy flowers, chocolate, dinner, nor even spend the evening with my wife on Valentines Day.
I was out with some friends until late in the evening. And that was just fine with my wife. In fact, she may have been disappointed if I’d done anything else.
Some girls are all about Valentines Day. They find the occasion to be worthy of extraordinary effort. I respect that. I really do. For those people, the effort is justified. Everyone is worthy of adoration, love, and care. I, myself, find Valentines Day to be overdone. Fortunately my wife came to that same opinion on her own, long before we met. My wife is a “Just Because Flowers” kind of gal, and prefers to hide from the Pink Ribbons of Valentines Day.
This is probably partly because I buy her “Just Because Flowers” – and the myriad of other ways that I work to make sure that she knows that she is important, loved.
Lastly: Buds vs. Bouquets
This is a great opportunity to show your knowledge. Some girls are Bud girls, where a single flower is just exactly what they want to see. But don’t just get the rose… Each person wants to see just the right flower. If it were me receiving a flower, I’d want an Iris. My father would want a Tiger Lily, and my mother would prefer a Peony or a Lilac. My wife would prefer a stem of Orchids.
But usually she’s more pleased with a bouquet. She likes the varied of colors, shapes, smells. She likes to see a splash of character. She’s a bouquet kind of gal.
What are you? Are you a bouquet or bud person? And your significant other?