Flowers . . .

Know what I hate? Okay - touche - know which one of the 6,398,217 things I hate I want to rant about in this particular post? Flowers.

Yeah. That's right. I'm talkin' to YOU, beautiful things that grow up out of the ground and/or down from potted hangers and/or out from wall vines and/or . . . you get my point. Yeah. You STINK. And by that I mean you literally smell amazing but figuratively are working my last nerve like so many pebbles in so many shoes.

Now sure, sure. Flowers have their places. Gardens, vases, hands of brides, lapels of grooms, necks of Triple Crown winners, etc. Know where they don't belong? As GIFTS. Yeah. Yeah. Let's get in to the real heart of the matter, folks (I'm three paragraphs in, the rage is loosened up - I'm ready to run).

Really? You are telling me something that dies faster than most varieties of flies (not knowing for their longevity, for those not sure why I picked them to round out my analogy) is the best way you can think of to mark an occasion or make someone feel special? You unoriginal bastard.

Let's go through the usual suspects/reasons/excuses . . .

LOVE - If you love someone and want to get them flowers. Do it on a Tuesday. On your way home from work. Have them come from a grocery store and/or the florist in the neighborhood. Pay no attention to cost . . . find ones that are prettiest and go. That is a gesture (not a gift) but if you are marking and anniversary or the first time you went all the way or the time she forgave you for that picture you "accidentally" sent her best friend . . . shame. on. you. Find something real and genuine and special between you. Like the moment you first went all the way.

DEATH - Oh sweet irony. Where this tradition start? When bodies were not "prepared" so oils, and perfumes, and flowers were used to make the whole process slightly easier on the senses. We've come a long way since and yet - traditions being what they are - flowers. Is it the fact that something beautiful can be present in something so painful? Know what would mean more . . . dinner for the grieving, housecleaning or errands for the mournful, or a handwritten note sharing a memory and wishing people well.

BIRTHDAYS - Seriously? We're doing gifts for adults on their birthdays still? Does the Easter Bunny still visit, too?! In two words . . . oy vey.

BUSINESS APPRECIATION - Oh, oh, oh. I get it. Sure. Someone who works with/for you did something great. Know what you can for for them? Pay them. Oh. Wait. You already do. Now I'm a firm believer in managing with kindness and being kind and generous and sincere in rewarding a job well done but give them a little more time off, take them to lunch, give them a gift card to their favorite eating place or shop, arrange for a massage (if they are the type that like strangers rubbing their naked bodies). Make it personal that shows you pay attention to them and value them. Know what isn't great? Having to buckle a gift in to the seat for the ride home. That's not a gift. That is a toddler.

APOLOGIES - You did something wrong? For shame (don't fret, instead tell me alllllll about it - I love the back stories of people falling short). But you're going to send flowers to try and make it right? How? Seriously . . . give me the logic on this one and speak very slowly for I'm clearly not a bright man.

I'm sure there are other reasons equally maddening to me. I get that flowers are big (I never said that they weren't) and I know there are millions of people who claim to love, love, love receiving them. I would argue they love them so much because there are no other options or gifts to compare/contrast against in most instances.

I'll leave you with this passing thought - if flowers are so great and wonderful and from the heart why do websites that sell them make it as click-efficient as possible to buy X for Y occasion and why do most florists, if you call, as you what the occasion is and what your budget is as the first two questions of each call? Know who else organizes their stuff by number for your convenience? McDonald's. And no one, tragically, is giving Chicken McNuggets for their wedding anniversary.