In one month, thousands of men will start picking out Valentines gifts and thinking of what they will write in the cards to their wife, fiancé, or girlfriend. And then, a few days later, millions of other men will suddenly realize that its already Valentine’s Day. They will frantically call to make reservations at restaurants that have been booked for weeks, they’ll panic and stand in a heard at the local shop to pick from one of the last two or three unoriginal cards that are still left on the shelf, and on the way home, they’ll drop by a florist and wait in a line that stretches out the door. Don’t be the guy in group two. Don’t do it for your sanity, and most of all, don’t do it for your wife or girlfriend because she deserves better.
Valentines doesn’t need to be stressful or scary, it doesn’t need to be over-thought, it doesn’t need to cost a fortune, and it doesn’t need to be planned in October. But it does take a little thought. I’m not qualified to offer relationship advise or poetry workshops, and I’m definitely not coming over to help you finish off that honey-do list. But I can help with the flowers.
Step one – ask yourself if you have ever given her a dozen roses. You don’t need to do any sleuthing here. You aren’t interested if she ever got them for herself, or from her father, or worst-case scenario from a previous boyfriend but not you. You only need to remember if YOU have ever given her a dozen red roses (or 6 red roses, or just one red rose if that makes it fit in your budget).
Every woman should get a classic vase of red roses from her true love at some point. Its just required. Trust me – no matter how much she says she doesn’t need them, or that its not important to her, or that red roses are cliché these days. Get your lady a beautiful arrangement of long stem red roses at least once in life. There are thousands of conundrums to ponder when it comes to the gap between what women say and what they really mean. And if you ever truly begin to understand their language please write a book, found a university, or run to the garage and carve a Rosetta Stone to explain them to the rest of us. But this one is simple. She has dreamed of getting a dozen red roses at least once. You need to be the guy to give them to her. Trust me.
If you have already done the classic rose displays, then you might want to consider trying something new this year and that takes a bit more planning and thought. Remember this part because it works any time of year, and not just for Valentine’s Day. If you are having a florist make a custom arrangement for your lady, then it should be CUSTOM FOR YOUR LADY. You are already being her champion and bringing her flowers, and you are already scoring the points for your thoughtfulness. But if you just take the time to personalize it, it will mean so much more. A bouquet that comes with a little story or personal explanation is much more than the exact same bouquet if it was just purchased without any thought. Don’t forget this part – it may actually be more important than the flowers themselves. In fact, if you are finding it hard to afford any flowers this year a story or love-note about the ones you wanted to buy her that is both genuine and meaningful to the history of your relationship will go over better that whatever you found on sale at the grocery store at the last minute.
In the Victorian era it was common for people to know the subtle meaning behind hundreds of different types and colors of flowers. They used that shared understanding to pass cleaver messages of longing or love in a personalized arrangement. It truly is a lost art, and today it seems that we all know the red rose but what about a purple carnation, or yellow daisy? Don’t worry – you won’t need to run out and learn the traditional meaning for the all the flowers available today. You just need to learn a little about what your woman likes and reflect on the history of your relationship to come up with something tailored for her.
Start with flower types. Now do you see why I’m telling you to do this now when its less obvious and not the night before Valentines or your anniversary? Find out if there is any special bloom that means the most to her. Or if you are married, just take a close look at a picture of the flowers she carried at your wedding. If you know what she likes you can have that as the focal point of her arrangement. Its as simple as that – no advanced Victorian flower knowledge needed – just go to your florist and say, “my wife likes Lilies.” Or even, “I’m pretty sure she likes those kinda star shaped thingies that have a few big bloomy parts on each stem.” Heck, you can grab a pen and do a stick-figure quality drawing and a decent florist will be able to figure it out for you. Just expect to get kicked in the shin if you are asking them to play detective on February 13th.
Next, look for anything that has a shared meaning to the two of you. Maybe you have a daughter or relative that is named for a flower, or a special story from your past that reminds you of a specific type of bloom? If so, that’s a perfect thing to add to the arrangement. If you are still searching for a way to add meaning, then look for something that reminds you of her eyes, or a favorite outfit she likes to wear, a color she uses commonly in decorating, or flowers she had planted in the garden last year. The import point is that you will be able to say, “I picked these out for you, because they reminded me of …” and that is the key. Getting her flowers is one thing. Picking out flowers for her that remind you of your love or history is on a completely different level.
Remember this for Valentines Day, and anniversaries, or for a random Tuesday when you get her a bouquet just-because. And once she is thoroughly impressed with your new flower-buying prowess, go ahead and drop some hints about that new table saw or grill you have been eyeing. You know – the one that reminds you the first project you built her or your first barbeque together.
Valentine’s Day is a month away. And she does want flowers.
Your local florist.