Flowers, if given the chance, would leap to their death to escape a worse fate at my hands. But at my house, they are not even given the option of suicide because my cat will eat them and, as if chastising me for breaking the “no flower” rule, he will throw them up in places where I am sure to step in it and curse the person who gave them to me for encouraging the cat.
Historically, the giving of flowers has had many meanings. Red carnations, for example mean “my heart aches for you” and white means “I am still available”. Snapdragons stand for deception and orchids for seduction. To me they all stand for vomit – brown, chunky, in the carpet, vomit.
Having not been raised by Fagin on the mean streets of London, I am fully aware of the proper response to the offering of flowers- oh wow, oh they’re beauuuuuutiful, thank you; and I believe I execute this convincingly. But please take note, this is the subtext: Oh, damn, now I have to carry these around all night then find a place to dump them where you won’t notice so I don’t have to take them home for the cat to eat and then throw up in my bed.
Even in situations when the cat won’t get to them, in my office for example, by the time I remember I left them on the desk, the office has taken on the stench of death.
The last time I remember actually being happy about getting flowers was when my mom greeted me after my first ballet recital with a huge bouquet. I felt like a prima ballerina and the flowers the accolades befitting one. There is a picture of me smelling them – possibly the last time I did that with any relish – because at eight years old the only thing I was responsible for cleaning was myself, and I’m sure I did a half-assed job at that as well.
I know this mindset seems ungrateful and downright Grinch-like, but if you had to pry dried puke off your floor the morning after each time someone brought you a flower you’d stop thinking of it as a gift too.
But I’ve also had romantic gestures that made me feel so good that I thought, “this must be how a guy feels when he gets a blowjob without having to reciprocate!”
My top five:
5) a 1980s Burger King t-shirt
4) a mixtape
3) an orange and some Lucky Charms from his pockets when I stayed in my dorm room mourning a friend
2) an empty box wrapped in the comics page (he didn’t have any money)
1) a mango
That’s right – a mango. Sometimes the sweetest thing a person could give you is a nice piece of fruit that says, “We haven’t known each other very long, but in the short time I’ve known you I’ve grown to care deeply about your vitamin deficiency”.
I’m Tania Fox and I am 50% ungrateful douchebag/50% gooey girl.
Photo by: Foxy