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Flowers flowers everywhere

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STOP AND SMELL THE FLOWERS Are fresh flowers at the top or bottom of your list? (Illustration: behance.net/runamokstudios)

April showers bring May flowers, and May flowers bring a lot of opinions.

Like the opinion of my dear friend, who I have mentioned here before, who grits her teeth every time her husband comes home with a Mother’s Day balloon on a stick, his version of flowers. (A funny aside: the mom we’re speaking of showed her husband What moms really want, in the May 2022 issue of The Buzz, hoping he’d recognize himself and take the hint. No such luck.)

Or that of another friend who reports to us that her husband does not bring flowers home but “supports my flower habit. I buy them for our house every other week, mostly at Kroger, but also at Village Greenery for orchids that I buy quarterly.” 

Or another: “I often see men picking up flowers [at Central Market],” she says, “and I always think to myself, who is the lucky girl or mom or partner! I always think those guys with the flowers look so proud, but maybe they’re in the doghouse. Clawing their way out?”

Clinical social worker and psychotherapist Myrna Engler is lucky to have a daughter who gives her flowers annually on her own birthday, as a thank you for giving her life. “I do it mostly just to celebrate her,” says Amy Engler, a Baylor College of Medicine internal medicine resident. “She was the one who was pregnant with me for nine months.” 

Amy says she started the tradition when she was in high school, not knowing her mother had the same tradition with her own mother, Amy’s grandmother. “I don’t even remember knowing that,” Amy says. “I think I just thought wouldn’t it be a nice thing to do. My birthday is a celebration of my life, but shouldn’t I be celebrating the person who gave it to me? Although I don't know if I was that deep in high school.

“Maybe someday when I have children my mom will nudge them,” Amy hopes.

I had never thought too much about flowers; I don’t have a quarterly plan, nor do I frequent florist shops. Like Amy, I follow my mother’s example and put little vases on my girls’ bedside tables when they come home. It’s just a little cheery something to make them feel loved, and happy to be home in their own beds. (Something rubbed off there – my girls never seem to be without flowers in their dorm rooms and apartments.) 

But I will say that I don’t think I’d be married today if my husband hadn’t swooped in with beautiful floral arrangements delivered to me every Friday. Hard as I tried, he was not going to be overlooked, and there was no overlooking those flowers.

I thought I had heard that my friend Tracy Pesikoff’s husband Josh did the same. “Oh my goodness, where is Candid Camera,” Tracy laughed when I asked about that. “When I put flowers on the grocery list, he laughs. When I call him and say, ‘Don’t forget the flowers,’ he laughs. But me, I only go to the grocery store to pick up flowers, and then maybe I’ll pick up some granola bars because I should.

“This is my most favorite topic,” Tracy says. “I could talk about flowers all day long!”

Tracy favors peonies when they’re in season, and roses – but not red roses! – otherwise. “I change out the colors each time, so I keep things fresh,” she says. “And if I don’t have fresh flowers in the house, it either means we’re going on vacation or something’s very, very wrong. Like very wrong.

“I love arranging them myself,” she continues. “I’ll use interesting things to arrange them in. Pitchers or mugs or china, or sometimes a silver tea set will have flowers coming out of it. Mostly they’re right in my entry so that anyone who comes in the house gets to enjoy them, and we have a glass front door, so the Amazon man and the mail carrier see them. Just spreading smiles wherever we can.

“They’re an instant endorphin rush – the fragrance, the visual, the textures in the house. Flowers immediately make me smile, no matter what is going on in the world.”

Tracy points out that even though Josh doesn’t buy flowers, he does do all of the “real” grocery shopping and cooks all of their meals. “He is an amazing chef and fabulous person. This cook does not want to be in the kitchen, so we just don’t have the problem of too many cooks there. 

“But it’s best that I pick the flowers out.”

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