If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you might recall that I worked for a florist for seven years. For those of you who don’t know, this wasn’t your ordinary flower shop. It was a unique gift shop as well. Ours was the only floral shop in town and the gifts were unique from your big name stores.
The store was divided into several areas. In the very back was a storage/ work area. Then the design room where beautiful arrangements were made. Coming up toward the front was an area for prepping flowers, order taking, an area for seasonal events and sorority gifts, and a walk-in cooler. Then there was the store front which was very large and divided into two sections. One area was designated for plants and plant care. The other was where gift items were on display.
And along the back wall was a huge cooler from the 1940’s. This is where we’d display a variety of floral arrangements. That old cooler made the holidays even more special when it displayed extravagant holiday arrangements.
The floral displays for Christmas and Valentines were my favorite. But I must say that Valentine’s and Mother’s Day were the hardest holidays for me to work. In fact, I grew to not care for those two special days. They are the biggest flower days of the year.
Today I’m writing about Valentine’s Day which is coming up soon. This is my least favorite holiday/ special day of all. The floral arrangements that were designed in the back design room where absolutely some of the most beautiful arrangements you’ve ever seen, but the volume of work involved was demanding. Those three weeks or so were a combination of long, hard days and late nights. Throw in weddings and funerals and it was beyond crazy.
Men would call or come in to choose an arrangement to have sent to their love on Valentine’s. They may have included some of our boxed chocolates, a stuffed bear, or a scarf. We had lots of gift selections.
While it appears that Valentine’s is a fun, happy day on the front side, I will tell you my thoughts from viewing the backside of Valentine’s Day.
It was my job to take orders in person, over the phone, or online. Some men knew exactly what they wanted and were eager to spend the money. Some didn’t have a clue what to do or where to start. Still others felt pressured. They bought because it was expected. The idea that they’d end up in the doghouse was mentioned to me numerous times throughout the weeks leading up to that day.
Some men didn’t have much money to spend, but spent anyway. I could feel the pressure placed upon these guys and felt sorry for them. It is as though Valentine’s is the most important day of the year for a man to express his love. Or, for a woman to believe she is loved.
It is disheartening that money-makers place such high value on Valentine’s Day. A way to fill pockets between Christmas and Mother’s Day. Men are pressured to feel they must recognize their significant other on this particular day. It’s not typically the other way around. Marketing this day as another woman’s day is where the money is made. Diamonds, roses, candy, dinner…
I’m not better nor am I worse than other woman, but maybe with age I see the world slightly different now. Less materialistic. I’d prefer to be shown love and affection in a million other simplistic ways 365 days a year. Just spend time with me.
The backside of Valentine’s Day is pretty much all I see surrounding this day. The pressure placed on men was evident the seven Valentines I worked in the floral shop. Don’t get me wrong, we had many happy customers. But I did feel for those who felt pressured. And there were plenty. Enough for me to question (and dislike) this holiday.
Men and women do not often think alike. We express and receive love differently. Maybe the best Valentine’s gift would be to read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Take the quiz. Figure it out. And then simply love each other.
I know this post was lengthy but I finally got it out after all these years. The last Valentine’s I worked was in 2018 and after four years, I still feel the same. It is a day I would love to erase from the calendar. A high-dollar day that is pretty much worthless in my eyes.
Valentine’s Day will arrive whether I like it or not. It’s not the end of the world. Just be grateful for the love you have in your life. And nurture that love every.single.day. ♥️