I posted this on the same day three years ago. I am pretty level-headed, not one for sap, but I do love Valentine's Day. It allows us to gush, encourages us to romance and ensures we need not make excuses for sentiment.
I just read a friend's blog post describing her back and forth with Valentine's Day. Commercial, jaded and grown-up v. romantic, inspired and whimsical. Most of us experience a little of both. I love having fresh flowers in the house but flinch when presented with a florist's bouquet on Valentine's Day as I know the cost, while equal to the sentiment, was inflated. Especially with roses. So, while my male readers may be small in number, I offer some advice.
Choose another flower, one that can be purchased reasonably, sometimes at the market, and make your words your gift. It is often tricky to say something sappy aloud, especially if your relationship has progressed pass the first bloom. It is much easier to write.
Tell her she is as feminine and complex as French anemones. (Let me stress complex. Don't get muddled and say complicated as this will surely start a row.)
Tell her your heart bursts with the joy of lilies each time she enters a room.
Tell her she is as elegant and fresh as the day you married her with an all-white bouquet as a reminder of her bridal gown whether you saw it sixteen years ago or sixteen months ago.
Tell her the bend in the stem of the tulip reminds you of the curve of her neck as she leans over the crib.
Or take her a fistful of color wrapped in ribbon and tell her how happy you are that you are bound together. The flowers will enchant her in the short term; the note, which surely if she is a woman worth having, she will keep forever. And every time she finds it tucked in a drawer she will feel the blush of this Valentine's Day all over again.
You might even get lucky.
Images from top: roses, unknown, but I think House Beautiful, French anemones - which are not inexpensive, I don't think, but beyond beyond- Vogue, lilies and Todd Romano Elle Decor June-July 2001. Photo by Pieter Estersohn, white bouquet, hmmm..no idea, tulips, unidentified H&G, tulips, again, Southern Accents some time ago. Clearly, my entertaining file could use some due diligence. This last arrangement I have used again and again in a tea caddy with both colorful flowers and all white. Pretty, and pretty easy.