Late late Valentine’s day post! I’ve never really celebrated Valentine’s day, mainly because I think you should find your own time and way to show your love for the people in your life, and not just significant others – friends, neighbors, parents, etc. This past Valentine’s day Michael and I decided to work in his family’s flower shop, Allen’s Flowers.
It has been in his family for years and is in fact how his parents met. His father, Nace, had just gotten home from traveling and decided to take over the family flower shop in the early 80s. One day he put a sign out front advertising a sale on roses, this also happened to be the day Mike’s mother, 19 at the time, happened to be driving by. She saw the sale, decided to go in and fast forward a year later – they’re getting married, running the flower shop together and making one of my favorite people – Michael ( and miss Hannah).
The shop is now run by his uncle who rents out the property from his father, Ben. What a character Ben is. The whole day we were working Michael’s 80 something year old grandfather was standing outside in direct sunlight in the 90 degree heat, smoking cigars and directing traffic in the parking lot. Michael and I were luckily inside where there was air conditioning to keep the flowers from fully blooming. We got to help customers pick out flowers and build arrangements.
It was a surprisingly long day of work that we were both tired from. It was great people watching – very telling of people, how they approached buying flowers for their loved ones. It was predominately men who came in. Some would come in with a chip on their shoulder grumbling about getting flowers for their wife. Some would pick up the closest bouquet in front of them, others would ask like a robot for a dozen red roses – when asking these types of customers what kind of flowers their loved ones liked there were a lot of blank stares and ” I don’t knows.” I couldn’t understand why these men were here, just going through the motions of buying their wives flowers without putting any thought behind it – I mean I could have given some of these men sticks and they would have been just as satisfied. Enough of my negative digression though. There were some men that came in and meticulously inspected all the roses to find the single most beautiful one to give their sweetheart. There were men that came in and walked circles around the store trying to pick out just the right combination of flowers. There were men that came in with crumpled up pieces of paper with the name of their wives favorite flower scribble out and misspelled and wanting to know if we had them. Some men came in not caring about what flowers I picked out for their bouquet but by the end were inspecting individual petals on mums to make sure they had picked the very best one and making sure their stargazer lily was just the right pink. Something about doing this felt so right, it just clicked with me – and apparently with Michael too. He was surprisingly good at making arrangements, just like his father was his uncle told me.( I promise I was happier than I looked, I was a little under the weather and really feeling the 90 degree heat! )It was also hard for me to not make everyones bouquet the type that I would have liked to receive, I suppose it was a good lesson for working with ‘clients.’ I would make an elegant simple arrangement only for the customer to say “its not quite there yet” and then run and pick up a rainbow dyed rose or a neon spray painted daisy to stick right in the center of the bouquet before calling it perfect. It was hard but I bit my tongue.
And although I didn’t feel good that day, it was a very good day. Michael and I hid behind flowers sneaking sweet kisses and quickly squeezing each others hands as we passed each other helping customers. Our payment for the day was 9 sunflowers, 18 white lilies, and 2 birds of paradise and we couldn’t have been happier. ( click here to see all the lilies I got to take home ) Michael’s father passed away 12 years ago. I really enjoyed being in the space that he worked in everyday, the place where he met and fell in love with Jacqui, and where Michael used to run around as a little kid. Never having the pleasure to meet him, it felt like I got to know him a little. Here’s a photo of Michael outside of the shop on the corner where his parents first met.To add to the lengthy list of things I want to do with this one life of mine, I of course now want to have my own flower shop and call it Buds.
What are some of your ways to show people you love them?