I always have flowers in my house. Or maybe not exactly always, but as close as I can get, given my current circumstances of living in suburbia. Apparently, suburbia does not believe in flowers. There are no fruit markets in suburbia, the places where I used to pick up some sunflowers or tulips when I stopped by for broccoli. Suburbia doesn’t believe in fruit markets, either.
I admit there is a florist in the charming strip mall down the street that also houses a discount flooring store, a Pennington’s, and a manicure place. It’s called Karen’s & Tina’s Flowers. Karen and Tina are as excited about carnations (red) and roses (red) as they are about apostrophes, and their excitement is precisely the inverse of mine. They also sell potted plants. Just to be clear, plants are not the same as flowers. Plants are greenery. And I know it’s not easy being green, but green is just green. Even if the plant flowers every so often, it’s only every so often, and in the meantime, when it isn’t flowering, you need to keep it alive and possibly dusted. This is a task for which I have no interest.
My compromise is orchids. Technically, an orchid is a plant, but it’s a plant that flowers for a long time and the ratio of flowers to greenery makes it acceptable in my books, plus you barely have to water them. However, you will not see me Googling how to get an orchid to re-flower once it has dropped all of its florets. And if you did see me, it was only just the once. Twice, at most.
Doesn’t the suburban grocery store sell flowers, you are probably thinking. Yes, sort of. The grocery store has flowers, but technically it does not sell them, because nobody ever buys them. They sit in pails on the outskirts of the produce section. Red carnations, red roses, pre-fab bouquets of carnations (white ones, even), roses, and baby’s breath. Occasionally, there are tulips that look exactly like the tulips in my garden on that day in May when the temperature feels like mid-August, gaping as wide as a spring pothole. And over to the left, there are the orchids, the dregs of their dangling blooms trembling in the breeze from the seafood freezer.
And yet, the Real Canadian Superstore persists. The mangy flowers get replaced with marginally less mangy ones on some kind of mysterious schedule. What puzzles me the most about this, besides the persistent flowericide, is the person who has the Sisyphusian job of throwing out the dead flowers and replacing them with soon-to-be dead flowers. Is it the same person that puts the brown bananas and wilted lettuce on the discount shelf, and sticks the “enjoy tonight” stickers on the quiche package that expires today? Could there possibly be a more thankless job? I think not.
I still glance at the flower display every time I’m in the store, though, silently willing it to pull up its petals and make something of itself. Then I go and check the discount produce. The least I can do is rescue a cauliflower.