Budding romances and blooming jealousy: Valentine’s Day flowers under review

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Senior columnist Elliot Cheung offers his take on the annual Valentine’s Day flower service. (Jake Nyquist)

It’s that time of year again. Love fills the air, budding romances take off, and the cafeteria gets packed with students trying to send flowers to their special someones.

I’m a huge fan of the flowers every year. Sending them out to friends or potentially “more-than-friends,” writing sweet little messages to go with them, being all secretive about whether or not you sent any flowers and to whom; it’s all so much fun. But of course, to receive is better than to give, and that week or so between the time that the flowers are sent and that they’re delivered is always suspenseful. You wonder if anyone sent you any. Maybe you’ll get some from a secret admirer. Maybe, just maybe, that special someone decided to send a rose your way. As the week moves closer to delivery day, the excitement builds as you wonder how many flowers you’re going to get.

But see, the Valentine’s Day flower service is one of those rare things that is simultaneously lovely and heartwarming while also spiteful and competitive. Because come Valentine’s Day, not everyone gets a rose. A lot of people get nothing. At the same time, some lucky few get to walk around campus with a tiny florist shop in their backpack. For some of the less florally-endowed, suddenly, the whole day can go from exciting, festive fun to utter disappointment.

Though it never bothers me much — I set my expectations for the day low* — it’s not the best feeling. Some people take it just a smidgen worse. I’ve heard some pretty snarky comments made simply because someone got one more flower than someone else. The whole flower deal can get a little heated, and not in the way that Valentine’s Day is supposed to.

I implore anyone who might feel that way to, well, basically just not. Receiving a carnation can be a sweet, romantic gesture, but all in all, the flowers are usually just good, lighthearted fun, and getting upset over them isn’t worth the effort.

Perhaps you might get flustered that someone you thought would send you a rose didn’t. Maybe he or she sent a carnation to someone else, didn’t acknowledge your rose, or did something else to perpetuate more classic high school drama. In my opinion: not worth getting worked up about. Maybe it would help to think that he/she/it was too nervous to send you a rose, or maybe he/she/it is saving up money to buy a better gift, or maybe he/she/it was too busy saving the world to buy a flower. Whatever floats your boat. And whatever stops you from turning a lighthearted, fun little service into jealousy and unnecessary drama.

In the end, no matter how many flowers you send or receive, keep the day in good spirits. Don’t be someone who ruins the Valentine’s Day flowers deal with petty jealousy. Those people usually don’t get roses.

*This was not intended to be a plea for pity flowers; if I wanted to stoop that low I could send them myself**

**Not to discourage any of you lovely ladies that would want to send me a nice rose 😉

Elliot Cheung
Columnist

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