1-800-OBLIGATION

DSCN1059Flowers are gifts for all occasions, every occasion, from birthdays to holidays.  Yet there is one day that has become synonymous with flowers – specifically roses:  Obligatory Flower Day, otherwise known as February 14.  They are promoted more than diamonds and toys at Christmas time.

The floral industry seized upon the greeting card holiday to ‘say it with flowers’ and one needn’t patronize a specialty store to do so.  It’s a full-out assault.  The grocery store.  The convenience store.  The gas station.

The message is clear and emphatic:  If you’re married, engaged, have a significant other or have dated the same person more than twice, roses must be bought on February 14.  It is the expected – almost mandatory – statement of love declared on that date.

Bull.

Roses on Valentine’s Day are a dime a dozen.  (Prices may vary in your area.)  How cliché.  How very unimaginative and ordinary.  When you love someone, you don’t need a calendar to dictate a particular date to express your love.  You let that person know how much she/he means to you every day.  You cherish that person.  Every day.   Their happiness is important to you.  Every day.  The heart can speak without words.  Love is 24/7, 365/366 days a year – even without flowers.

My sweetie shows me his love every day – unconditionally.  Just because he’s a dog doesn’t diminish the feelings.  People can learn a lot from dogs.  Hugs, kisses, smiles, jumping on top of me and rubbing his face in my belly, under my arms, making me laugh. Just because he doesn’t send me flowers doesn’t mean he doesn’t love me.  The tail wags.  The way he licks his lips after eating.  Resting his head on my heart.  Racing me to the bedroom each evening.  And he never lies to me.  If he had a credit card he’d be able to buy me flowers.  He doesn’t.  (And I’m not signing him up for one either.  He‘d max it out in no time.)

The best flowers are those received unexpectedly:  College.  Valentine’s Day.  I had a full day of classes and then worked till eleven that night.  As I approached my door, I spied a beer bottle with a rose sitting in front of it.  (oooooh…)  Then I thought it was probably for my roommate and I didn’t hurry.

When I got to the door, the note on the bottle had my name.  (Yes!)

I dropped the books, got the door open and grabbed the bottle, hoping the person who had left it signed his name (please, please, please) so that I could thank him. It was from a friend of mine.

I tried calling him to let him know he was a sweetheart for thinking of me.  No answer.

He was probably busy delivering a dozen beer bottles around town.

Best. Flowers. Ever.  Completely unexpected and from the heart.  As they should be.

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