My flower garden sucked, and I mean sucked, this year. All the lame, smelly ones, like marigolds, flourished, but I’m not so much a fan of those. What I love most are sunflowers, and the deer killed me this year. It’s hard to be too upset because I love deer, but still. There was one week in the summer, however, when the cows got loose and they stomped all over the garden and really mowed down the sunflowers and I plopped down on my ass and cried right there on the spot in the middle of the day. Such is life.
So now I’m again reduced to buying grocery store flowers. If you live in a neighborhood with a Harps or a Fresh Market or a Whole Foods nearby, or even Lunds, grocery store flowers are beautiful. They’re lovely enough to put on display at a wedding. Or a funeral.
But in my neck of the hay fields, grocery store flowers are a durogatory insult to the wonders of market bouquets. They are just sad. They are usually five slumping clusters of carnations, which I always associate with sweaty-palmed school dances, or alarmingly colored daisies. Who in the world wants an electric blue daisy?
In this month’s Real Simple issue, there’s a great tutorial on floral arrangements, which have always mystified me. I marched right on down to the nearest grocery store and plucked the most varietous display I could find. (Yes, I know, “varietous” is not a word…).
I already had those pink daisies, which look so sad and stretched out in the milk pitcher.
According to Real Simple, one strategy for arrangement is to clump all the similar flowers together. So I set about doing that, first by pulling apart the bouquet and organizing the flowers, which leads me to the main point that finally, after all this time, brought me back to the blog:
See that lovely purple hydrangea? That hydrangea is the reason I bought the bouquet. I paid $15 for that bouquet, and that is a lot of money in these here parts. (Is my country slang usage improving in a way that doesn’t feel insulting? Or am I hipster smug? I can’t tell.)
THEY PAINTED THE COLOR ON! SPRAY PAINTED IT! AND THEY DIDN’T EVEN DO A GOOD JOB!
What the heck?!
Are grocery stores so lazy that, if they’re going to con buyers into an overpriced flower arrangement, they won’t even bother hiding the con? It’s insulting!
And equally insulting to know that I’m so dumb that I fell for it in the store!
Which is even more infuriating!
And what better place to release my rage than on the Internet?!
Want to know where I bought the bouquet so that this doesn’t happen to you (Wall-Mart)? I suspect there’s some tricky law that prevents me from naming them (Wall-Mart) under the proper spelling (without the extra “L”) outright.
When Jon came home, I showed him the atrocity. He laughed. He said that the last plant be bought from Wall-Mart was a beautiful cactus with the brightest, boldest, most healthy-looking bloom he’d ever seen. When he got it home, he realized it was a plastic flower on a pin that had been stabbed into the cactus arm. WTF.
At least the arrangement looks nice, from a distance.
PS: This isn’t the link to the RS article I mention, but it’s pretty close and equally useful: Easy Flower Arrangements
One final thing:
I have been the worst — THE WORST — about writing in my blog. And writing in my journals. And writing fiction.
But only because I have been so busy writing for the magazine and… teaching! I finally landed a teaching job at our local community college. I teach writing. And grammar. It sounds lame but it’s a blast. Also, Jon’s credit card got stolen earlier this fall and we kept forgetting to update the billing info with our Internet provider and now we’re blacklisted. It’s kinda nice… but also kind of a monstrous inconvenience.
Still, it’s no excuse for not writing in this blog.
There’s also this other weird balancing act thing where, now that I write for a local magazine that directs readers back to this blog, my potential audience could actually be people that I run into at the grocery store and I don’t know just how much I want non-anonymous strangers knowing about my personal life and personal thoughts and what not. It would be so much easier to divide everything into separate categories — public writer, public life; private writer, private life. But blogging doesn’t work that way. Or, at least, it doesn’t for me. And I’ve found that the most successful posts on here are the most intensely personal posts.
There’s a saying that the personal is political. But, it turns out, the personal is personable, too. That’s the double-edged sword for a writer.