I have questions… about Valentine’s Day

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I wonder about people’s obsession with a dozen. I’m a florist by day, and have been for about eighteen years. V-Day comes along and I can’t tell you how many times I hear about a dozen red roses. I don’t know where it came from, but it seems the only acceptable flower and number. No matter how much I try to suggest something else, they always go for the dozen red roses. Then of course, the complaints. How expensive!

Do people forget about how this works? The grower in South America has to hire more people to tend the roses, then process them. More roses means more shipping costs. That means the wholesalers have to pay more, then you have the small florist I work for, trying to make a living and having to pay that much more for roses. Who gets to hear the complaints? The little guy on the end trying to survive.

Roses are so expensive! Well, no, they’re really not. It’s that people want to buy a dozen. On the average day we sell a rose at $3. On Valentine’s Day we sell them for $5 each. Even on Valentine’s Day roses aren’t nearly as expensive as oriental lilies, which we charge 7.50. On average, Gerberas, lilies, sunflowers, freesia, lisianthus, delphinium, snapdragons, larkspur, liatris, and anything tropical are more expensive than roses. Many flowers are the same price, like Alstromeria, some types of mums, and parrot tulips. Yet people don’t complain about them. Why? People don’t buy them by the dozen. A dozen stems of oriental lilies will cost you a mint.

At our little shop, the only things that have price changes for V Day are roses with a two buck increase, and carnations which get a whopping 25 cent increase. Everything else is normal price. No one is holding a gun to your head to make you buy a dozen roses, certainly not at my shop. We usually encourage assorted flowers and maybe a rose or two if roses are important to your sweetie. So maybe people should be angry at society or their spouse or sweetheart for making them feel bad about what they could buy.

V Day is an exhausting and more often than not a thankless task for us. We work long hours, are in pain (there’s a lot of lifting and running involved), then deal with entitled customers. We live for those who come in and thank us, or ask us how we’re holding up, or admit that they forgot again. We’re happy to help you pick out something meaningful for your partner. What is your SO’s favorite flower? A lot of times it isn’t a rose, so why not buy their favorite instead of the one society has told you? Or maybe stay away from that dozen!