By Gabrielle. Photo by Amy Christie for Design Mom.
I already told you I don’t wear my wedding ring. And now, I have a further confession that will no doubt cement your thinking that I am the least romantic person in the world. Hah! Here it is: Though I always enjoy having fresh flowers in the house, I don’t like Ben Blair to give me flowers. At all. So much so, that a couple of years into our marriage, I asked him not to give me flowers from that point on (and we’ve been married 20 years).
Doesn’t that sound awful? But stay with me for a minute, because though it took me awhile to pinpoint what they are, I do have reasons. And happily, expressing my no-flower-request to Ben, didn’t even slightly ruffle his feathers. He totally understood. My reasons? The first one is simple. Money was especially tight when we were first married, and fresh flowers aren’t always inexpensive. If we were going to use some of our budget for flowers, I thought we should discuss it first, like we would discuss any non-essential purchase.
But the second reason is harder for me to articulate, because I’m not opposed to flowers as gifts in general at all. I give flowers as gifts often. And I’ve been sent flowers from friends and even clients, flowers that have brought great joy! So I’m really only not into flowers-as-a-gift from my husband.
I think it stems from when we were young and still learning how to be married, and I could see that when Ben Blair gave me flowers, it was about the gesture, not about the flowers themselves. He didn’t have strong opinions about the flower types or the colors, he’s not someone who puts importance on having fresh flowers in the house, he just wanted to do something sweet to show me he loved me. And in our limited experience, flowers were the thing that husbands were “supposed” to buy for wives.
That bothered me because I didn’t like the idea of him feeling pressure to keep up with a societal tradition that wasn’t particularly important to either of us. It was if he felt like he couldn’t be a good spouse and partner if he didn’t bring me flowers. Which of course, wasn’t true.
It’s not that I don’t want flowers in the house! I definitely want flowers in the house, but instead of wanting flowers because they are a symbol of love from my husband, I want flowers because I happen to enjoy beautiful flowers. Does that make sense? And it’s not that I don’t want my spouse to show me he loves me. I definitely do! And I should note here that Ben Blair found other ways to show he loved me. He has always been really good at making me feel loved.
There is a third reason, but it’s minor. I really enjoy shopping for fresh flowers, so if we’re going to include flowers in the budget, I want to help shop for them. : )
To sum up, I LOVE having fresh flowers in the house, but I prefer to buy them myself. Not because I am trying to make a statement, but because I don’t want my husband to feel pressure to buy them, and because I just really enjoy buying flowers.
That said, every once in awhile, Ben will wonder if he should be buying me flowers — he wonders if it’s good for the kids to see him do so. Will they be better partners to their future spouses if he models giving traditional romantic gifts? I get what he’s saying, but I’m not worried. I feel like our kids see us do kind things for each other daily — even if those kind things don’t involve traditional things like flowers, or chocolates or jewelry.
Okay, now I’m curious. What’s your take on fresh flowers? Do they ever make your shopping list? Or do they make the “unnecessary expense” list? I’ve had years where they were a regular weekly purchase, and other years where I hardly bought them at all. And what about flowers from your partner? Does anyone else feel like me and prefer to buy flowers yourself instead of receive them from your spouse, or am I on my own this time?
P.S. — I wonder if this is also related to the idea of love languages. I’m pretty sure gifts are not my love language. : )