A Suburban Dad's Guest Blog: The Hidden Meaning of Flowers

By Rick Kaempfer

Remember when flowers were considered the perfect gift for women? You could get them for your wife, your mother, your female friends, or your female co-workers—and nobody thought a thing of it—other than “Awwww. That’s so thoughtful.”

Those days are over. If you haven’t bought flowers for a woman lately, you’ve missed a complete transformation of flower society. Flowers are still considered a perfect gift, but now they are too perfect. Now the conversation with the florist may go a little something like this...

Man: I like to buy some red roses please.

Florist: Oh your wife will love these.

Man: It’s not for my wife.

Florist: Your girlfriend?

Man: No…a co-worker.

Florist: Do you want her to be your girlfriend?

Man: No...

Florist: Oh dear.

Man: What?

Florist: Red roses mean love.

Man: Oh. Sorry. Make it pink roses then.

Florist: Excellent choice. Would you like a soft gentle pink or a deeper pink?

Man: Um….

Florist: Deeper pink conveys a message of gratitude.

Man: Well…I’m getting her flowers because she got a promotion. It’s not exactly gratitude.

Florist: Are you her boss or is she your boss?

Man: Um…we’re sort of equals I guess.

Florist: Soft gentle pink conveys a message of admiration.

Man: Well, I guess admire her…

Florist: (grinning) In a slightly, where can this lead us, sort of way?

Man: No.

Florist: Then I’d recommend staying away from the soft gentle pink.

Man: What about white roses?

Florist: White roses say “You’re heavenly.”

Man: No. What about those peach roses?

Florist: Desire and Zest.

Man: No. The dark ones?

Florist: You mean the burgundy? Those mean “unconscious beauty.”

Man: No. The yellow?

Florist: Yellow roses stand for joy and happiness.

Man: Yeah…that sounds good.

Florist: How many would you like?

Man: How about just one?

Florist: Love.

Man: Two?

Florist: Engagement or marriage.

Man: Are you serious?

Florist: Yes.

Man: Six?

Florist: That means you’ll never forget her.

Man: No. What do you recommend?

Florist: I’d recommend an arrangement with the yellow roses as the centerpiece.

Man: OK.

Florist: What is her sign?

Man: What?

Florist: Her zodiac sign? If she’s an Aries, I’d recommend some tiger lilies or impatiens, if she’s a Taurus, I’d say go with a poppy or daisy, if she’s a Gemini—lily of the valley or lilac, if she’s a Capricorn—

Man: I’ll take a plant please.

Florist: What kind of plant? Would you like a…

Man: Plain, green.

By the way, just for the record, I didn’t make up any of those “meanings.” Feel free to save yourself some heartache and study the conversation before you enter the florist next time.

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  • Go to a different florist. Flowers mean whatever you like.

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