I wonder what it must be like to order flowers from one of those delivery services that promises a bouquet of your design, brought to your doorstep, at a regular interval of your choosing. Each week, let’s say, you could have the perfect arrangement of peonies and tea roses that sit low in a glass vase on your desk or coffee table. You wouldn’t just have flowers – anyone can swing by a bodega on the way home from work and absentmindedly pick up a bouquet of daisies that are well into wilting – you would have an arrangement. And you’d never have to think of it, because you had the foresight to organize it as a little weekly gift to yourself.
It’s money, of course, that keeps most of us from doing this. And while I do think that if I had an extra 75 dollars a week (which is, no joke, what many of these services actually cost), I probably would find a better use for it, the idea of always having fresh-cut flowers does seem to represent a kind of financial comfort that even nice furniture can’t really express. Fresh-cut flowers are a symbol of femininity and put-togetherness, yes, but it’s also a powerful statement of valuing aesthetics over nearly anything else that money can buy. (And almost anything you could buy besides fresh-cut flowers would be less a waste of money.)
Potted flowers and plants, sure. They are beautiful, and they represent, at the very least, your ability to not kill something. But the girl with the fresh-cut flowers is very different and, in my mind, has always been a very specific person.
Her kitchen is always clean, with nice little tea towels on hooks and a kettle on the stove. There are windows in the kitchen, too, just like there are windows in every room of her apartment. She valued light over nearly everything else when choosing her space, because she knew how much it changes your quality of life when you have a brightly-lit space. When people come over, she always has some snacks to put on the table, and a bar cart from which to mix a drink. Her closet is organized but her bed isn’t always made because there’s something undeniably beautiful about a perfectly-clean and perfectly-rumpled comforter.
She calls people back, and sets appointments, and gets up early. In fact, if she didn’t have one of those delivery services to streamline her cut-flower-ness, she would find joy in her morning trek to pick up flowers once a week from her favorite florist (never a grocery store or bodega, because she knows those flowers are never as good.)
If she has a pet, its hair is never on her furniture.
This girl doesn’t exist, of course. I know that, rationally. And yet, I can’t help but feel magically closer to her every time I have a little vase of fresh-cut flowers on my dining table, arranged as best I can from the two bouquets I picked mostly at random. And while I know that reasonably-deceptive silk flowers are a much better choice for someone like me – someone who has whatever the opposite color of a green thumb is, and who doesn’t need to be spending money on something that serves no function – they always feel like something of a defeat. I guess silk flowers means accepting the idea that you’re not ever going to be that person, that you can’t manage or afford that level of ethereal luxury.
And that’s fine, I guess. I don’t need something like that to add meaning to my life, or to make me love my home that much more. I’m perfectly aware of all the other good things I can be doing with my money, or with my desktop real estate. But I still think of her, and the me that could maybe be her, if ever I found myself with simply too much money and an apartment that begged to be filled with fresh flowers. Maybe by that point I’d be too mature and responsible to waste my money on something like that, but part of me hopes I’ll never grow out of it. We should all get to be the girl with fresh-cut flowers at least once, to say that it’s the one thing we must have in our homes. Because life is too short to never be irresponsible for beauty.