Monday, March 7, 2011

Things I've Learned Since I Got Married #3 - Flowers

I finally get it. I can truly say that I finally get it. I have reached some understanding of one of the greatest enigmas that has baffled men since the dawn of time: Why women love flowers so much.

Guys typically say that flowers are a waste of money. They are often expensive - very nice ones, such as roses, which women love, are a primary source of blame for this. The price doesn't seem to be justified in male minds, since the flowers look and smell nice for such a short period of time, which is usually no longer than a few days and then they're thrown in the trash.

Men think, what's the point? Why should I spend the money on something that lasts longer, has a functional rather than aesthetic use. A piece of jewelry makes more sense, it looks nice, it's pretty when worn by our wife, and it'll be there for her to don for years to come. Thus, flowers often seem as though we're just throwing our hard-earned money into the garbage.

Yet, after starting the practice of buying flowers for ASoG each week for Shabbos (and on other special occasions as they crop up), I've seen the light.

I've begun to appreciate the atmosphere the bouquet of roses I buy adds to our apartment, not just for Shabbos, but for the days that follow afterward. The lifespan of flowers greatly depends on care given to them, and regular water changes with stem trimming really helps them to keep going. We've had flowers that have lasted anywhere from 3 days to a full week after being purchased before they all finally droop over or dry out.

Seeing the flowers reminds me of the restful pleasures of Shabbos during the following week. They also remind me of how happy ASoG was when I gave them, and it's always a great thing to be able to put a smile on your wife's face.

I admit to being a bit of an admirer of nature, and that's probably part of the reason why I really appreciate the beauty that our vase of flowers adds to our mundane living room. Colorful, well formed, symmetrical flowers are an exquisite creation that G-d has given to us. The flowers I buy for ASoG become an epicenter of natural loveliness that brightens our lives whenever we see them so prominently displayed on our dining room table.

I've heard so many single/engaged guys complain about flowers - and married guys even moreso. I think it would do well for all of us of the male species to reassess our perspective on buying flowers for our significant others. It'll definitely make our wives happier, and hopefully us too.


  1. Great post!
    Rabbi Wallerstein recently addressed this issue in his shiur. The beauty of buying flowers is because the gesture is sentimental. The flowers are a SYMBOL of the love and care that no money can buy.

    The example Rabbi Wallerstein gave is if a husband buys 20 flowers for his wife on their 20th anniversary, she'll love them. But if he'll give her double the money that he paid for them, she'd be beyond offended. Why? Because flowers are saying there's no price on our love. There's no amount of money that amounts to you and my feelings for you, and therefore, anything I buy in our marriage is symbolic, and not a representative, of our love.

    Rabbi Wallerstein also explained that that's why under the chuppah, the chatan gives the kallah an inexpensive, plain ring. To show that their marriage isn't bounded or dependent on materialism and money.

    Just some food for thought :)

  2. I once read a study that said people who have fresh flowers in their home are happier, because it brightens their mood to simply see them.

  3. If you have to go to a shiur to be educated about flowers, you are beyond help.

    However, I actually took a girl to a garden show expo and she hated it. Not once did she remark on the beauty; instead she made the worst of the date. She either is one of the rare females who don't care about flowers or was just a stick in the mud who couldn't have fun in a less than perfect setting for her.

    Another side note- I did landscaping for people since I was 9, until age 17. I guess it's the modern day Shepard if our forefathers were around today!

  4. As a woman, I completely agree. Every time I look at a bouquet of roses, my face lights up. And it can't hurt the guy either, because it just reminds the girl of her guy's thoughtfulness.

  5. Demetri Martin on Flowers: "I think it's weird that when you give someone flowers you're really saying 'Here you go, now watch these die--'cuz I like you.' I feel like you should give someone flowers when you wanna threaten them. 'Here--you're next. Better put your feet in water, 'cuz I'm comin' for you.'"


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