09 February 2013

Valentine's Day Is Approaching. For God's Sake, Hide Me, Someone!


The Lilies Of The Field Are Trying To Tell You Something

Did you know that, on Valentine's Day,  if your dreamboat 
hands you a bouquet of purple irises, he or she is actually saying: "I  anxiously await your [sexual] favors"?*
                         *Author's Note: Well, with any luck.)

Or that, hidden in that lovely collection of fragrant pink dahlias, is a a subtext that actually warns of imminent betrayal and sexual degradation?** 
                                     (** Author's Note: Agatha Christie says this is what "Dahlia"  means,.Other sources say it's actually what "evergreens" mean, but I flatout refuse to believe all that about my Christmas tree.)

-Of course you didn't, because: a): You're not a big ol' crazypants, and, 2): It is no longer circa 1850-1890, which is when the "Language of Flowers" was an accepted way to communicate your secret feelings to your loved one in floral code. In Victorian England, every flower in a bouquet, had a very specific meaning: that tradition, though long forgotten, still resonates on some level. Case in point: we give red roses almost exclusively these days, to be on the safe side: red roses, in the Language of Flowers, mean "I am romantically in love with you, although this floral arrangement does not actually  constitute a legally binding agreement." And the reason you have never offered your fiancĂ©/e a selection of  lobelias, lime blossom and houseleeks? -Is because you somehow knew you would be accusing her of, respectively, "fornication; malevolence; and poor domestic economy."(And frankly? You'd be right. Sorry you had to find out this way, man.)

So here is a selection of the Language of the Flowers, circa 1885, and then the Language of the Flowers, circa 2016.

Happy Valentine's Day! 

love, Peri 

Language Of The Flowers, 1885 version

1) Camellia: I live in gratitude of your perfected loveliness!

2) Chrysanthemum: I admire your cheerfulness through adversity.

3) Damask Rose: I worship your brilliant complexion.

4) Fuschia: The ambition of my love thus plagues myself. 

                                                 [Author's note: "Huh?"]

5) Peach/or Peach Blossom: Your qualities, like your charms, are unequalled.

6) White Rosebud: You are too young to understand love.

                                             [Author's Note:"I get this one a LOT."]

Okay. Moving right along:

 The Language of the Flowers, 2016 Version:

1) Dandelions: You're okay, considering. I guess.

2) Poppies: I love you, but not more than I love prescription medications.

3) Carnations:My God, you're beautiful. My God, I'm cheap.

4) Rare Orchids: Aren't these exquisite? I'm sleeping with your sister.

5) Daffodils: Your optimism is touching. If delusional.

6) Asters: These are asters. -No, that's it, that's the message. Sorry.

7) Peach colored sunset roses: Your skin is like a flower petal at sunrise, and I think i might be gay.

8) Red roses: I think you're swell, I think you're aces, and I think it's 1947.

To sum up? Flowers are a beautiful means of communication, wherein you can totally say stuff you mean, and not have to cop to it. The Victorians may have had their flaws, but they have a lot to teach us still. Especially in the area of being completely passive-aggressive and yet, still decorative as hell.