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29 January 2005 @ 01:55 pm
Can anyone explain this to me?  
So I think flowers are pretty and smell nice, and some of the bouquet's on the web pages are really pretty, but how does anyone justify spending at a minium $30 + delivery on a bouquet, $50 if you want to get anything that isn't just mums and carnations, and a potential $165 (I'm sure you can always pay more, but this was one of the offered, non-custom, bouquets) on something that will sit there and be pretty for a week? For $30, there are so many other more lasting ways to give enjoyment.

Am I just too practicle for flowers? Too cheap? Just don't get it? Or is it some weird social pressure, like diamonds which are a product of marketing and monopoly and not actually worth the price they're asking? Or am I missing something in the jesture of wastefully giving a moment a week's worth of happiness, kind of the "you're worth enough to me to be stupid with my money, here flush this $50 down the toilet if it will make you smile."

I've given the gift of beef before, which is also consumable, but it seems so much more practicle.

And I would be happy to send flowers if it were more of a $10-$30 thing, where $30 got you something fairly nice.

I guess I'm cheap.

EDIT: so this post is specifically about sending flowers to other people, specifically in Canada. Mostly I wonder how ftd, 1800flowers, and alike stay in business. And as I said above, there is a price point issue here. I'm more asking why people are willing to, on a regular enough basis to keep these companies open, pay so much for flowers that you can get for much cheaper. These prices don't include delivery even.
Erikavacon on January 29th, 2005 07:11 pm (UTC)
I tend to agree with you. I think some of that may have been biased by katybeth who used to try and (jokingly) eat flowers whenever I'd give them to her so as to discourage me from giving her flowers. ;-)
blk: flowerblk on January 29th, 2005 09:59 pm (UTC)
I want some edible flowers.
The Water Seeker: flowerplymouth on January 30th, 2005 01:04 am (UTC)
Violets and marigolds and rose petals are all edible :) I rather like violets.
freak gasoline fight accidentgenderfur on January 30th, 2005 04:07 pm (UTC)
and nasturtium. They're spicy!
bob "the wonder llama"bob_wonderllama on January 29th, 2005 07:17 pm (UTC)
I agree completely.

The last time I saw my girlfriend, I baked her a loaf of bread and made her French Toast with it.

(then again, we're not together anymore...)
chenoamegchenoameg on January 29th, 2005 07:21 pm (UTC)
Symbols are very important to some people. (Sometimes when people are referred to as romantics it means this.) This isn't quite the same at peer pressure, although symbols are more meaningful if they're the ones that everyone agree on.

People who decorate their homes (not just with books and computers) choose flowers because they are ephemeral.

They also combine color, texture and smell in a dramatic way.

Does any of that help explain it?

Richardrjpb on January 29th, 2005 08:31 pm (UTC)
In addition, flowers are highly personalizable. Everyone has favorite colors, textures, and scents, so you can spend some effort and give a gift that is much nicer for relatively little cost if you avoid the more popular flowers like roses. I would always go into a decent flower shop and pick out individual blossoms and sprays, and rarely spent more than $20 except when I felt particularly extravagant.

The pre-wrapped bouquets exist for convenience only. You pay more for less, for the convenience of grabbing something quick. Just as you would not find a nice meal at a 7-11, but might pick up some packaged beef jerky, you should not expect better quality from the products at a typical flower stand. Personally though, I would much rather have some nice flowers than side of beef, or even a block of tofu.
The Water Seekerplymouth on January 30th, 2005 01:06 am (UTC)
although symbols are more meaningful if they're the ones that everyone agree on.

Actually, in the case of romantic gestures I think they're most important if they're the ones my S.O. and I agree on, the rest of the world be damned. The fact that my mom or my best friend or some random dude on the street thinks my boy was being romantic isn't terribly satisfying.
unintentionally intimidatingcoraline on January 29th, 2005 07:27 pm (UTC)
i like flowers, but eric and i tend to give each other bouquests picked up in the T, or from whole foods or something, and i don't think i've ever spent more than $25 on flowers, even with really fancy ones. it's the delivery and the florists that will kill you.
Lianafyfer on January 29th, 2005 07:38 pm (UTC)
I've started really liking flowers now that I've managed to detach them in my head from things like gender issues and creepy guys. But yeah, I have trouble with the idea of spending a lot on something so temporary. The little florist booth up the street from me makes beautiful bouquets. I don't know how much they are, but certainly less than the usual floral delivery prices.

I like decorating with flowers, and I think when I'm making more than grad student salary I could convince myself to spend $10/week or so on having fresh flowers around the house. I think they make good gifts to your dinner hosts or whatever. The whole "dozen roses for valentine's day" concept still leaves me cold, though, because of the stupid societal pressure. Some days I even find myself wanting some of those stupid societal pressure things, and I know it's just brainwashing.

Also, now I have the phrase "give the gift of beef" stuck in my head. That's awesome.
(Anonymous) on January 29th, 2005 08:39 pm (UTC)
So go to a farmer's market
My local farmer's market (here in California) usually has wonderful cut flowers for $3-$10.

The only downside is that the market is only open for business a few hours a week.

gmpe on January 29th, 2005 08:40 pm (UTC)
If you want to send flowers, there are places that will deliver dozens of flowers for cheap. These are the places you order flowers from if you were planning to make your own arrangements for your wedding, for example. The packaging may be less stunning, but the flowers will last longer and will be way cheaper.

Flowers are a sign of life, especially in the dark of winter. I got 20 daffodils for $5 at Whole Foods yesterday. Something about the green buds opening into giant yellow flowers is just wonderful and uplifting. It seems like there were always cut flowers in our house, especially for holidays or birthdays. My mom told me that when she was a student, she'd set aside a little money (probably not more than $5 in today's money) and go find whatever flowers were cheapest and bring those home so that she always had something beautiful on her table. Maybe that's where I get it from. I may not be as religious about getting flowers every week, but when I get them, I'll almost always buy the cheaper ones, because, really, all flowers are beautiful.

My mom also taught me that you shouldn't wait for someone to bring you flowers. At worst, you'll be disappointed, and in the best case, you just end up with more flowers.
chenoamegchenoameg on January 29th, 2005 09:39 pm (UTC)
I think the big expensive flower delivery places stay in business because of business use, and because of times when you don't have a better option, like sending flowers to a hospital or funeral home.

It always seems like there should be less expensive options for sending flowers than I've been able to find.

In the end, I'll know, but on the way, I wondergorgo on January 29th, 2005 09:42 pm (UTC)
My guess is that the expensive places are supported by people who feel like they "have" to send flowers on various occaisions. If you don't like flowers yourself, and therefore don't feel like you know what would look good, throwing money at the problem to make it go away can be an attractive option.
Shakespeare Fiendaerynne on January 29th, 2005 10:37 pm (UTC)
Last year for my mother's birthday (in December) I sent her a poinsettia from one of those websites. It cost more than I was expecting, but they can last for years, so I didn't worry too much. She called me on her birthday when it was delivered, and apparently it was *huge*. Maybe these bouquets are larger than they look.
Krissyrightkindofme on January 30th, 2005 11:16 am (UTC)
I don't know you, but Plymouth linked to you when I posted about how flowers make me happy.

I like receiving flowers for a myriad of reasons. For one thing, they are really pretty and everytime I see them in my house I get a silly grin on my face. Another point is that they mean someone saw them and thought of me. I like their smell. Really, mostly it is about someone wanting to give me something sweet and wonderful.

Oh- I am really not into 'expensive' flowers. If you've spent more than $15 for a pretty spectacular arrangement, you have been ripped off.
freak gasoline fight accidentgenderfur on January 30th, 2005 04:16 pm (UTC)
What she said!

I like flowers in the house because they're *life*. And while we're at it, they're pretty and sometimes they smell good too. It's a drag that they're ephemeral, but that's not my actual reason for having them. It's just the reality I live with.

The delivery florists are in business because people don't have enough imagination, or enough lead time, or both. I include myself in this. I have been guilty of sending an overpriced bouquet to my mother for an important birthday when I'd blown it in terms of actually getting her something in time.

But there was the other time, when I'd had time to think. I went online, found a local florist in her town, called them (long-distance), and made arrangements with them to have a bouquet made up and delivered to her. It was spectacular, and she loved it, and I had a conversation with a Real Human Bean in the ordering process. Some actual caring went into it....

I agree that giving flowers b/c of social pressure is dumb. But that's not because they're ephemeral. If social pressure said to give beef, there would still be a problem with that. (Not least b/c some folks dislike it, just as with flowers.)

If you're still unconvinced (and no, I don't mean you, bootslut, then just give it a try. Once a week for a month, get yourself a few flowers. Not a pre-made bouquet, either. Keep it cheap. After a month, think about it again. Did you like it?
Camilla Foxcfox on January 30th, 2005 11:38 pm (UTC)
Worth it for me
FTD rises to the challenge if you have a logistical mess to deal with; you can be sure those flowers will get through even if they chase the recipient to three different addresses. (Recipient discharged from hospital unexpectely: no problem.)

I do dislike the "do you love your mother $75 much or $90 much?" but if I'm going to try to surprise a faraway and potentially uncooperative recipient, I'll pay extra for the service.

The other aspect is that you sometimes want to get someone a gift of the sort they won't buy for themselves. My mother will often enough buy a pot of forced bulbs or a small bunch of cut flowers from the corner store on her way home to brighten the dinner table. By comparison, a huge arrangement makes it obvious to her friends that something special happened, and invites questions and compliments.

(aerynne is right - a middle-of-the-range FTD bouquet will just about fit through a doorway, but you won't see much of the delivery man around it. They are huge, and easily capable of "filling" a small room in a visual sense. Don't go for the top of the line models unless the recipient really does have a house with big rooms and high ceilings.)