And if you can buy yourself a little happy for $2, why, I must implore thee, would you not?
The reasons I took up this practice are two-fold, with several sub-points.
The first of which is that I am prone to many flavors of depression, particularly during the winter, and I discovered that flowers helped take the sting out of my weepy winter months.
The second reason is that once upon a time, a dear college friend of mine decided that my little group of friends needed to take the Love Language assessment so that we could better understand each other (read as: understand why some of us were fighting a LOT). The thing I found about myself surprised me. I found out:
- With two love languages tied at the top and a third just a point or two below, I am extremely needy when it comes to love. (It is here that I pause to offer up prayers for the sanity and patience of my hypothetical future husband.)
- My love languages are gifts and quality time, followed very closely by words of affirmation.
The idea that gifts were my love language was something that I found very, very surprising. In retrospect, I shouldn't have. Ever since my childhood, I have reveled in buying gifts for people. I'm that annoying person that before birthdays, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Arbor Day, will ask on a daily basis, "...Now are you sure you don't want your gift early?" Gift-giving is one of my favorite things, but receiving gifts is something that at times, I find difficult, frequently falling into a case of the "Oh, you shouldn't haves" and "Really? For me?"
It's not that I'm an overtly selfless person, because that is definitely not the case. As I will openly admit, I am super needy and am very selfish with my time (and the time of others) but when receiving gifts, I often find it difficult to find words to say that appropriate depict appropriate thankfulness. If I seem too non-chalant, I'm afraid you'll find me ungrateful and if I seem too eager, I'm afraid that (particularly if this gift is given in a romantic sense) that you've flipped a switch that will make me a forever devoted stalkerish....thing.
But I digress. What was I talking about? Oh. Yeah. Love languages.
Basically, I aside from the lack of words to express gratefulness, I can honestly say that few things make me feel more loved than receiving a gift. It doesn't matter if that gift is a handwritten card or letter or some fantastic fandom merchandise. I really honestly do love gifts from people that I love because the nature of gift-giving is one of acknowledgement. You are acknowledging you know that I love handwritten sentiment, even if you don't write particularly well, and that you care enough about that sentiment to put that into my life. You are acknowledging that even though my obsession with science fiction and Sherlock Holmes may be unhealthy, but you love me enough to enable me just this once.
An understanding of my love of gifts can be summed up by a poet who once said, "Let me also say I wanna make you sandwiches,and soup, and peanut butter cookies.Though, the truth is peanut butter is actually really bad for you ‘cause they grow peanuts in old cotton fields to clean the toxins out of the soil.But hey, you like peanut butter and I like you."
Through giving things to one another, we are acknowledging the pieces and parts of each other that we love so much that we highlight them in ribbons and paper, in envelopes and ink, in flour and peanut butter, and we bring them forth into each others life.
I would like to think that when I get married, my husband would buy me daisies.
But I, as you may have noticed, do not have a husband. So what is a gift-loving girl to do?
Does she wander about aimlessly, flowerless and without love? Does she weep for want of a man who will be her knight in shiny 1-800-FLOWERS delivery van? Does she remain lonely because she lacks the thing that she feels would symbolize love?
From experience, I can tell you that she does all of those things. She feels sad and gets jealous of the girls with flowers. She remarks that it is unfair because she is just as deserving of flowers as those other girls. And she remains very lonely.
And then that girl's inner feminist awakens, as "I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar" plays melodramatically in the background, at an appropriate volume that will not disrupt the vicinity's sound ordinances. Because she does deserve flowers and love and appreciation and the things that she loves deserve to be acknowledged. When we give gifts, we embrace the things we love about one another, so why is it, she wonders, can she not embrace herself?
With righteous indignation, she storms into the nearest Flowerama and confidently acquires three gerbera daisies, and smiles all the way home.
I buy flowers for myself as a pick-me-up, as an anti-depressant, and as a reminder, and I would encourage my fellow single ladies (or involved ladies with a lack of flowers in their lives) to do the same.
It is okay for you to treat yourself to something beautiful, because you are, yourself, beautiful, and it's okay to accept that yourself without someone else's acknowledgement.
Go forth. Buy daisies. Buy lilacs. Buy roses. Buy some hypoallergenic plastic flowers if you have allergies because a sneezing fit will undo all of the confidence that we've unearthed together here. And if you're a strange individual who for some reason does not love flowers, enjoy instead, this picture of a hedgehog, because you're worth a little happy today.