Something Surprising

In one of the opening scenes of "The Wedding Planner," Kathy Najimy, speaking to her apparently non-native florist, says, "Pierre, I love you but if you use another carnation in my bouquet I will deport you, ok?" That's precisely how I feel. Not about deportation, of course, but about carnations. I feel that I have a hard-earned and perfectly justifiable right to be a flower snob, having worked my way from a customer service position (or "box girl," as we were more familiarly and affectionately called) to one of the senior designers at the most respected flower shop in town when I was going through college. We had a few hard and fast rules: red roses are inferior to every other color, and certainly to the better-bred English and garden roses; a spider mum would never, for any reason, set foot in the shop, and even the small pom-pom mums we carried in the fall were dubbed "rovers" instead, to try and disguise their real identities; and carnations were strictly forbidden unless specifically requested by an adamant customer for funeral work only.

And so, imagine my utter surprise when I visited Saipua two days ago, saw this gorgeous arrangment, and realized that there are at least a dozen carnations tucked in among allium, scented geranium, coxcomb, and clematis, and given a place of honor in a silver mint julep cup! Followed by the realization that I like actually it, love it, in fact, despite that! Maybe this is one of those Elizabeth moments, when I discover, to my chagrin, that I have been too quick to judge my fellow creatures (or flowers, as the case may be), and that I have to change my mind completely about a strongly held long-time opinion. I'm willing to do that, and even to admit to it publicly, but I'm not sure I can go any further. To ask me to put carnations in any of my own arrangments may be going a little far. Just yet. I need a little more time. {Sigh of resignation.}

(Arrangement by the incredible designer nicollete camille, found via saipua, the lady behind which is Sarah, another brilliant florist whose designs I adore.)

1 comment:

  1. that's hilarious... just last week a fellow chi-o alum and i were talking about how unfortunate it is that our "flower" is the white carnation. she said that one time she called college flowers to place an order for a newly pledged chi-o and said "no white carnations". she was told "ma'am we DO NOT use white carnations". she's from abernathy and said that conversation made her feel like such a small town girl. we had a good laugh over it.


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