Sunday, May 16, 2010

Roses Are Not Always Red

Today I went rose shopping.

I am not one of those girls who is hung up on roses. In reality, they do not even make my top five favorite flowers (gardenias, hyacinths, tulips, poppies, hydrangeas). However, I wanted something that would bloom for a long time during the summer, and so my step-MIL directed me to a particular variety of rose, named the Knock-Out Rose. So this morning we headed out to the Smithfield Garden Center in order to seek out this Knock-Out Rose.

(This is the point at which you may think that the story will continue with a tale of rose shopping, with two children in tow, choosing from all the colors and varieties of the Knock-Out Rose. You are incorrect. We did purchase a double pink Knock-Out Rose, but that is not what the story is about--bear with me.)

You see, as many of you may know, the color of a rose is important. Different colors mean different things. White=pure love, Red=lust/true love, Yellow=Friendship, Pink=Happiness...there are likely meanings for orange, lavender, etc, although I am not savvy enough to be aware of them. Yellow roses remind me of my Dad--he bought me several when I was young, to plant in my rose garden in the yard, and a gorgeous one of the climbing variety as a housewarming gift when I built my first house. I planted it outside of my bedroom window and loved it completely. When I moved out, it was the only thing I regretted leaving (one might note that I left everything except my dog and some clothes, including my husband, so this is rather telling). When Daddy died, there were several arrangements sent to his service that were nothing but yellow roses. No one sent white. No one sent pink or red. Only yellow. I like to think this was because my Dad was a good friend, although I suspect it had more to do with yellow being the most socially appropriate rose color for a man.

I do not like red roses, though I keep the reason why to myself. I've only received white roses once, in high school, from my long-term boyfriend, because he "wanted to be different." No one has ever sent me pink, which are my favorite.

The point is that you can say a lot of things with nothing more than a color, a simple gesture, something that people seem so often to forget. I saw a bunch of irises today at the supermarket and thought about how lovely it would be for someone to give me one lone iris, just because they knew I loved the color purple. A Post-It that says, "I love you the way you laugh," or "this song reminds me of you because the tune makes me feel happy." The best things cost us nothing at all, except the price of a piece of our thoughts, a sliver of our emotions. These are the things that mean the most.

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