Valentines Day


Well, it seems timely – we are nothing if not seasonal

you want my opinion, well, i’ll give it you then.
I bloody hate it, the day itself and the 3, 4 days before and the shop full of nobs and the flowers, dont even get me started on bloody red roses.

Nah, its all overtime, unpaid, tight git and people, well men really who just have no idea.

Last year, Mr Hipperson, last of the big spenders gave me and Cheryl -i’ve got a BTEC in flower arranging – Simpson an extra 20 quid each, and that after I’d busted a gut, sold 40 dozen of those bloody, bloody red roses at 30 quid a pop just on the day itself, like I said, tight git.

Have you ever looked at a red rose in February, i mean really, really looked, cos they’re rubbish, naff – tight little buds, no scent, all the same height, thorns so evenly spaced you’d think they’d been stuck on in some factory in Korea – i call them battery chicken roses – they even look sad, just like those chickens.
I told my mum I wanted to be a vegetarian but she said she wasnt going to be making two different teas every night, so that was that, but i still feel sorry for the roses.

And the blokes, some are ok, order a bunch of flowers couple of days beforehand, bit of chat with me and Cheryl, if shes not being to up her own, sometimes they even ask our advice, i try to steer them away from the roses, show them fresias, tulips, dafodils – the flowers that smell of spring. Sometimes they listen, sometimes they don’t.

Mr Hipperson goes mad if he catches me, starts muttering about mark up and profit margins and i want to shout, but they’re ugly and they dont smell good and they dont say nothing – not those February roses, but I don’t, cos I like this job, I like the flowers and I like making arrangements and looking at the wedding and the posh interiors magazines and seeing the flowers – huge beautiful flowers like something out of a jungle or Hollywood.

One bloke really freaked us out, came in on Tuesday, still 2 days to go to the big day and he wants us to deliver a dozen red roses on the hour every hour for the whole working day to this womans’ office. Mr Hipperson is nearly wetting himself with excitement, but I look at him, the guy buying the flowers and he doesnt look like no big romantic and i can’t help it, i wonder if she, the woman, even knows him, i wonder how it would really feel to get bunch after bunch of roses, i wonder if it would be romantic or just plain weird.
I even start thinking that maybe we should take his, wanna be lover mans’ address and stuff juts in case her body turns up in the canal or something, but I dont say anything, cos i know what will happen, Mr Hipperson will pat my head and ask if I’m alright and tell me I watch too much TV.

Its the little cards that make crease us up, me & cheryl, when she’s not on one and forgets that she’s senior assistant and then we have a right laugh.

Some guys just want couple of xs or something easy on the card, happy valentines day, that sort of thing, others take the card into a corner of the shop and do that thing you do at school when you don’t want people to copy your work, you know the thing with your arm and then they put the card into the little envelope and stick it down – spoilsports.

But the phone orders, dozen red roses, always, well, we have to ask them, do you want a card with that and then we write the message down.
“fluffy bunnykins loves his huggy bear”
“to my princess from your noble knight”

Some are just weird
“Love you always dave and the geckos”
” Of all the bars in all the world…..” – but Cheryl said thats a quote from a really old film, before they had colour or anything, so I guess that makes sense, if you’re old.

And some are rude , you can always tell when Cheryl’s doing a rude one, her ears go red, if the go really red I know its a good one and I make her read it out later.

Sometimes, I wonder if they get off on it, just a bit, reading out dirty stuff to us while we write it down, but I dunno really, ny mum says all men are a bit mental and she should know.

Do I get any cards?
are you mental?

When would i meet a boy?

The only men I meet are loved up or in the dog house and besides I never go anywhere or do nothing to meet anyone.

But, if there’s a few fresias left ater 5.30, bit bashed, they give out the best smell then, I might take them home, put them in my bedroom.

I like the smell of spring in february.

About cathi rae

50ish teacher & aspiring writer and parent of a stroppy teenager and carer for a confused bedlington terrier and a small selection of horses who fail to shar emy dressage ambitions. Interested in contemporary fiction but find myself returning to PG Wodehouse when the chips are down View all posts by cathi rae

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