My husband works with a very lovely woman who is nothing like me at all.
Backstory: Prior to my birthday, I told my husband not to worry about gifts or anything like that. Knowing my husband as well as I do, I did not make this statement lightly, or with the intention of him buying me something anyway (why do people do this? Why would you say you don't want something, and then get upset when someone listens to you and doesn't do/get whatever it is you want? This puzzles me). However, she and I are not the same, and she hounded him daily at work about how he HAD to get me something, I was lying if I said I didn't expect him to get me anything, blah blah blah. I guess she convinced him to send me flowers, even though he knows my feelings on flowers. I have explained to him in detail the 5 stages of receiving flowers, and why seriously, look me in the eye and read my lips, its not worth it. Really.
So, for you, the 5 Stages I Have to Go Through Every Time Someone Sends Me Flowers
For the first several minutes after receiving flowers, there is a glowy, warm feeling. You feel special and loved, and also better than everyone around you. This is the adult version of neener-neener-neener.
After about 5 minutes, the special lovely feeling begins to fade, and then the realization begins to set in that your flowers are going to die. They have been speeded along the irrevocable death march, and its all so you can feel special. This stage is a little like visiting a family member in the hospice ward. You love them, but you know they are not going to make it, and you begin to prepare yourself.
Now you are watching your lovely bouquet for signs of wilt, droop, and death. You know that it is coming, and you just want to get it over with. You keep thinking about how expensive it is to send flowers, and how you are going to have to clean up after your new gift, and the slimy gunk that is always on the ends of the stems when you finally have to throw them away. This phase lasts a little while, and may or may not occassionally wake you up at night.
You have to try to keep your flowers alive for as long as possible. You change the water and use the tips and tricks given to you by co-workers (7-up in the water, sugar in the water, pretty much anything in the water that's going to contribute to that smelly slime when you throw them away). You clean up dead leaves, dropped petals, and the weird random dirt that falls out of bouquets. You begin to feel that you have been asked to do more work, even though it was supposed to be a gift to you. You begin to wonder why people think you want gifts that entail more responsibility? Do they secretly hate you?
There is a subset of this where I wonder about the origination of the whole tradition? Why do people send flowers? In romantic situations I would guess it is because you can no longer drop a wolverine at a woman's feet and have her swoon with unbridled lust at your manliness (modern people are really kind of squeamish aren't we?) But flowers don't really convey the same principle do they? I mean, I guess if a guy has $100 to drop on roses, then yes the message is I can provide for you. But I think the message of the dead wolverine is more than that; its yes, I can provide for you, but I can also protect you. I mean, seriously, do you see that thing? I killed it! This sends another, hidden message that says here is DNA you want to pass on to your children. Flowers might convey a monetary ability to provide, but its not really that hard to kill a flower is it?
Its time to throw your flowers away. The digust is manifested on two levels: the physical and the emotional. You are disgusted by the dead flowers, the slime (have I mentioned the slime), and the fact that no matter what you do the damn things don't seem to want to go in the trash can. On an emotional level, you are disgusted that you could not magically keep the flowers alive forever and also feel as though maybe it would have been easier had your loved one handed you a wad of cash to be immediately thrown in the garbage, or lit on fire.
You see why I'd rather not get flowers, right?