I never disliked flowers per se, I just didn’t really understand the fuss. Sure they were pretty, maybe colorful, but I could never justify the expense. They don’t satisfy cravings like chocolate, and I find a bouquet of roses impersonal. Their worst offense, however, is that they don’t last.
At some point, I began to see flowers as an Adult Thing, a financial marker of having my shit together enough to splurge on something ephemeral and maybe a little vain (see also: manicures). My partner and I moved in together at the beginning of the pandemic and as a housewarming gift to myself, since no one else was going to come by anytime soon, I purchased a subscription to UrbanStems. A bouquet delivered to the lobby of our building every two weeks. I learned how to keep flowers fresh for as long as possible, how to handle them. And I learned to love them.
I began to explore the local flower shops. I watched Naoko, the genius at Kabuki in Canal Street Market make me a birthday bouquet, starting my love affair with anthuriums and teddy bear sunflowers. I walked to Stems Brooklyn and started making arrangements of my own, playing with color, height, and composition—a refreshing change from my black-and-white world of type design.
Flowers are so inconsistent—a quote from my grandfather’s favorite book, The Little Prince. Works of art that are temperamental and cannot last. I used to resent the impermanence, the lack of clear order, but this year temporariness is a godsend. It is a relief, knowing all of this won’t last. I’ll find the beauty where I can.
Bette(r) Days celebrates the things that did not suck in 2020. Each day in December, we’ll be posting about the highlights of our collective garbage fire of a year, type-related or not.