Flowers are so inconsistent!

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.

A bouquet from UrbanStems including roses, craspedias, and thistles.

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.

Bouquet by Kabuki in Canal Street Market

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.

Flowers from Stems Brooklyn, arrangement by the author

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.