We’re a bunch of cynics aren’t we really? What’s the first thought that goes through your mind when you see a man buying a bunch of flowers? Now, be honest. Ooh, someone’s been in trouble.
Why else would a man think to buy flowers on his way home from work, going out of his way to seek them out? A birth, an anniversary? No, we presume that he’s in the doghouse and is trying to redeem himself. If it is for an anniversary then you assume that it was a week ago and either he has just found out (the not so subtle hints, the frosty atmosphere etc may have helped jog his memory) and is in the doghouse or he thinks that today is genuinely the day but he’s still in that doghouse, he just may not know it yet. We’re sympathetic to the poor guy aren’t we? We chuckle at his misfortune.
Of course the bigger the bunch the greater we believe the misdemeanour has been. As for the poor guy buying what I’ve heard some people call ‘garage flowers’ (those small basic sprays of carnations found outside garages and convenience stores for the numpty with a guilty conscience who’s forgotten some such important event and can’t risk turning up empty handed; they’re usually a little bit battered and feature more cellophane wrap than flowers), then we all know that however great he may think he’s being then there’s going to be trouble waiting for him when he does hand over his bedraggled thoughtful gesture.
So I guess the poor guy can’t win. If he turns up with a massive impressive (and thereby expensive) bouquet then he’ll either be in trouble for the extravagance or someone will start presuming he’s got a guilty conscience somewhere along the line; if it’s the recipient who presumes then the doghouse will follow. If he makes an effort to buy something and we don’t think it’s up to scratch then he’s also going to be in that doghouse. That and we may just throw in a few suspicious thoughts about guilty consciences for good measure anyway.
Is it the most romantic gesture in the world to be bought flowers? If it is, then I guess maybe we should start giving the menfolk an easier time of it.