Thinking About Flowers

photo: cupcakesandcashmere.com

My favourite flowers are peonies. They are so beautiful. Whenever I see them in all their radiance and beauty, I am filled with a lot of joy.

We Nigerians are not really ‘flower-people’. Flowers exist here for precise purposes, almost as an afterthought: the artificial red roses ubiquitous on Valentines’ day, those used as decorations in living rooms, those grown in some gardens and those used for bridal bouquets.

About four years ago, I lived and worked in England. On a particular day, I worked with my supervisor to organize a seminar for healthcare professionals. Our boss, a lovely lady called Natalie, met us at the seminar venue with two colourful bouquets of flowers which she gave to each of us as a way of saying thank you for a job well done. ‘Thanks!’ I said. ‘This is the first bunch of real flowers that I have ever received!’ The silence which occurred afterwards made me look up from admiring my flowers. My boss and my supervisor looked horrified.

I had to calm them down and explain to them that Nigerians don’t as a general rule give bouquets of flowers as gifts. We are practical people, and would prefer to receive gifts that we can utilize effectively, like a bottle of perfume, or a bundle of cash tied up with a ribbon. I wanted to mention that I had actually received an artificial rose in the past for Valentines’ day, but I was scared that they would break down in tears and vow not allow me to go back home to my country.

Anyway, I started to pay more attention to flowers after that, and I discovered peonies along the way.

I’m still looking forward to receiving another bouquet of real flowers as a gift. It’s been a while.
Day 3. #nablopomo.

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2 Comments

  1. A long time ago, I was visiting Germany. I had just checked in to my room in the hotel when I heard a knock on the door. It was the housekeeping lady with a bouquet of pink orchids with a welcome note from my hosts. I was surprised by the emotions I felt and I spent hours sitting,admiring the flowers and appreciating the fragrance. Who would have thought that a hard-boiled Benin woman would get all mushy over a bunch of flowers! It was a nice feeling. And I still smile when I remember that occasion.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve never received a bunch of flowers either, real or fake so I’m not sure what my reaction would be to such a gift.

    I’d probably respond in my usual way of suspicion and a blunt, “What do you want from me?” LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

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