Thursday, April 7

Hard at Work

By the time this post appears, I will be hard at work, conditioning flowers for three weddings. It's a big weekend here. I love being involved with happy times. Weddings, parties, galas and celebrations of all kinds are my specialty. It's not that I don't ever want to see the dark sides of life - I just prefer the happier ones - as most do.  Sometimes, though, the sad things read their ugly heads and we must deal with them. The mother of one of my best friends died this week and the service is today. Because I am working, I will almost certainly have to miss the funeral. Fresh wedding flowers don't wait for sad times; they must be conditioned, etc., no matter what else is going on. It's sad, but it can't be helped.

When I was in high school, Tennessee Ernie Ford had a hit song called "Sixteen Tons." Go listen.....I'll wait. The thing that stuck with me all these years about that song was the line......."you sell your soul to the company store."

When that song came out, I was working part-time for a flower shop owned by friend's of my parents. The most important thing I ever learned when I worked there was that to own a flower shop was tantamount to selling your soul to the store. Florist shop owners have problems that negate the happy side of flowers. Every holiday is spent working double-time. Delivery personnel call in sick at the last minute (if they show up at all.) The flowers get frozen or crushed or wilted, through no fault of your own, and replacing them at a minute's notice can be very tricky. The customers are a varied lot; some are wonderful and others are a trial from the minute they walk in. Designers can be quixotic. All of those are very good reasons not to be in this business - and I haven't even scratched the surface of  wire services - which are another level of hell all by themselves. (I think Dante had a spot in 'The Inferno' reserved just for them (or maybe that was delivery people.)

But, and it is a biiiiig but......I am in it, and thousands of others are in it too, because, despite the problems, we love being surrounded by the beauty of fresh flowers (to say nothing of the marvelous aromas.)

My friend understands this, I know. She is a florist too, and I know she will forgive me for not being able to attend her mother's funeral service.


8 comments:

Looking to the Stars said...

Yes, I think your friend will understand. I am sorry about her loss.

We also, have sold our souls but it puts food in our stomach & a roof over our head. We took a 3 day vacation for my husbands 50th b-day. But, we are paying the price with 10-12 hour days to make up for it. Our problem is deadlines, meeting them can make us pull our hair out at times,lol.

take care, busy bee :)

jdjaws said...

So sorry you have to miss the funeral. I know your friend understands, especially since she is in the same business and knows its demands. You work hard and bring such joy to people's big days.
I'm sure the headaches of the floral business cannot be understood by people who are not in it. Sounds like a nightmare to me! Thanks for doing what you do!!

Tabor said...

Oddly that song came out when I was just a little girl and I remember writing a satirical version and sending it into the radio station and getting a nice post card...my very first in return.

Nance said...

Flowers have been so important for the big occasions in the life of my family. We know how important your work is, because we have been on the receiving end of some beautiful floral experiences and some dedicated floral professionals. As a representative of your profession, please accept our thanks.

Sparkling Red said...

Some people say a man is made out of mud.
A poor man's made out of muscle and blood.

I love those lyrics! The first verse of this song was in a medley I sang in high school. It stays with me.

I am sorry to hear of your friend's loss and that you can't be there with her. A friend of mine lost her mother only 3 months ago. That was the first time I watched a good friend lose a parent. It's very tough.

Pat said...

There will be plenty of occasions later on when you can be there for our friend - when all the hoo ha has died down. I think maybe that is when we most need support.
I know you love your job but please don't go overdoing things.
I remember that song from way back.

Ginnie said...

Your post made me think of the documentary that I saw once about importing tulips from Holland. The "shelf life" was exceedingly short and it was difficult to keep them looking their best. That was quite a few years back and I wonder if they do it better now.

Anonymous said...

Judy,
How are flowers "conditioned"? I enjoy having cut flowers in my home but the flowers wilt before I am finished enjoying them. Gladys