Last night, I saw a preview of Valentine's Day, a delightful romantic comedy, opening just in time for the cupid fest on February 12th. It's the perfect mushy date movie. In the film, Ashton Kutcher plays the owner of a flower shop, which reminded me of the time I took a temp job at a florist right before Valentine's Day. Fragrant flowers, especially freesia, flip my senses, so I figured it would be fun. Who wouldn't want to be surrounded by beautiful, intoxicating, floral creations? Sure enough, the cozy shop was packed with aromatic arrangements. Outside, in the back, a makeshift studio had been set up for about 20 temporary designers, who churned out row after row of captivating creations. My job was to answer the phone, which never stopped ringing, and take orders. Valentine's Day is the busiest holiday of the year for florists, so note to Ashton's character: if you really owned a flower shop, on the 14th, you wouldn't have time to do anything but run it. Anyway, I was tucked into a cubby hole with three other order processors, right next to the sole bathroom. When you add in 40 drivers, who pop in and out to pick up deliveries, plus the owner and the regular staff, there were about 75 people using the one and only windowless restroom. To combat the limited ventilation, people didn't skimp on using chemical air freshner. Soon, that toxic smell was blooming. It didn't help that we worked in shifts around the clock. A rose is a rose, but after a few days, that revolting, manufactured air spray out-reeked every flower in the shop. By the time the holiday was over, I couldn't stomach another malodorous whiff of fake-breeze. Now I have enough sense to stick to buying bouquets instead of selling them.
Have you arranged something for Valentine's Day? Gorgeous roses sell out early. If you feel lucky and really want to plan ahead, 1-800-flowers.com is giving away a romantic, Hollywood (Why oh why couldn't it have been Paris?!?!) Getaway for 3 nights, including a year of flowers. Smell the roses and enter.
Voilà - the link to the Romantic Hollywood Getaway Sweepstakes: