In the 15 years he’s delivered flowers, Doug Martin has seen it all — the blushing, the oohs and aahs, the good-natured teasing and the tears ... of humiliation?
“I don’t think the women do it to embarrass the guys,” said Martin, who works for Sign of the Rose floral shop on Academy Boulevard. “They want to send their husband or boyfriend flowers to show that they love them, but they don’t think of the other side — the reception end of the delivery process.”
When they spot Martin standing there, arms heavy with blossoms, the fellas often offer up a playful “Oh, are these for me?” Wink wink.
Martin usually plays along: “Sure, if your name’s Sally.”
Cuteness can backfire, though, when there’s a crowd, and the recipient turns out to be more of a ... Sal.
“A lot of times, women will do heart-shaped balloons or teddy bears,” said Martin, who’s noticed an increase in the number of Valentine’s deliveries to men from women over the past five years. “Then I take them into a plumbing or construction company, which is a really masculine environment, and there are a lot of guys sitting around, saying ‘Oh, look, David got some flowers and a teddy bear.’ Then the guy just looks at me with a disgusted look and says ‘Did she really do this?’”
And so Martin says, “Hey, I just deliver the flowers,” and makes his exit.
Floral artist Linda Doole’s involvement with dude-bouquets (“dude-quets”) begins a little earlier in the process. Many of the women who call in a Valentine’s flower delivery order for their man already have a clear idea what they want, said Doole, who owns Sign of the Rose.
Some opt for traditional arrangements that have been streamlined and de-frilled, while others opt for designs that showcase particular flowers that have a special significance in the relationship,
“Women send men a dozen roses all the time,” Doole said.
“You can masculine-up even a dozen roses by putting curly willow and sticks in it.”
To further man-up a bouquet of roses, Doole suggests skipping the traditional satin bow and baby’s breath (“It’s too lacy and pretty,” she said) and instead going with a raffia tie and dark-colored vase.
“That gets it more rustic,” Doole said.
Flowers Doole likes for boy-bound arrangements include tropicals such as the not exactly macho-sounding bird of paradise.
Jerry Flynn, business manager at Platte Floral, thinks any type of arrangement would work for a man — so long as it’s communicating the sender’s heart-felt sentiment.
“It just depends on what kind of message they’re trying to convey,” Flynn said.
Generally, though, a standard dude-quet will involve bolder colors, such as burgundies, rather than pinks and reds. Euro gardens, which contain an arrangement of green and flowering plants, are another good option.
“Green plants are also very popular to send to men,” Flynn said. “Think of things they can have in their office and on their desk.”
When it comes to delivery, Doole encourages senders to have flowers sent to workplaces rather than home when the holiday falls on a weekday.
“You don’t want them to miss the delivery,” she said.
And, really, audience reaction is a big part of the fun, right?
At least, it can be, said Martin.
“It’s the holiday. You show your appreciation for your loved ones and that’s the way it’s going to be. But everybody takes it a little differently,” said Martin, who in his delivery career has heard men complain, “Well, I never get any flowers.”
It’s hard to tell if they’re doing it just to be cute.
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