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Posts Tagged ‘Valentine’s Day’

In Victorian times messages of love were sent with flowers, each type and color having its own meaning. Should someone send you a bouquet of red roses, they were speaking of love. Should the roses be yellow, they were saying they’re jealous.

Modern relationships are carried out differently – nowadRosesays, love is celebrated by sending flowers, candies, and text messages. “I lv U” has replaced floral displays, but sending flowers is still a great way to express passion for that special person in your life. With all of the new varieties of flowers, what would Victorian florists send in today’s world of modern love?

Roses are great if you’re already in a relationship. But what about the person who has a crush on the girl in the next office cubicle, and isn’t sure if she is interested in return? Try sending mixed wildflowers – they’re non-committal, casual, and not intense. Frightening people is a real risk in today’s romance scene, and wildflowers have less of a reputation for commitment.

Wildflowers can be grown in the garden for just such casual occasions. However, this does not mean picking weeds to give; save those for when asking for a divorce.

Unsure whether it’s time to take the relationship to the next level, or keep it casual? Send Gerbera daisies, tulips, and freesias. Together these make a unique mix with big flowers, bold color and soft fragrance. This step above standard bouquets sets the stage for better things, while leaving an “it’s just casual” safety net should the receiver become alarmed at the idea of closer involvement.

Occasionally people come together for brief romantic interludes.   In some cases those involved want to remain friends without continued entanglement, and carnations are an ideal choice to send. Inexpensive and commonly found in many retail stores, they soften the words without encouraging further involvement. Carnations say “Yes, I’m sending a flower to thank you, but I don’t really want anything more”.

Unless, of course, it was the interlude of a lifetime, one never to be repeated yet sizzling and memorable. The absolute must-send bouquet for this is made up of yellow daylilies for the fleetness of love, blue forget-me-nots for remembrance, and red Crocosmia “Lucifer” for the devil that made you do it.

Relationships may encounter a few bumpy times, and lovers have ways of communicating this, such as blasting Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” over the stereo. When this happens, hustling quickly over to the florists to choose unique flowers for one-of-a-kind bouquets is best. Hand-pick tropical flowers and orchids to show an effort went into the apology, a good thing to demonstrate to an irritated spouse.

Flowers can encompass the wide range of love found in our world. Close friends can be celebrated with unusual arrangements, such as floral displays placed in items that evoke unique interests or shared moments. Think outside the box when choosing both flowers and the vase to hold them. Often personal items, such as a bike helmet, can convey deep appreciation for friends and the connection you have together. 

For those who have no clue where they are in a relationship, the safest way to go is with traditional roses. They’re formal, standard, and are the best fall-back when you don’t want to risk not doing enough. But don’t underestimate them: due to their reputation as beacons of love they may help the receiver to feel more strongly about the sender. Especially if the roses are made from chocolate.

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"Tenodera sinensis" Chinese mantis

Image via Wikipedia

As Valentine’s Day rolls around, a frenzied celebration of love grips us.  Wooing and winning take center stage as lovers come out to play, booking cozy restaurants and spending time on activities to heighten attraction.  These snuggles bring smiles to almost every face; that is, unless you’ve been burned by cupid like Lady Gaga, and caught in a bad romance

Like the famed pop diva, not every date is roses and candy, especially if you’re an insect.  The next time you’re feeling blue, look at our six-legged friends, and you might not feel so bad about your love life.

Follow my lead

Dancing With The Stars might be a popular show, but it could be a lot more interesting if they’d pair the dancers with a preying mantis.  The hypothesis that the female rips the head from the male during copulation is not entirely true; it all depends on how hungry she is.  If not fed prior to her date, she might tear the male apart, to nibble on as a post-coital snack.

To overcome this unfortunate fate, the Chinese preying mantis waltzes the female around, hoping to turn her thoughts from dinner to delight.  If he’s light on his feet, the male escapes to woo another lady, but if he trips up, he won’t be returning for a reunion show.

She’s just not into you

Picking up on her mood is hazardous for ground beetles, who say no with a chemical weapon.  When bugged by amorous suitors, less inclined females rebuff would-be mates with an anti-aphrodisiac, methacrylic acid, which knocks males out for hours.  Stunned and helpless, the males serve as a warning to others.

Date my daughter, or else

Blind dates can be hit or miss, but if you’re a honey bee, they’re downright life threatening.  In a typical small hive, one queen oversees twenty thousand female workers.   Males, called drones, are few – up to 200.  Though outnumbered, young drones’ lives are cushy, tended by workers, pampered for the day their services are needed. 

When that day dawns, drones are offered a choice: go forth and mate, or stay here and die.  On their own, they gather in groups, lounging around a bee equivalent of a pickup bar until young queens take flight.  When this happens, males launch, streaking after them to mate. 

If growing up an idle boy toy sounds grand, consider the bride; queens hatch with an attitude.  Those emerging first destroy any un-hatched queens, fight rival royal siblings to the death, contemplate matricide, then take off on a mating flight.  They say personality is everything.

If males are lucky and catch her, the job is a death sentence; unable to disengage, they break off their appendage and plunge earthward, dying.  She sails on, entertaining drone after drone until sated.

Despite these cautionary tales, love is still a many splendored thing. But just in case, remember to pick up the roses and chocolate.

This post was previously published in the Longmont Ledger.

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