Friday, September 21, 2007

Giving and receiving flowers

Today on Kelly's blog she talks about meeting up a man who was giving out flowers to strangers. It reminded me of my days of doing the same.

When I was working in advertising, sometimes at lunch I would gather a few friends from the office (enough to fit into my car, 'Babe'). We would pick flowers and then drive around the Port-of-Spain area, stopping off in certain areas to give flowers to people. Similar to what Kelly mentioned in her post, many people looked rushed, stressed, angry and tired.

We found that strangers' reactions to being given flowers varied. Sometimes people would be suspicious or afraid of us, thinking we wanted something from them or were coming to rob them, maybe (?) "What do you want?"

Or they would simply say: "I don't want it and turn away" ... Perhaps, in their minds, we were attempting to sell them something or ask for money.

Some of them, their faces would light up and you could see that the flower had made their day. Some of them (if male) would take it as an opportunity to deliver a sexual innuendo or cliché pick-up line. Some, if female, would look uncomfortable, receiving a flower from another female ... perhaps because they only associate being-given-flowers with a man-woman interaction.

My favourite was an old man who was standing at the roadside with a briefcase. I got out of the car and gave him a flower. He graciously took it, quietly pleased, saying thank you. As we drove off and I looked in the rear view mirror, he was gazing at the flower. He then opened up his briefcase and carefully slipped it in.

I have these wire flowers that I make. They're like a trademark. So many people all over the place have ended up with them for a variety of reasons. Sometimes someone I don't even know or remember will say to me: "I still have that little wire flower/wire flowers you gave me" (e.g. sometimes I would hand them out at my exhibitions, give them as gifts, etc. or I would attach them to my CDs, so someone buying one would get that flower). I've realised that the people who received them feel special ... and end up keeping them not only because they like them, but because they remind them daily of their own specialness. Plus, being wire flowers, they never die.

Time to make some more.



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