I had an interesting experience when I hosted a small group at my home last week. I had bought some fresh flowers for the table. I bought mums and tulips and divided them between two vases. One vase was for the table and one for the bathroom. I don’t understand it, but I love having flowers in the bathroom. I cut the stems at different heights and arranged them in a haphazard fashion in my Grandmother’s red crystal vase. Beautiful right? They were a little messy and it drove a friend of mine, who works with flowers for a living, a little crazy. I think she actually winced when she saw them! She asked me if she could do something with them and I said sure! I wanted to see what a professional would do with them and I watched very closely. Watching her just hold the flowers filled me with delight, she has a special connection to them and this was going to be wonderful! She turned my motley arrangement of flowers into a beautiful, photo worthy creation. Then she looked at my face. If my mouth doesn’t give me away my face will. I really loved the arrangement and smile every time I look at them. What bothered me was I realized that for some people my wild ways were not all that attractive.
I’m a little messy and disorganized, so was my flower arrangement. I like to think of myself as a little wild, free spirited, outspoken slightly crazy person. People don’t necessarily respond as I would hope to my craziness and all the other wonderful attributes I have. They want to reign me in and turn me into some neat and tidy flower arrangement, because it makes them more comfortable! Not only are those flowers a reflection of me and how people respond to me, they are also a reflection of the person who felt the need to arrange them that way. I do not want to be tamed!!! I do not want to conform. I do not want to be like anyone else. My wild and messy flowers were now a neat and tidy but beautiful arrangement. I must drive some people crazy with my spontaneous and fly by the seat of my pants life! Good! If you are one of them and are reading this (I wish I could type that raspberry noise) I am sticking my tongue out like a five year old. God people are so serious. Fuck, loosen up people!
Even though I can be messy, I straighten things. When I go to your house I will straighten your artwork, fix the towels in your bathroom, line shoes up and if you let me, put your spices in alphabetical order. I will be moving to a new place in a few weeks. This will be only the second time in my life I had a place of my own where there was no one around to have an opinion on anything and there is a part of my that wants to dance for joy! I am going to hang some pictures at odd angles just to remind myself of my need to line things up and also see who goes slightly crazy from all the crookedness. My lawn is another great example of my life. There it is 2.5 acres of wildness. I love seeing the dandelions and all the little weeds and funny things that pop up out of the ground. My late husband spent a lot of time in the yard cutting, trimming and pruning that wildness into submission. He never did that to me! He told me once that when he started the lawn tractor he swore that I went outside and talked to the dandelions and told them to duck when he mowed over them! There were always some dandelions left and I think he left them there on purpose just to make me smile. God, I miss that man!
It is 5 am on a Saturday morning and I am waiting for a response from my flower arranging friend to use this story. I don’t want to make her uncomfortable, that was not the point. I love her, she is creative, funny and a joy to know. I just wanted to explore the flower arrangement and what it represented for me. So, how are your flowers arranged? I just want to sit back and watch people be themself without judging them. Observe people and at some point you will notice yourself being reflected back at you. Right and wrong is a societal and individual construct. Don’t judge just explore. So next time you mow the lawn think of me, the dandelion whisperer! I will be here rolling on the floor laughing my ass off!