My cousin used to own a florist shop. We've always used that one for our floral needs. The name had nothing to do with my cousin. She kept the name when she bought the business. A couple years few years ago, she sold the business to retire, and the new owner kept the name as well.
I don't know if we still go there because of our former familial loyalty, because of the name recognition, or because it's the closest florist. Anyhoo...that's where I went on Saturday, seeking an arrangement for XMM's (ex-mayor's mother's) funeral.
Let the record show that I searched online Friday night, looking at various funereal foliage. I hadn't discussed it with Farmer H, but I was pretty sure he'd prefer a plant, rather than flowers. Flowers look nice, but they're decaying within a couple of days. I had my eye on a Peace Lily. I know that the ex-mayor appreciates plants. He ran a florist business himself, right out of school. I toyed with the idea of ordering it online, and being done with it. But something held me back. I decided to get up early, and go in person to my cousin's old flower shop. Which we will, for blog purposes, call The Little Shoppe of Flowers.
The last time we used The Little Shoppe of Flowers was for The Pony's proms, junior and senior year. We were not disappointed, getting two lovely wrist corsages, and accompanying boutonnieres. Somewhere in between boutonnieres, we also got a funeral arrangement for one or more relatives I don't recall. We had an unfortunate rash of expirations in the aunts and uncles over a six-month period.
Anyhoo...I remembered that The Little Shoppe of Flowers had seemed a bit disorganized the first visit after Cuz closed up shop. I figured it was just the new owner getting used to running a business. For example, they didn't quite know how to take a debit card. Or print out a receipt from their computer. So I paid cash, and took a handwritten receipt. No big deal. I always carry cash.
The next occasion for patronage, the husband of the new owner was sitting in the office area, dandling a grandbaby on his knee. Okay. Some people need their relatives for child care. I understand. The fact that he knew not even the basics of how to help me was a bit disconcerting, but he did holler for the owner to come out of the back room, where she was busy arranging. Again, there was the awkwardness of paying, but again, I had cash ready.
The third time, it was like a family reunion on the porch. Which, mind you, is not very large at all. So I had to weave though assorted folk in deck chairs, hoping I didn't get my ample rumpus too close to anyone's nose as I passed by. Not that my ample rumpus isn't fresh, mind you. Only that nobody really wants to see an ample rumpus close-up when they're having a hoedown on their business's front porch.
Silly me. I just assumed that the new owner would eventually get her act together, and run that place like a professional. You know what happens when we assume. It was like some old granny-lady rolled out of bed that morning, and said, "Hey, Grampy! Let's sell us some flowers!"
In my Peace Lily quest, I found the old man still sitting in the office area, chatting with the grandbaby, who is now an older toddler, and was playing with an electronic thingy smaller than a notebook, but bigger than a PCP/GameBoy gadget. Maybe it was one of those oversize phones. Anyhoo...I was hoping that she'd be able to do their transactions and computer work for them!
Sadly, she was not asked. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Old Man called New Owner out of the back room. "What can I help you with?"
"I'm looking for a plant, for a funeral. To be delivered this afternoon."
"Honey, I'm all out of plants until after the weekend. All I have left are poinsettias." She motioned to a red and a white, sitting on the floor.
"Oh. Well. I don't really want flowers, because they just don't last. Um..."
Seriously, I considered walking out of there, to seek my Peace Lily elsewhere. But I had things to do. And I was already there. And I'd not had any complaints with them before. And they DID have a 5-star rating on the innernets.
"Will that be okay? Do people send poinsettias to funerals?"
"Okay. I'll take the white one."
I gave her the information, and confirmed that it would be delivered by 4:30. I was a bit concerned when I had to spell Farmer H's name for her three times. And when she wrote down The Pony's name, which is very common, almost as common as Tom, Dick, or Harry, and misspelled it by leaving out a letter. It would have been like writing Pny instead of Pony. Then she had trouble typing up the information on her computer. She handed me the receipt, and I turned to go, as she was picking the poinsettia up off the floor. Which I guess is better than slapping a SOLD sticker on it.
"Do you want me to take the joy out of it?"
"The joy. Do you want it left in, or out?" She was motioning to a plastic stick with the word JOY at the top, jammed down into the poinsettia. The red one has something else, like REJOICE.
"Oh. Yes. Please."
"Sure. Some people like to leave it in."
The poinsettia of mourning was delivered on time. Sis complimented me on it. I told her I wasn't sure if it was appropriate, and she said, "Sure it is. Some of the arrangements have poinsettia flowers in them. And look over there by the wall."
There were two little potted pine trees, one with a string of plastic lights. They looked just fine. I suppose that after Peace Lilies and poinsettias come pine trees...