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Florists brace for onslaught of bad Valentine's Day poems
Publication: THE CHARLESTON GAZETTE
Published: Sunday, February 13, 2000
Byline: the Associated Press
CHICAGO - Pity the florists.
We come up with really bad Valentine's Day poems and they have to write them. Then they have to sign them "Pookie Woo," "Your Big Italian Stud" or the "Penguin." And when Seinfeld and his girlfriend called each other "Schmoopie," florists had to listen to it on Valentine's Day - and write it. Over and over again.
The same thing happened with the movie "Jerry McGuire." "We've had some 'You complete me,'" said Charlotte Eisemann at An Uptown Bloom in Dallas, referring to a Tom Cruise line in the film.
But lack of originality isn't the only problem.
Try spending the day, as Eisemann does, writing out customers' poems like this one: "Life can be lonely and treat you like crud, That's why I'm so happy you're my bud." The poetry is no better in Miami, where Gio Vidal at Feel The Flowers recounted this last verse to a poem: "Yes, you are the one who hogs my time, and I also want to wish you a Happy Valentine." And sometimes even the most circumspect florist just has to ask.
"One man wanted a card made out to 'My Little Onion Booty Girl,'" said Anamillie Garcia at Michael's Flower Shop in Chicago.
"I had to ask him what that means," said Garcia. "He said 'Every time I look at her it makes me cry.'" Linda Michel, at Chicago Balloons and Flowers, remembered a touching note to someone named Mark.
"Mark, the only object of my true affection," she said. The note ended with a P.S. "If you show this to anyone I will beat you up." You want heartbreaking stories? Sharon Heath, the owner of Cahokia Floral and Gift in Cahokia, Ill., said she sees people sending flowers anonymously, figuring if they don't get a thank you they have proof they aren't the only admirers in their Valentine's lives.
"I had one driver say, 'I need to go tell the guy [his girlfriend] has flowers from a whole bunch of people,'" Heath said. "I told him he couldn't do that." Florists also say that while some people seem embarrassed by what they want written on the cards, many clearly aren't - even those who dictate in graphic detail some of their most erotic fantasies.
"Usually if they call on the phone they know I don't know them, so they don't care what I hear," said Stephanie Gregg at Langdon Florist in New York.
You think there's no pressure in the flower business?
"We had one guy who bought three sets of roses, one for his wife, one for his secretary and one for his girlfriend," said Camille Vaden, of Blooms on Broadway in downtown Seattle.
"I could have really messed up his life if I mixed the cards up."