Saturday, February 12, 2011


Apparently in this life I am not meant to be the proud recipient of a decent flower arrangement.  Lord help us at my funeral.  I mean, I can take down the name of a florist that has just done something amazing for someone else...and then order from them at a later date...only to be disappointed.  I don't know if it is some bad flower karma or something more sinister at work...but if there is anything on this earth that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am not meant to have a decent flower arrangement delivered.  That's why I have been hitting Costco and buying their roses and putting them in vases that I recycle.  Far less frustrating...

Oh, I can grow African violets and I have some Christmas cacti in this house (or is it cactuses...too lazy to look) and I once had a poinsettia that looked like the poinsettia version of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree...after surviving for two years on inattention.  But aside from these freaks of nature...I have really had a time dealing with anything floral.

My grandmother had a green thumb.  My mother's is light green.  Mine is gangrene.  Just saying.

So, today I ordered an arrangement that is going to be a gift for someone's special occasion this weekend.  I had a coupon and marching orders that it was to look "non-Valentines' Day" but with pink somewhere in it.  I had a website, a picture, and a heart full of hope.  So I placed my order, choked down the $15.99 delivery fee and waited for The FTD "Breathtaking Beauty Bouquet" to arrive. 

It arrived all right.  Looking like someone with a bad hangover and little flower arranging experience threw it together.  No offense meant to the individual who did it if they were just having a bad flower day but I'm quite sure that it was not "beautifully hand arranged and delivered by an artisan FTD Florist" as it is touted on

Unless the artisan was smoking weed.  Which would actually pretty much explain the condition of my arrangement.

Words really fail me at this point...which is highly unusual...but as I sit here with it looking at me, I am going to try to do it justice.  I don't want to sound shallow...but flower arranging is supposed to bring joy to the recipient, yes?  It is supposed to brighten the day...make the heart sing...or something like that.  This one pretty much just makes me go "what the heck?"

Well, the color scheme and the vase actually match the picture.  It is indeed yellow and pink.  Because this was a special occasion, I upgraded from the normal arrangement with the huge benefit (all in caps) of VASE INCLUDED for something called "better" for the bargain price of $10 more.  Frankly, if this is "better" then I'm fairly sure that the "normal" one would just totally tick me off. 

Anyway, there is this green feathery stuff that I've seen with roses poked all about the arrangement.  There's also some serious greenery all around the base of the arrangement.  Is it in the picture?  Um, that would be NO.  The only greenery in my picture is the leaves from the "bright yellow Peruvian lilies" and the stems.  This thing looks like a jungle.  A very disorganized asymmetrical jungle.  A sad little very disorganized asymmetrical jungle.  Five year olds could have arranged this greenery.  All jacked up on Sugar Smacks and without their ADD medication, undoubtedly.

The bright yellow Peruvian lilies are indeed in there.  They are just weird and awkward and gnarly looking.  The pale pink spray roses are also there except in our case they are like anorexic versions of the ones in the photo.  They are also a big long in the tooth as evidenced by the faint tinge of brown around the outside of the roses.  There are also some pink Peruvian lilies...except that they clash with the pale pink spray roses and give it this vintage look that makes you think that something is horribly wrong.  One thing that is definitely horribly wrong is that the roses are long in the tooth and the lilies are still in an incubator.  Closed up and looking like they won't open before next Thursday.  By which time, of course, the rest of the arrangement will be on life support.

After looking at the arrangement for several hours, and trying to hope against hope that the lilies might open up and shock me with some cosmic alteration into what is in the sample photo, I e-mailed the florist to see if we could get this straightened out.  I'm sure that this message will go over well at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning when someone comes in to work and reads my little message written in under 750 characters.  I know it is under 750 characters because I had to cut out about half of what I wanted to say because it wouldn't let me send my first draft.  Because it was after hours...I wasn't too shocked that I didn't get a call back. 

But after I looked at the flowers some more and it seemed to get worse instead of better...I realized that FTD really shouldn't stand for "fixing to die."  So, I called the customer service number to report my unsatisfactory arrangement. 

Yeah, I kind of need it by 3:00 tomorrow. 

So, I called FTD and was on hold for nine minutes before somebody hung up on me.  I called back and told the first unfortunate soul who answered that I was willing to hold but if they hung up on me again that I was calling American Express and just canceling the transaction.

Poor Ronald.  It just wasn't his night on the FTD Customer Service hotline.  I am not exactly sure where Ronald was answering the phone, but I am entirely sure that English was not his native language.  I'm guessing somewhere in India or Korea...because I only understood four out of every ten words and he had to repeat himself...a lot.

Anyway, we finally came to an understanding.  He would have the florist pick up the unsatisfactory arrangement and bring me something that actually came closer to "Breathtaking Beauty."  I'm thinking when the florist realizes that they have to deliver it 37 miles (one way)...that they are going to be wishing that they'd paid a little closer attention to quality control on the front end.

Ronald assures me that I will be happy with the quality and that they will be deliveed by 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.  I think that Ronald is living in an alternate universe and just wanted to get "crazy lady from that Alabama" off the line.  I is two days before Valentines' Day...and I'm fairly certain that all of the florists in town are all sufficiently medicated to deal with the onslaught of males who have failed to order flower arrangements in adequate time to actually get them there on Monday.

Actually, that medicating might explain my by "Valium."

Big Dave, being the male that he is, actually took out a tape measure and discovered that the arrangement is two inches shorter than it is supposed to be and one inch less wide than advertised.  I suppose that the liberal use of the word "approximately" in the description takes care of that, though.

So, tomorrow I will see if Ronald can pull off a miracle or if I get a replacement arrangement that is even worse.  Hopefully FTD will then stand for "finally, truly delightful." 

If not, Ronald may want to find some medication.

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