Thursday, September 08, 2005

Roses are Red. Violets are Appropriate.

There's a plague o'er the seventh floor of my office. It's not rivers of blood or locusts, although my boss did observe and report (with mimed antennae spasms) a cockroach near the women's restroom yesterday. The plague I'm talking about is less gross and probably less creepy, but equally unsettling in its utter inexplicability.

There are bouquets of flowers (as my dad would say) all over the gee-dee place.

I mean, they're nice and they smell good and all that, but they're not "beautify the office" bouquets by any means. They're "marry me?" bouquets, or "sorry for your loss" bouquets, or maybe even "Happy Birthday, Grandma!" bouquets, but most definitely not the kind of antiseptic floral arrangement one feels comfortable admiring on the edge of the receptionist's desk. Our decor isn't anything fancy (gray carpet, gray walls, gray cube, giant, incongruous blue support beams), and until now all of our plants have fallen comfortably within the corporate color scheme. In between grayish couches on a grayish table ou might find one spindly orchid tied to a stick for support, looking like a strapped-down surgery patient with all kinda fuchsia organs on display. This is the medical floor, though, so, y'know, it works.

Today though there are flowers on desks, and an arrangement of pink and purple roses on the abandoned reception desk, and, the kicker, a VAHZ filled with a dozen red roses. The last one qualifies as a vahz instead of a vase because it's heavy and expensive looking, and it has a bow around it, and is the kind of thing one might request on a wedding registry.

Vessels aside, see what I mean about the flowers? These are "I just called to say I love you" bouquets, and most decidedly not "Please enjoy our reception area, but not for too long" arrangements. They are "I am heartily sorry for my sexual transgressions and please, please do not divorce me because that pre-nup will break the goddamn bank."

They are not "We have purchased these at the bodega because the employee handbook required a pleasant environment."

You do not cut out a Valentine to your mother in the shape of a vagina. We have social conventions that put convenient fences around all things belonging to the province of romance, and I am all for those fences. There's something too intimate about an arrangement of red roses for them to be an anonymous office decoration. I've seen people snoop for a card. An abandoned dozen roses can only mean a relationship has ended with flourish, and in an eighties, red-rose sending flourish at that; there is large hair, there is running mascara and a kimono with shoulder pads, there is a pink Ferrari peeling out of a driveway blaring "I Drove All Night" in the scene that I am forced--forced, I tell you--to imagine every time I need to buy a bag of Goldfish from the vending machine to which they are situated uncomfortably close.

Even if they haven't been sent and discarded, a bouquet of red roses (baby's breath and all, people, I'm talking serious flowers here) is a strange and uncomfortable choice to prettify the office. The company loves you.

I mean, the company really loves you.

It is harrassment, and I don't have to take it. All I wanted was a bag of Goldfish. There is no reason why I should have to withstand implied eyebrow wiggles from a vase of improperly chosen botanicals.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i thought you would find this interesting

10:06 AM  
Anonymous brad said...

ilene was without hot water in her townhouse until yesterday. also, why did they talk to quentin?

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How the hell did "snowy weather" hold up the construction? It's the end of summer, for christ's sake.


11:50 AM  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

When I read the words "observe and report" my eye started twitching and I couldn't finish reading the entry.

12:04 AM  

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