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Saying it with Flowers

Posted in Love & Relationships.

I've yet to find a 12-step program to help me break my latest addiction -- reading (and enjoying!) historical fiction books AKA romance novels. Ah, escapism from my very hectic world!
It fascinates me how repressed people were back then, such as the Victorian era. (Although, a century from now I wonder how our social customs will be viewed!)
Repressed in that "don't hold my hand unless you are planning to marry me," "kiss me and we?ll be engaged by the end of the day," ...and let's just say "risque" behavior beyond that could have a young lady marked with a scarlet letter for the rest of her lifetime. (Oh wait, that's another book in itself!)
Yes, our ancestors were repressed, but it was not unheard of making your feelings known in more subtle ways. A penetrating stare from across the room...a lingering brush to the arm...but you can only imagine the consequences if caught!
A quick Internet search of the Victorian era and "accepted" behavior for those times, led me to research more on an interesting custom...saying it with flowers. To find my information I turned to "Language of Flowers" by Kate Greenaway (first published in 1884). There are many other books and sources, with the same or different meanings attached but I've decided to stick with this one.
It might be fun to explore the history of "saying it with flowers." (And I guess if you are still reading, you agree with me or are sticking with this over the side of a cereal box or can of soup.)
What are some of these meanings? 
You'll know he cares if you receive: 
Roses -- love, beauty (duh!) but a Yellow Rose -- jealousy
Amaryllis -- splendid beauty
Bluebell -- constancy
Red chrysanthemum -- "I love"
White chrysanthemum -- truth
Crocus -- abuse me not; youthful gladness
Daffodil -- regard
Daisy -- innocence; beauty: I share your sentiments
Forget-me-not -- true love
Hibiscus -- delicate beauty
Honeysuckle -- generous and devoted affection
Hyacinth -- playfulness
Jasmine -- attachment; sensuality; grace and elegance
Jonquil -- "I desire a return of affection"
Lilac -- first emotions of love; youthful innocence
Lily-of-the-valley -- return of happiness
Peony -- bashfulness
Periwinkle -- friendship; pleasant memories
Pink Carnation -- woman?s love
Dwarf Sunflower -- adoration
Sweet Pea -- delicate pleasures
Tulip -- declaration of love; beautiful eyes
Blue Violet -- faithfulness
White Lily -- purity and modesty
Zinnia - thoughts of absent friends
Tuberose - dangerous pleasures
You?ll know you?re being dumped if you receive:
Dead flowers of any kind -- yes -- another duh! -- and there is an Internet site where you can actually send them!
Buttercup -- childishness
Striped carnation -- refusal
Yellow carnation -- disdain
Yellow chrysanthemum -- slighted love
Dahlia -- instability
Marigold -- uneasiness; jealousy; grief; despair
Hydrangea -- heartlessness
Lavender -- distrust
Lotus flower -- estranged love
Narcissus -- egotism
Sweet Pea -- departure
Rhododendron -- danger; beware
Tall Sunflower -- haughtiness
Yellow Lily -- falsehood
Dark Geranium -- melancholy
Obviously this is all in fun. And who couldn't use more fun in their lives? I am not suggesting you dissect every bouquet you receive from now on...
"...he stared at me from across the room, his persistent gaze fixated on my every move. Did he realize I've noticed? I glance back, hopefully without him detecting it, to see the most gorgeous male I've ever encountered. Dark soulful eyes, muscled physique...a look of both power and tenderness. My heart begins to race as he slowly, but confidently, moves through the room. What does he want from me, I wonder? When we are finally just inches apart, our eyes locked in a seductive stare, he makes a move...he reaches up...confidently grips my shoulders...
licks my face and barks...WHAT THE?!?!!
My "suitor" is Valentino, a Great Dane and the Living Well mascot. Yep, just another day in my "real" life, working on a deadline. I may be 50 and single but I don't date outside my species...(although given the selection of men I find out there these days makes it tempting!) 
"Moving from the PC to sofa, at Valentino's "suggestion," sounds like a fantastic idea. So I settle in, pick up my latest read -- a historical romance novel -- and cuddle with my "four-legged bundle of love!"
Lisa Sherwood, an independent communications consultant and writer, is strongly motivated to create stories that entertain and educate readers. With 20+ years experience and a life-long love of learning, she confidently explores a wide variety of subjects in unique ways. Lisa's specialties are interviews, human interest and feature pieces, although she also has a strong background writing for sales and marketing within the business and non-profit sectors. When not pursuing her freelance career, she works as the Marketing Coordinator and in the Outreach/Children's Programming department at a -local public library. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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