Give flowers to a stranger (2014)

Flowers by Anderson Mancini (ektogamat) on Flickr - Used unmodified under CC BY 2.0 license

Flowers by Anderson Mancini on Flickr
Used unmodified under CC BY 2.0 license

Earth laughs in flowers.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Flowers make me happy, especially daisies and similar flowers, because they look so friendly and cheerful. For this list item, I bought the most cheerful, bright orange flowers I could find, then gave them away.

The flowers were labeled “garden bouquet” which I thought was kind of cute. They were long-stemmed, with huge flowers. I think 5 or 6 came in a bunch, and I briefly thought about separating them to give away one to each person, but then I liked the idea of giving a bunch of flowers to one person more.

It took me forever to try to get the price sticker off the wrapper holding the bouquet. I was trying to hold the wrapper, plus the sleeve they give you so the flowers don’t drip water all over, plus another bag and I’m uncoordinated at times, so I was dropping things all over while trying not to squish the flowers.

My original idea was to give away the flowers to someone who looked like they were having a difficult day, like a mother whose children were causing grief, or to someone who just looked a little sad. I wandered over to the neighborhood center to find a distressed mother, but (thankfully) no such luck. All the children I passed were well-behaved and the mothers all appeared to be pretty happy (it was early in the day).

So I kept walking through the center until I got to a cupcake shop where two ladies (one older, one middle-aged) were sitting eating cupcakes.

I walked up to the older lady (she was sitting closest to the walkway), and said, “Hi! My name is Shelly and I bought these flowers and I’m giving them away to a random person today. Would you accept them?”

They both looked at me kind of weird, and then the lady smiled, and took the flowers. The younger lady said, “That’s so nice!” and the older lady who accepted the flowers said, “You’re just giving them away?” in an amazed voice.

I was a little surprised the older lady didn’t seem as intensely happy as the younger one, even though she was the one with the flowers, but I figured, hey, maybe she was weirded out that I chose her. I didn’t want to make things awkward, so I said, “Have a nice day!” and started to leave.

As I walked away, the older lady was smelling her flowers and the younger lady was still saying “That’s so nice!” Then, just before I headed down the steps to the exit, I hear the older lady shout:

“And it’s my birthday tomorrow!”

I turned around and she was grinning from ear to ear, smelling her flowers and laughing. I wished her a happy birthday, said something like, “It’s perfect timing, then!” and manage to make a graceful exit without falling down any of the stairs on the way out.

I really can’t believe how well this bucket list item worked out for the lady who received the flowers. It really was great timing!

Thanks to those of you who have voted for me in the Big Blog Exchange. If you haven’t voted, please consider taking 4 min of your time to vote for me in the Big Blog Exchange, to help give me a chance to win a foreign exchange blog trip. Click the button that says Vote for Me (right above About Me), enter your email, and confirm the vote via email (or it won’t count).


10 thoughts on “Give flowers to a stranger (2014)

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  5. Mik Hetu

    You gave a gift of more than a handful of flowers: you gave 2 people (plus the people to whom they later told about the flowers) a reminder that there ARE people who are basically happy and enjoying life and trying to make the world at least a tiny bit happier. THAT gift will last longer than the flowers, and it will ripple outward, even if only very subtle ways. Good going!
    Btw, I voted you up on the Big Blog Exchange . . .



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