We’ve got urgent, life-threatening news. It’s Valentine’s Day.

And even if you took our advice and tackled the celebration a few weeks ago, you’re still on the hook for a bouquet of something.

We’ve only got one all-important piece of advice: don’t make it roses. Lilies, daffodils—anything but roses.

We don’t hate the rose itself, but like so much of Valentine’s Day, it’s become more kitschy than romantic. It’s easy, expected. After so many movie posters, romance novels and greeting cards, it no longer means anything. You just do it because you’ve seen people do it on television. It’s what everyone does.

So don’t do it. Pick something with a little more significance behind it. Tulips are good, along with the ones we mentioned above—but the point is to head to a real florist and spend some time on it. Take out five minutes and choose a few options. Pick a shape you like, or a color that reminds you of her.

If you’re going for extra credit, you can turn to the Language of Flowers, an intricate code out of the days of Keats and Shelley, when they weren’t ashamed to get a little intricate in the name of emotion—but really, that’s just inspiration. The important thing is to give it your own meaning… and make it good.

And if all else fails, these ladies seem pretty taken with peonies.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom