I left off yesterday with the solid white Styrofoam heart cracking as I was pushing the foam & red roses into it.
The heart actually did not crack in two. The last-ditch-effort white satin ribbon held the stupid dang thing together, for the most part.
I can’t say the same for me, however. At this point, I had totally lost it and pure hysteria ensued.
I had been wound so tightly from all the stress and my utter lack of experience, it was somewhat surprising I had held it together this long.
But with the snap of that heart, so went my nerves.
My ex-husband wasn’t good for much (whose is?), particularly in the flower shop, but I will say this – he saved the day.
He took a bunch of 16 gauge wire and speared that heart until it really was bleeding.
Ok. Not really.
But if I could’ve killed it, I would have. He just jammed the wire thru the red roses, foam and plastic container into the white heart so they wouldn’t budge. And they didn’t.
I think that’s the first and last time we ever used 16 gauge wire. I bought an entire box when I opened the shop, not knowing what gauge wire I needed for stemming flowers.Let’s just say it’s not 16 gauge. But it works great on a giant Styrofoam heart that’s cracking into a bunch of pieces.
So I pulled myself together enough to load the casket spray with 144 red roses, the bleeding cross, two bleeding hearts, 3 easels, and, let’s not forget, the purple orchid corsage with a ribbon that read, “We Love You, Grandma”. . . or some other message. (I’ve permanently blocked it from my memory.)
By now, we’re behind schedule. Waaay behind schedule. So for the 40 minute ride I drove myself nuts worrying about whether the funeral home would refuse the arrangements and then what would I tell the landlord and would I really and truly have to refund all of the money then?
But they didn’t. Or he didn’t. One guy at this humongous funeral home. At least, one guy in the back, which is where florists – or in my case, a gal with a bunch of red roses and satin-wrapped hearts – deliver their arrangements.
So, I thought I’d just drop them off in a delivery room or hall, or in the driveway, on the sidewalk . . . anywhere but INSIDE!
Seriously, would you want to go INSIDE a funeral home unless, of course, you were there to pay last respects? Me, neither.
But there I was, unloading heart after heart, roses after roses and following this quirky little guy (yes, he fit all the imaginable stereotypes) thru room after room until we finally came to Grandma Landlord. Lying there. With half of the casket lid open.
Uh-Oh. . . Houston, we have a problem.
Little Miss 19-year-old-who-opened-a-flower-shop-with-no-experience didn’t think to ask Mr. Landlord if the casket would be open or closed.
144 red roses. And a good dozen or so were going to poke Grandma Landlord in the eye. Or nose.
Not that she’d mind. (sorry, I couldn’t resist!)
But that wasn’t what concerned Quirky Funeral Man. He told me to tell my ‘designer’ that she didn’t need to put so many roses on the backside of the arrangement because no one was going to see the backside of the casket.
Okay, I muttered, I’ll be sure and tell the ‘designer’.
After all, Quirky Man said, it’s just a waste of flowers. And being the helpful sort of guy that he was, he insisted on showing me other casket sprays. All of the casket sprays.
I see. I get it. I understand! You don’t have to show me anymore. I’ll tell the ‘designer’!
And then – and THEN – the Corker . . . I held the purple orchid corsage with the “We Love You, Grandma” ribbon draping over my hands out to Quirky Funeral Man who offhandedly remarked, “You can just pin it on her.”
When I didn’t move an inch, I guess he understood and took the corsage from my frozen hands and deftly pinned it on Grandma Landlord as if she were attending a wedding.
I was done. Finished. Mission Accomplished! My muscles – and flight response – kicked into high gear. I had to tell myself to walk calmly from Grandma’s room until I heard the drip, drip, drip coming from those dang red roses in that held-together-with-a-bunch-of-wire heart. Then I started jogging until the door closed behind me.
And THAT, dear friends, is why you don’t open a business with absolutely no experience.
Did I tell you about the time where the bride absolutely loved how her flowers dropped out of her bouquet all the way down the aisle?
Until later, then!