Most of us are worldly enough to know that we should hate on carnations. They’re stiff, they’re unnatural, and they are possibly the least romantic flower- a potentially serious pitfall for the unaware because they are also one of the most omnipresent. Once a friend tried to articulate why she had broken it off with a decent guy, and her description included the fact that he had given her a bouquet of carnations for her birthday. I knew what she meant, somehow. He should have known better.
Although like anyone else I wouldn’t like to get a bunch of them as a love token, I like carnations. Their unromantic qualities are actually what are so great about them; they scream, “I’m cheap, colorful, I’m not precious, and I’ll hang around forever with a minimum of attention.” Some of them, particularly the whites, even smell good, like clove perfume. These smell more like the cardboard box they lived in for however many days as they made the trek from Ecuador to Philadelphia, but they’re still going strong after two weeks. Off season cut flowers are totally not the sustainable choice and I would like to wean myself from them but that can be hard, especially in winter, and I am weak.