Though I realize you have an advice column, the last few weeks of letters (and perhaps it's always been this way) are downright depressing concerning the horrible things we do to each other and to ourselves.
So I was hoping for a brief respite of happy advice. I am a young university man living in the newly refrozen climates of the Northeast. Easter -- and thus spring break -- is just around the corner and a certain lady friend will be coming by for a special extended stay.
My question is: What flowers should I pick up to brighten up the room to add a bit of color here, a dash of vibrance there?
Needing Flowers in the Northeast
Dear Needing Flowers,
"The force that through the green fuse drives the flower/ Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees/ Is my destroyer," wrote Dylan Thomas, who drank himself to death the year I was born, the year they lit the fuse on me, a pink little bomb, and I tumbled out the bloody motel with snot in my eyes. So I salute you, flower worshipper, you've the good sense to look under the snow, past the M16s and the Abrams fighting vehicles to where a tiny bud is bursting. I salute you, flower seeker. And what flowers to get, if I am not too late, and it is never too late, even if she's already halted aghast on the sill and is looking about with alarm for a sanitary place to rest her coat? With flowers, as with love and animals, I say trust your instincts, unless your instincts are frozen under the snow, and then I say trust the florist, hand over all your money and fill your garret with bouquets of the expert's choosing.
And, if your lady visitor has already arrived, what could be better than spending a day in the countryside picking wildflowers together, or just looking for them fruitlessly if they haven't come up yet? If there are no real wildflowers, you can conjure them out of your dreams. It's spring break, why not? Maybe if you concentrate you can even make them pop out of the ground. Good luck. You should always have flowers where you live.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Want more advice from Cary? Read yesterday's column.