My Flagler Beach love story is pretty good, in fact if I weren’t there I would think I made it up.
Years ago I was a florist…the Barefoot Florist to be precise. It was Valentine’s Day and I was drowning in roses, getting walloped by thorns and just looking for the moment when the phone would finally stop ringing. Better yet was my fantasy that the computer and printer would suddenly burst into flames, sending all ridiculous wire orders back from whence they came. It’s one of those life experiences that you can never fully appreciate unless you are in the flower business…
Several customers were on top of their game that morning, setting the tone for the day, making it extra special. After the third guy cashed out I am pretty sure I cracked a sarcastic joke to my friend helping me out behind the counter. I was living single at the time, not completely jaded by the opposite sex but definitely questioning whether or not there were any viable males left. Dating is usually something you enjoy after you don’t have to do it anymore. I had made “the list” of qualities I was looking for… however, those characteristics were not reflective in the choices of people I was finding myself attracted to. My good friend offered a diagnosis to my situation… apparently I was suffering from wounded bird syndrome. Awesome!
He was the fourth handsome guy to cruise into the shop that morning. Seeming rather uncomfortable, I asked or blurted out if he needed anything as he just kind of paced around the floor. Finally making eye contact with me, he pointed to the Protea sitting on the counter and said that it was the flower of his native country. Hello accent! Assuming of course he was in the store to pick something up for his wife or girlfriend I did not give it much thought, but inquired where he was from…”South Africa,” he replied. His next question baffled me as he asked if I had any gift baskets. My answer was like, “No way, are you kidding? This is the busiest flower day of the year, I have roses… maybe in a couple days I can make you a gift basket.” Such amazing customer service I exemplified- but really I was dying- with a smile on my face of course. I took a business card and jotted down 3 price points of baskets I could do and then told him I would be happy to do it in a couple days. He said that would be fine and he would come back.
Fast-forward an hour peppered with a dozen choice words and in one walks one of my favorite quirky customers from the Snack Jack days. He approached the counter and started asking me bizarre personal questions. It was one of those moments where you feel like you are on TV and everyone is having a chuckle at your expense. After a few minutes of interrogation, I realized his visit was on behalf of the South African guy, except that South Africa had not requested the social call (a detail I later found out.) They had run into each other shortly after the flower shop encounter and an inquiry had been made. Quirky customer then took it upon himself to play cupid, it was Valentine’s Day.
Two days and hundreds of roses later I scored an order for a gift basket and a date. We are now celebrating 6 years. 🙂
The cool part of this story is that South Africa had never intended to come into my flower shop that day. For some reason that morning he drove his truck straight instead of turning right like he usually did. It was that fateful moment when he was struck with the idea to purchase a gift basket for a client whose house he had just painted. The reason for his odd behavior inside the store he later reveled was because he assumed a little old lady would be working behind the counter, instead of me and he was overwhelmed by my beauty.
At least that’s what I tell people…Happy Valentine’s Day!
And the winner of Show Me the Love contest is
She will receive a $20 Gift Certificate compliments of