Valentine Flower Math

On Valentine's Day last year, I was the captain of the Love Boat. Setting a course for adventure, with my mind on a new romance. Yes, love. It was exiting and new. It was love. The Love Boat.

All aboard!

On Valentine's Day, I delivered flowers, balloons and candy to 37 of my lovers. For those keeping track, and don't take this as bragging or bravado, but these were all delivered in less than eight hours. And the kicker? I was paid $5 a pop.

That's right. Last Valentine's Day I was a flower delivery boy. Loading up my car with bouquets and balloons, I looked in the rearview mirror and decided that to be the "Best Flower Delivery Boy in the world" each stop would have to be meaningful. To do this, I treated everyone as though I was not just their "errand boy," but really their lover. I learned a lot about being a flower boy on Valentine's Day. Things like "flower math." For instance, if you shut the car door on a dozen red roses, you are left with nine red roses. Or, if you have six helium balloons in the back of your car, when the door opens and they all fly away, you are then left with zero helium balloons.

Luckily, flower math has really simple solutions. Like toothpicks inserted into a stem can repair two out of three broken flowers. With flower math, 11 roses are enough to get a signature of delivery. Besides, any girl that would count her flowers to make certain there were truly a dozen, that's a girlfriend in a relationship headed for the jagged rocks of doom.

As for the balloons that flew out of the car, that did cause a minor set back. The card was still attached to the non-floating flowers that remained in the back seat of my car. It said, "To Steve: You Take Me to New Heights. Love Vicky." Seeing these were meant for a guy, I stopped and purchased Steve six Valentine's Day balloons with my own money. Balloons that a guy would really want to receive. Balloons that said, "Go Yankees" or "#1 Lover" and I must admit, when I handed these balloons to Steve, I blushed seeing how happy he was with my Valentine's Day gift.

Unfortunately, when I got home my love life was not as easy to mend as broken flowers or lost balloons. After spending all day driving around town, I didn't even have a Valentine's card for my girlfriend.

Retreating to a remote phone in the apartment, and turning through the yellow pages, I whispered into the receiver, "Can you deliver those flowers tonight? Yes, I'll pay extra."

In 30 minutes or less the doorbell rang and her face was pure joy when she saw the bouquet I had thoughtfully purchased. Quickly I tipped the flower boy, before he got any bright ideas with my girlfriend.

Then, once inside the house, she said, "These are the prettiest roses, ever -- all 11 of them."

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