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Parallax - Advice            April 3, 2000

    Is there a simple rule about which color rose for what occasion?

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I have forever been confused about what each color rose is supposed to mean. Red, white, yellow, I just don't get it. I always send women red ones, but I wish I knew what the others are for so I could vary my repertoire. Help me?

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Her view:

Dear Romeo,

Roses are roses - and women love getting them. It doesn't matter what color or how many; the fact that you thought to buy flowers as a gesture of affection goes over huge. When she thinks about some bad thing you've done and whether or not you're worth keeping around, she'll remember the roses (red, pink, yellow, or blue).

But if you really want to analyze - and I sense you do - here is the layout. Red is love or sex and will often get you some - sex that is. Yellow and pink are great in spring and summer for a variety of occasions. For instance: if you're going to her place for a nice home-cooked dinner. Red and pink are the only suitable winter colors, and pink less so. I would space out the red ones a little as it makes them more special. The truth is women love getting flowers, any flowers, mixed-up or not.

Personally, I have no interest in flowers whatsoever, but if my boyfriend brings them over you can bet I will be all excited to get them assembled in some little vase. No interest in the flowers, but he thought of me and likes me enough to buy them.

Give flowers - any flowers - as often as you think of it. You'll never buy the wrong kind.

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His view:

Dear Romeo,

I suspect that your friendly flower vendor, or one of those roses-dot-com places, probably knows best, and if you're too lazy to ask them, so am I. I also suspect half the women don't know what rose means what, or they're so happy to get flowers they may not even care too much what they mean. Or, they might reach their own conclusions anyway, so why bother?

It appears to me that you're heading in the wrong direction here; before you know it you'll be branching out into daisies and daffodils, and there's a fine line between all that and the big green house.

Personally, I only use red for very special occasions and always to signify LOVE (which means I rarely give them). I use yellow for women friends but also sparingly, lest my intention be misconstrued. I imagine white could be used to ask for a truce.

I guess I'd like to see more color varieties to play around. Maybe a genetically-engineered green, to signify envy, or a ghastly black to formally announce a break-up. Yes. Ideally, there would be all different colors and patterns, like sailing flags, each with specific messages that would be readily understood and would save the trouble of the many tortuous conversations, in which, if you are anything like me, it's impossibly hard to come to the point.

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