Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Operation Flowerbomb: A Socio-floral Experiment!

I have always loved trying to figure out what makes people tick, and will go to great lengths to satisfy my curiosity.

For example, one time around the holidays I came into a surplus of oranges. (Don't ask me how... I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you!) Anyway, I had more oranges than I knew what to do with. So I decided I'd try handing them out to people on my way to work. They're healthy! They're sweet! They can't really be poisoned, because they're encased in a rind, right? They prevent scurvy! People would want them, maybe? I thought to myself.

So on the El and on my walk to the office I'd try to give them out. Some people would take them, others would simply avoid making eye contact with me, while others still would get super annoyed -- one homeless man threw my orange at me and called me something terrible!

Another time a coworker and I had a surplus of books to unload. We'd put a post-it note with an encouraging message ('Page 306 of this one is a DOOZY!') on the cover, then leave them in random locations throughout the city. At bus stops, on top of mailboxes, etc. It was fun for me!

And now I have this little flower business. So of course, how could I resist trying to give people free flowers during the week of Thanksgiving? I mean, WHO wouldn't want free flowers right now? (Any time, for that matter!) Right? Right! So last night I made 30 or so adorable bouquets:

And created some cute cards with a simple message: "Just something to brighten your day"...

And the plan was to hand them out to people as they walked to work in the morning. So, what do you think happened? Remember -- they're FREE and they're CUTE!

Nobody wanted them! I think either people were too rushed to get to work, or maybe they thought I was selling something, or maybe they thought I was pushing some cause, like the Hare Krishnas and activists in the classic film, Airplane! (Ha! The thought of people thinking I'm an activist makes me giggle.)

Whatever the reason, I could scarcely get people to look at me!

So, I was bummed. The morning rush ended and now I'm left with a bunch of adorable bouquets. I'm not going to give up though... I think I'll head to a different location for the lunch hour! Maybe someplace less business-y, where people are more relaxed. And maybe I'll have to add "FREE!" to my greeting as I try to hand them to people? Harumph!

Of course there's one question on your mind as you read this: Where is Maddie, my fearless mascot, through all this? I'm not at liberty to say.

But I can say this. She is elsewhere, tackling a challenge of her own.

Stay tuned for Operation Flowerbomb, part 2!


  1. You are so dear! Don't give up! It just proves we need to keep doing this to counter all the negativity in the world. People don't believe in someone being kind and giving for no reason at all. Well, not for no reason, we do it because it makes us feel good! It's one of my favourite things to do, give away flowers, in fact you're inspiring me to do it again very soon. The ripple affect is amazing. Imagine the love you can spread! Don't give up! Even if people think you're from The Church of Ladder Day Saints! xo

  2. Thanks for your constant support and energy, Coriander Girl!

  3. Hey Janessa! I was one of the lucky ones to have received your FREE thanksgiving bouquet at the MM. The flowers surely brightened my day..thank you for being so thoughtful! The dandelions (I think) are still smiling in my vase. I wish you luck in your floral design venture!

  4. Su! Thank you so much for responding! I'm glad you enjoyed your flowers -- everyone at the Merchandise Mart was so nice, so I'm sure I'd remember your face if I saw it. Have a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year!