A Rose By Any Other Price

| Romantic | December 16, 2015

(My father’s florist business is in a neighborhood that is a cross section of ethnicities, income brackets, and businesses. As a full-service specialty shop our pricing often comes as a shock to individuals accustomed to purchasing flowers from grocery stores and big box retailers. Even so, some folks are just remarkably cheap. I am at the front counter when a man about my age walks in.)

Me: “Good morning, how can I help you?”

Customer: “Hey. Do y’all got flowers?”

(This question isn’t all that surprising, given the layout of the shop and the fact that the majority of the public has limited knowledge of flower names.)

Me: “Yes, all kinds. The cut flowers are in the coolers over here.”

(I point toward the coolers as I step out from behind the counter.)

Customer: “That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout. You got the hook up… You got the hook up…”

(He pauses in front of the cooler and looks for a moment.)

Customer: “What are they?”

Me: “Roses?”

Customer: “Yeah, that’s what she likes. Roses. How much for a dozen of them roses?”

Me: “$67.50 arranged, $50.00 wrapped.”

Customer: “GOOD LORD!”

Me: “We can also do half dozens.”

Customer: “How many is that?”

Me: “Six.”

Customer: “Okay… I get it… I’m feelin’ ya. How much is six?”

Me: “$47.50 arranged, $30.00 wrap—

Customer: “SWEET LORD!!!!”

(After having to stifle my laughter from witnessing this man nearly faint the two times I quoted him a price, I decided on a different approach.)

Me: “Did you have a specific price range in mind?”

Customer: “It’s okay, ain’t no thang… How much for one?”

Me: “Wrapped is $5.00 or we can do a bud vase for $8.50.”

Customer: “GOOD LORD! You killin’ me, man! You killin’ me. What if I just want the flower?”

Me: “They’re $3.50 each.”

Customer: “And what that come with?”

Me: “Nothing.”

Customer: “Do it come with baby’s breast?”

Me: “Baby’s Breath? No… that’s just the rose.”

Customer: “But you put in paper with baby’s breast for $5.00?”

Me: “Yes, greenery, filler, a water tube, hand wrapped, with a bow.”

Customer: “Okay… okay… you a tough man. Well… It’s my b****’s birthday, so I gotta perform.”

(I let him pick his rose and head back to the counter. While I wrapping the rose he leans in and asks:)

Customer: “Man, do you know where the closest store is where everything costs ninety-nine cents?”

(I give him directions and headed out the door. After he left my mom stepped out of her office, which was very near the counter.)

Mom: “His girlfriend is one lucky, lucky woman.”

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