These are things that men often do, that we maybe even like to do. And then there are other expectations, things that make no sense and that there really should be no reason for us to be expected to be able to do or even know anything about. Like being able to shop for makeup and feminine hygiene products, having a valid opinion on fashion, or putting the toilet seat back down after we pee. Buying flowers for women is another huge expectation that absolutely falls into this second category.
What in the childhood of the average man is supposed to prepare him for buying flowers? Playing in the dirt (and maybe eating some of it) does not prepare me to buy pretty things that grow out of it, let alone be able to understand what someone else wants or expects from this purchase. We were better at decapitating dolls, the antithesis of what their intended use, so developmentally we’re already behind the eightball.
It’s not too difficult to figure out what some of the major flowers are, like roses, daisies, and… uh… some other ones. Oh yeah, carnations. But now we are supposed to figure out which of these flowers (and the dozens of other varieties) is best for the particular occasion that we are buying for. Add to this the fact that different colors also lend themselves better to different occasions, plus women have different color preferences. Oh, and have you even thought about what kind of vase you are going to need? The more you think about it, the more it starts to sound like you need an advanced degree in Floral Engineering in order to get this right (and keep the reason for separation on the divorce papers your wife files from being “poorly chosen anniversary floral arrangement”).
Expecting men to be able to pick out flowers and actually do a good job is a pretty far-fetched thing. It’s like expecting the woman in your life to be able to surprise you by picking out new rims for your baby (not the human kind, the motor vehicle kind). You might end up riding around with rose gold rims on your motorcycle, or some that exactly match the bright colors of your favorite tree-shaped air freshener (good luck with those forest green rims, man). Or maybe that special lady in your life wants you to enjoy a new fishing rig for your anniversary. Can we expect her to go out and pick a new rod, reel, and tackle without your help? There’s no chance this is going to go poorly, right? I feel bad for the guy who is going to end up with an ice fishing rod (because it is so tiny, cute, and easy to store) to take on the next boating trip with his buddies.
Of course, there are going to be exceptions to every rule. There are some women who trick out cars for a living and guide fly fishing trips on the weekends. There are some guys who are pro at buying flowers for every woman and every occasion in their lives. For the rest of us, thankfully we have Real Men Buy Flowers, where we can find people to help us not screw up and make it look like we actually know what we are doing. For once.