Thursday, February 10, 2011

Delivery Envy

There’s something about a flower delivery in the office that definitely seems to have more effect on women than men.

With men, I dare say that they see flowers and think. “Oh, flowers.” Maybe they think something like, “I hope they don’t make me sneeze,” or “What schmuck sent flowers?” but, mostly, they just identify the item and carry on with their daily life.

With women, I think it’s different. The flowers arrive and, when seen, they alight just a tiny flicker of hope that, hey, maybe they’re for you. Even though there’s a louder voice that says “Who on earth is there to send you flowers?”, it doesn’t matter. When the delivery arrives and the recipient is not identified, the hope happens.

Then, when the recipient is identified, the process continues with disappointment and a slight bit of envy. Certainly, it’s nice that the woman in your office got flowers but you didn’t and it’s sad and you wish they were your flowers.

Even when it’s not flowers but cookies or chocolate covered strawberries and chocolates and the recipient says she’ll share, there’s still a little bit of “Delivery Envy” going on. You may eat the fruit/chocolate/cookies but you won’t eat much because they’re not your sweet goodness but those of the loved recipient who received the delivery.

I know it’s not just me, either. This morning, one of my coworkers got a lovely big box of fresh flowers. When they arrived, my fellow single office coworker and I both had the same brief look of hope and then disappointment when we realized they weren’t for us. When we met in the break room, we both consoled each other to the fact that neither of us gets flowers and though we were happy for our coworker, we had Delivery Envy. At this point, my boss overheard us and sweetly offered to send us flowers but, well, it just wouldn’t be the same. When you get flowers, it makes you feel special. You don’t have to tell people who they’re from. Granted, it’s extra nice when they’re from a beau or male friend but no one HAS to know they’re from your mother or your friend unless you tell them. Having that big vase of flowers on your desk is like a badge of honour. Someone loves you enough to send you flora.

So, even though it was really nice of my boss to offer to send us flowers, we’d know they were from our boss and having them on our desk wouldn’t be the same.

Does that make sense? When I read it, it doesn’t sound like it does but I know what I mean.

In my last job, one of my coworkers got flowers almost every third week. If it wasn’t flowers, it was deluxe chocolate covered strawberries or chocolates. She had a nice husband who liked to send her things to let her know she was loved.

It was nice to see it but it was also interesting to see that I wasn’t the only one with Delivery Envy. After the second or third delivery within a couple of months, the comments from other women in the office stopped being, “Aw, you got flowers/chocolates/strawberries,” and started being more like, “you got flowers AGAIN! What did you DO?”

This is how I realized that Delivery Envy affects us all. We want to be happy for our coworkers/friends but, gosh darn it, we want flowers too!

In my case, my last flower delivery was on my birthday last year from a good friend. This was nice. They were delivered at home and they made me happy to see them on my coffee table.

The last flower delivery before that was from a male friend when I moved into a new apartment. This was three years ago.

It may seem pathetic that I remember all my flower deliveries but, well, I don’t get many. I’m never going to be the type of Monkeypants that gets bouquets from mystery men after exotic nights. This is because, well, I don’t have exotic nights and I don’t have any mystery men.

The reality of it is that most people don’t get flowers at work on a regular basis. This, I think, is why Delivery Envy occurs. It’s a pattern of “ooh! (hope), “Oh!” (disappointment) and “Ah, pretty” (Envy)”.

Example: Delivery person arrives with flowers. “Oooh!” say the females who seem him/her arrive. Then he/she speaks. “Delivery for X”. “Oh,” say the females in the office who aren’t X. Then X receives the flowers. “Ah, pretty,” say the females in the office which, in girlspeak, really means, “They are pretty but I really wish they were my flowers. I never get flowers. Why are YOU so special that you get flowers?”

It’s much easier when you work in an office where the men outnumber the women especially when there’s two single women out of three of us in the office. Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, it means there are far less people to solicit the “ooh, oh, ah” pattern of Delivery Envy.

It also makes it a little easier to be determined that, one day, some day maybe, just maybe, you’ll be the one with the bouquet of love on your desk. Hey, it can happen…I believe it can. I believe it can!

Happy Friday!

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