July 9, 2008

Flower Panic!

You guys, I am such a stupid mess about the flowers! Your suggestions were so helpful, and I was particularly interested in Laura's: she suggested calling the hospital gift shop. This appealed to me because I wanted the flowers there as soon as possible, and what could be sooner than RIGHT DOWNSTAIRS?

The gift shop was already closed when I called last night, so I got ALL SET to call this morning---and I got one of those people on the phone where it is obvious they get no joy out of their job at all. Her attitude was like "Who CARES, they're just FLOWERS, what matters other than the price?" I got her to describe some options for me, but everything sounded awful ("You got your three blue daisies and three blue carnations in a vase....or you got your red and yellow carnations in a teddy bear mug...."), and she said they didn't have more coming in until 1:00.

So I thought FINE, I will go with Proflowers or 1800Flowers, since both of those got good reviews from the comment section yesterday. I browsed both, and I found a purple orchid arrangement in a cool green display thingie, and it was $50, which is a lot of money but this friend is totally worth it, and also it's NOT a lot of money as flower arrangements go.
So I filled in my address and her address, and then it said it would be $15 for delivery and another $5 if I wanted it today (me: "Oh, crap, I could have ordered last night if I hadn't been waiting for the hospital gift shop!"), and I thought, "SEVENTY DOLLARS?"

As I said, the friend is completely worth the money, that part is a no-brainer. But are the FLOWERS worth the money, THAT is the question. Seventy dollars will buy something very nice if I take it to a store that sells something other than flowers. And when twenty of the seventy are spent before a single flower is called into play, that is REALLY FRUSTRATING. What I want is a good value for her: if $70 is spent, I want $70 of flowers, not $50 of flowers and $20 of fees.

Well, and I'm a spaz about this kind of thing. I am a SLOW thinker, VERY SLOW. I take a lot of time to adjust to new ideas and new things (fees! this bouquet or that one! this deliverer or that one! yesterday or today! website or phone!). And yet time is of the essence here! So I am not in my element. Plus, I have a phone phobia (it's Too Many Revelations About Swistle's Psyche Day!), not a "ha ha, I don't like the phone" thing but an actual diagnosed phobia, and so although I physically CAN use the phone, I pay for it, and you can basically see for yourself what "paying for it" means (frantic! panicking! over nothing! for hours!).



How about a little contest info to get things back in their usual steady groove? This is the morning for the Yoo Hoo! post. Here is a list of winners of Pay it Forward contests who have not yet gotten in touch with the blogger who held the contest:

Christina, Steve, Clara and Elena won the Twists and Turns contest

Ecchs won the Move Along - There's Nothing to See Here contest

Pink Elefant won the Our House contest


Anybody else not connected? Email me (swistle at gmail dot com) and I'll add them to the list.

I suggest we give the winners until, say...Saturday the 12th? And then after that, time to choose a new winner?

30 comments:

shoeaddict said...

I'm sorry this is stressing you out. I love those flowers but agree that is a lot of money for it. What did/will you do?

Still time to enter my book giveaway and also, I'm starting a book club.

Stacy said...

Quick mini-update:
Christina got in touch with me and will be receiving her gifts in the mail soon! Yay!!

Fiona Picklebottom said...

I don't have anything diagnosable (I don't think so anyway), but I debate when calling friends or family: what if this isn't a good time, what if they really don't want to talk to me and are just tolerating me, etc. etc. Also it takes me MONTHS and sometimes YEARS to call a repair person to come to the house and fix things.

OBVIOUSLY, you need a personal assistant, much like a movie star has. He/she will make all your phone calls, run your errands, etc., leaving you free to blog and now twitter.

Amanda said...

First the flowers, sending flowers has gotten ridiculously expensive! Can you call a florist local to her area?

Which leads to second, the phone, I have phone phobia too. I delay making phone calls FOREVER. I avoid things I have to do if it means making a phone call. It's terrible. I've found that a lot of people feel the same way!

Swistle said...

Shoeaddict- I think I'm going to call the hospital gift shop after they get their afternoon shipment.

Fiona- YES. A personal assistant would be GREAT. I had a hard time using the phone when my firstborn DRANK BLEACH. (I managed to do it, but it was a hesitation and a struggle.)

Jess said...

If you google something along the lines of "1800flowers promo code," you can usually find a code good for 15% off, which makes up for some of the fees. I've done that multiple times. Actually, I just did it now and the very first hit says that if you spend over $39, use the code "FDVX" to save 15%. Those things usually work.

Jess said...

Oh and also, Torsten bought me flowers at the hospital gift shop when I had surgery last week, and while it was a sweet gesture, they weren't very nice--but he said they were the nicest of the ugly options they had. And they died after two days. Not to rain on your parade.

Elizabeth said...

I totally have phone phobia AND new thing phobia AND slow thinkingness, so I feel your pain!
That being said, here is my two cents on the flowers. You have to be really careful with online flower ordering - a lot of them are shipped in a box, not delivered that day by a person. There is something about flowers arriving in a box that takes some of the niceness out of it.
I would open the phone book up, look under flowers, pick your favorite ad, call them up, tell them you want some flowers delivered for no more than $50 (or whatever amount) including delivery, and tell them a general idea of what you want (something fun, springy, not old lady ish, you hate carnations, whatever) and voila! Done.
Can't you force one of your children into personal assitant hood? I thought that's why we were having these kids!

Michele said...

Check your facebook! I left a detailed message with information about what my entertainment book had for coupons.

Not Your Aunt Bea said...

I'm a nurse and would AVOID sending the hospital flowers unless she is at a ritzy hospital (like the ones that have McDonald's & Starbucks in their lobbies). Hospital flowers are usually overpriced, old, ugly, and put together by the volunteers.

Look online for a local florist shop that is close to the hospital- they usually are the best. Some may even have websites to put the order in, but for same day delivery I would call. You could also do a fruit or cookie bouquet if she's allowed to eat. And if she has cancer (neutropenia or low WBCs) , is in the ICU, or had open heart surgery (let's hope none of those), she may not be able to have flowers.

Hope she gets better soon!

K in the Mirror said...

At this point, I'd start looking into other options. I don't know how long your friend will be in the hospital, but maybe you could get restaurant gift cards or something and send those? Her family may need meals now, and she likely won't want to cook right away when she goes home anyway. At least that way you get to use every penny you spend on the actual product, and it's something a little different that still lets her know you're thinking of her.

Mairzy said...

Maybe the other bloggers could ask Swistle to get in touch with the winners by phone... :)

I hate using the phone myself. In fact, I sent a "we need to talk" email to someone today and expect to hear back soon, but I'm afraid the person will try to call me to talk about it instead of responding by email, so I'm actually, um, not answering the phone when it rings.

At the rate the flowers are going, you'd do better to go out and buy a card, write a nice note in it, and mail it to the hospital.

Kelsey said...

Even if you don't end up sending flowers, I wish there was a way to let your friend know how much thought/energy you've put into doing something nice for her, especially since you've had to face so many difficulties! :-) She would undoubtedly appreciate it.

Barbara said...

What I usually do is look up proflowers and the area I need on the internet. It lets you know who in the area is affiliated, I use this more for a credibility check. Then rather than order through ProFlowers I call them and ask what they would have for X dollars delivered for a friend in the hospital. You can specify plant or flowers or color then, and usually talking with the florist will get you a nicer arrangement than what you are limited to online.

Kali said...

1) Google for a florist in the area of the hospital. Sometimes they deliver for free.

2) Think of your friends favorite color, flower, or theme to request in the bouquet.

3) Think of a number for the flowers...there is no way you can put a price tag on friends and caring, so be thoughtful and fiscally responsible.

4) Think of a fearless knitter you admire or an assertive heroine of any genre. Take a deep breath, close your eyes and BE HER for 10-15 minutes. You can do ANYthing for 15 minutes.

NOW you pick up the phone and call. Tell them your max amount and what they are for with any color or theme you have thought of.

Having successfully completed your mission, hang up the phone and dance with wild abandon throughout your living room or wherever you are.

Cheers!

Maggie said...

I'm glad to know that I am not the only one with a phone phobia!

I agree that 70 is an awful lot of money to pay for flowers. That said, sometimes the flowers in hospital gift shops are more expensive than at florists. I wonder if a local grocery store might be cheaper?

The other thing that I have sent instead of flowers for people in the hospital is a pajama gram -- you still have to pay shipping, etc and it isn't that much cheaper, but it is something that will last for a long time...certainly longer than flowers at least!

CP said...

FionaPB has it exactly right- we all need personal assistants to take care of this kind of stuff (and open mail, pay bills, manage our calendars, plan dinners, do the shopping, etc etc). Know anyone who wants this job? For like $1/hr? That's pretty much my budget.

OK, back to the flowers. I too hate the whole service fee crap BUT, do you want your friend to enjoy the flowers, and enjoy them TODAY? Then pay the fees, be happy that you brightened her day and move on to the next thing. That's my advice but of course, one size advice does not fit all.

Libby said...

Oh Swistle, I love you so! I was going to suggest that you pretend you are in a play, but kali's suggestion was even better, to pretend to be one of your heroes. And I agree that the hospital flower arrangements are usually sad-looking and overpriced. They are there for people who go to visit someone and forgot to bring something.

Libby said...

Oh, and I've been in touch with my winner, read her blog for clues as to what she'd like, and am having such fun putting together her package! Thanks for helping me out by picking a winner for me!

Stacey said...

I used to work for 800Flowers. They send the order through a local florist to be made up & delivered. 800Flowers makes their money on the markup. Find a local florist and describe the arrangement you like. You'll get the same thing only cheaper, plus you are in a postiion to say "She hates babysbreath please leave it out" or "Can you swap the daisies for lilacs" and they can offer you size/cost options online stores don't have.

Swistle said...

Michele- Got it! You are so nice!

skiplovey said...

Oh I was just going to say the same thing that Stacey said but she beat me too it. Not the part about working for them, just the part about finding the local florist. I've done that a bunch of times and it's always worked out really well.

ashley said...

I always google a local florist, works like a charm and they can almost always get it out that day.

On another note, my winner hasn't contacted me but she might still be out of town.

pinkelefant said...

i never recieved an email from misty at our house... she commented on my blog and i commented back on hers. i also sent her an email but still have not heard back... HELP!!!

pinkelefantcaren@yahoo.com

that's my email...

oh yeah, and instead of flowers maybe you could try edible arrangements! i have sent them a few times and people LOVE them!

houndrat said...

Yeah, I'm not really feeling the "teddy bear mug" either.

I second the edible arrangements, but maybe that's just because I crave sugar like a crack addict craves, well....crack.

Lippy said...

I hear you on the phone phobia, mine is only self-diagnosed. I order very substandad pizza,from a particular company, because I can do it online, also I like the little timeline that tells what stage the pizza is in. Anyway, I feel less crazy, so thanks for that. Sorry no help with the flowers. I know the panicky feeling, good luck.

1hot&tiredmama said...

If I were in the hospital, I would want someone to call the gift shop and have them send up a nice stack of juicy magazines. Do you think they'd do that for you? Is your friend well enough to want to read them? Just a suggestion, but I realize I may be too late for this conversation.

Fiona Picklebottom said...

I have heard from Ecchs! Thanks for your help!

RainyPM said...

Hi, I don't have time to read all of yesterday's and today's comments, but I always have the best flower luck when I google local florists for the town where I want the flowers delivered. I ask if they deliver to the hospital, then if they sound nice, I tell them I want to spend about X dollars and I'm interested in X type of flowers or X color of flowers. (All these X's!). Then I can usually get something nice for around $40 or $50. 1800 flowers probably uses the same gift shops, but there's more of a mark up.

I also love the magazine idea from someone a couple of posts up. You could do the teddy bear mug and the magazine. I think for your friend it really will be the thought. Also, it is kind of a hassle getting flowers home from the hospital. ;) I'm not helping at all now, am I? Sorry!

Julie said...

I skipped through all the comments so this may have already been mentioned, but do you have to send flowers? Maybe a card while she's in the hospital and then something great for when she gets home like an Amazon gift card or brownies??