Sunday, February 12, 2012

Daffodils and Pink Roses

The scene is a classic in romance novels: the hero, smitten with the heroine's charms, presents her with a bouquet of flowers.

Ah yes, flowers. Every woman likes to receive them--I know I do. They're pretty, they smell nice, and they mean the presenter has been thinking of you.

But why do flowers figure in courtship? According to sociologists Alan S. Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa, authors of Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters, there may be a genetic basis for the behavior. Genes' survival depends on passing themselves to the next generation. A woman needs to know if a man possesses the resources to support their children. A man has to proclaim he is a good provider. Voila, flowers.

Pretty as they are, flowers have no survival value. You can't eat them, wear them or save them for the future. When a man presents a woman with flowers, he shows he has sufficient wealth to spend valuable resources on something nonessential. The behavior also demonstrates his generosity. He is willing to part with his hard-earned money to buy those worthless flowers.

But then, we are more than our genes. I like daffodils and pink roses. My husband buys me pink roses all year long. Now, in February, the first of the cut daffodils have arrived here in New England. He goes out of his way to find them for me. For as long as we've been together, he's brought me flowers. Why? We're married. He no longer has to prove anything. But he still brings me those flowers, and the specific flowers I like--because he wants me to be happy. Is love part of our genes, or beyond them? Do we care?

And I do enjoy those daffodils. Happy Valentine's Day.

Thank you all,


Meljprincess said...

Happy Valentine's Day, Linda! Roses are my favorite. My hubby always gets me pink during the month of Oct. because I'm a breast cancer survivor. My mom's favorite flower is the daffodil. I love flowers. To me they are like little bursts of sunshine. :-)

xo Mel

Linda Banche said...

Hi Mel.

Good for you, that you survived breast cancer. May you have many more years. Nice of your hubby to give you pink roses. I'm with your mother on the daffodils. They're nice and bright and a pretty, unusual shape.

Happy Valentine's Day to you, too.