LA Flower Mart on Valentine’s Day…

Various roses inside of the LA Flower Market.

…it may seem as the worse day ever huh? who would want to go to the Los Angeles Flower Market and deal with the Black Friday-isque last minute crowds, mainly men, who have not purchased flowers for their loves.

…I have planned to go here for awhile now. I mean I am such a sucker for a deal and in doing my research, the vendors at the Flower Mart give really good deals. As far as I know, florists go here and then charge you outrageous prices for a dozen of carnations or for some other bootleg flower.  As most guys know, these florists know they can rape you on “holidays” such as Mother’s Day, but especially today.

…I wanted to take Megan so she can pick out what she likes but she couldn’t  go. Good thing I asked her awhile ago what her favorite flowers were, orchids and another I cannot remember. I think maybe the other were carnations. I didn’t get her flowers for our Valentine’s Day date the other day and we weren’t going to Vegas today so flowers would have to do. Maybe even dinner tonight. What sucked was that I worked my contacts and got confirmed to see Kim Kardashian at Marquee at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Vegas. Oh well, another time. It’s nice to know if I ever wanted to hit up Marquee, I have a contact that wouldn’t put me on the “VIP” guest list and still have to wait in line.

Pink and white daisies for Megan's mom.

…I headed down to the mart a little before noon. I know the best picks are hit first since the Mart opens at 4AM on certain days and 6AM on others. I really didn’t want to wake up that early and plus no one was down to go so I opted to head over when I woke up and felt like it. The drive wasn’t too bad at this time since morning rush were well into their lunch breaks. I took the San Pedro exit. While I was driving North, Los Angeles is one busy city. The Mart is close to Santee Alley and a lot of forklifts, warehouses, and general hustle and bussle were happening.

…I parked at a random parking structure pass the mart and went on my merry way. The admission was only two dollars which I think is fair. They give you this neon color tag with the date so they know you paid. This place is pretty massive, filled with so many vendors, and so many flowers. The mart practically had every flower you can imagine and at really good prices. Granted they weren’t all done up in vases, and baby’s breathe and such, but those would have cost a lot. I like the fact you can walk around and customize how you want your arrangements. Some vendors had vases but there were vendors with nothing but vases. There was also someone blowing up foil balloons. A person who likes to shop around will definitely find what they want.

Emeline's pink tulips.

…I think I spent two hours up in this place. There were two buildings across from each other to explore. Too many factors to decide. What flower to get? Who should I get what for? Does the flower look nicer than this other vendors? How many should I get? Which vase looks nice? Should I get some sort of balloon as well? As these questions ran through my mind, I am running around the place examining all the prices and what not. What did not help was that I came in shopping for one person, Megan, and ended up adding three more to the list. I had to add my mom on that list for obvious reasons. I couldn’t come home with flowers for someone else and not have anything for her. I also figured if I was giving my mom flowers that I would get something for Megan’s mom as well. It’s all about those brownie points but not in a kiss ass-y way though. I never do anything to kiss ass, that isn’t my thing, but I do like to think I am a pretty thoughtful person. Last on the list…Emeline…

Assorted flowers for mom.

…I really didn’t want to get her anything. I mean what kind of guy sends another girl flowers while you basically and officially have a Valentine’s already? I really cannot answer that. I did have my own logic and reasoning for it all. So if you allow me, I will present it as such. She helped me with some rough things I was going through back in December, and was and still is, the only voice of reason I have ever listen to. I trust her wholeheartedly, and trust her opinions. That is the main reason. Second? The last time we were out together she told me she was too busy with law school to even think about Valentine’s. That kind of sucks for a girl like her. I mean cmon, her boyfriend is suppose to make her feel special on a day like this. Oh, that is another reason why I didn’t want to give her anything today, the fact she had a boyfriend. Lastly, I sent her flowers last year anonymously. I was really being sentimental at the time, as my friend Rachel can attest to, and remembered her favorite flowers were tulips. I ordered some tulips from Proflowers.com and sent them to the law office she works at. I wrote a note with my signature ellipsis and called it a day. I asked one of her friends to make sure she got them. I guess they were bad the first time and got replaced. Anyways, I picked her up some tulips and they were not expensive at all.

White Orchids for myself.

…I wasn’t sure what to get Megan’s mom but I settled on these pink and white daisies. I actually really liked these flowers. They were really simple but pretty at the same time. For Megan, I just bought two, half dozen roses bouquets. I figure I could put them together in a vase and it would be a nice arrangement. I picked up a vase and a balloon as well for her arrangement. For my mom, I picked up a random flower mix bouquet. I wasn’t going to waste much time putting thought into it since she will find something to criticize about and when she does, I can laugh to myself and think, I paid six bucks for it. Before I left, I wanted to get Megan orchids as well. I looked at two to three different vendors and picked up a cute little single stem white one and a mini vase. When I finally made it out of there, I had newspaper wrapped flowers up to my neck and my arms were filled to the brim with them. It felt as thought I won a huge stuffed animal at the fair and would have done anything to just drag it along behind me. I see why most people come in with little carts.

…headed home and put the arrangements together. I decided I wanted to keep the orchid and Megan could have her dozen roses. Megan and I were in limbo whether to go out to dinner tonight or not. She had homework and what not so it would be hard to do something. We decided to do something later on in the week and plus we went out a few days ago. So it wasn’t a biggie…I suppose. I told her I was going to stop by later in the evening to drop some stuff off.

…I still had to get Emeline her flowers somehow. I knew she had class tonight so I figure either I could have dropped them off at her place before or have her come over. I opted for the latter, I didn’t want to show up at her door and have someone other than her, answer. So she agreed to come over for a little bit before she leaves for La Verne. She came around 6PM and walked out the flowers and a note to her. I wasn’t nervous for some reason. Maybe because I was in a good place with Megan and this was a platonic Valentine’s gift. Of course she liked them and why wouldn’t she? They were her favorite. I told her to read the card later. Here is what I wrote:

 Emeline-

I was set on not getting you anything today. But then I got to thinking…you know how I get when that happens. It’s kind of unfortunate of all people, you are too consumed with schooling and what not to take a little break and be reminded what day it is. So…these tulips will serve as your official reminder. Happy Valentine’s Day!

P.S. Thank you for not taking advantage of me in my vulnerable state the other day.

-Anh

Dozen red roses for Megan.

Hello Kitty Sweet Pink champagne.

…she texted a little bit later saying thanks for the reminder and I was on my merry way to Megan’s. Strapped her flowers in the passenger seat with the seat belt cause it was that big of an arrangement. I wanted to really surprise her with the flowers but she the flowers through my windshield. I first had her give the carnations to her mom first and then have her take in hers. I also included a small bottle of Hello Kitty Champagne that had a cute heart on it and a card. The card talked about how it was crazy after all these years we used to be worse of enemies in high school and then become to each other’s Valentine’s years later. She gave me a little note which she told me not to read until we talked a little later, and I went on my merry way. I wish I was picking her up for dinner but the time wasn’t right. I highly recommend checking out the flower mart sometime in your life. It’s a nice experience plus the deals are so hard to pass up for those who need flowers for whatever occasion. One can even make a date out of it!

It’s still a Hallmark Holiday…

About Anh Nguyen

Anh Nguyen is a Los Angeles based freelance photographer. Over the past six years, he has covered various concerts, movie premieres, red carpets, parties, and events. A southern California native, Anh attended UCLA and holds a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy and a minor in Accounting. In addition to photography, he is currently pursuing his license as a CPA and hopes to go law school. Adding to his many interests, Anh also loves to cook and has worked as a line cook for Food Network's celebrity chef Scott Conant's restaurant, Scarpetta, in Beverly Hills.