I love daffodils. I know that you are thinking that I say that about every flower, but I really do like daffodils best of all, which is unfortunate as they only bloom for about 3 weeks every year. During these fleeting weeks, I try to maximize my daffodil possession, which has taken me to many extremes. At Hillsdale College, the administration generously planted hundreds of daffodils all over campus, and the fine for picking them was supposedly 25$ per flower. This did not deter me. My freshmen year, I, along with some other equally giddy girls, dressed in all black, crept up to the main buildings after darkand picked approximately 40. But then we realized that to walk through the lobby, dressed like criminals, carrying stolen blooms, would surely result in trouble, so we forced a guy friend into bringing them to us as a “gift.” My senior year of college, I actually cried when a late spring snowstorm (oh Michigan . . .) froze all the fresh yellow flowers, only to be restored to good spirits when my boyfriend dug through the snow drifts to rescue a couple daffodils.
Despite the fact that Paris has decided to reject spring and slide back into winter, the daffodils are in full bloom, which means one thing: I must have them. I am all about nature, all about gardens, whatever — but when it comes to flowers, especially daffodils I don’t just like them in the ground. I want them in my hands, in my room, in a vase. I briefly contemplated picking them in the luxembourg gardens, but seeing as how the guards freak out at a mere foot on the grass I doubt they would take kindly to me uprooting the fauna. I am spared flower picking prison by the people who sell bundles of daffodils on the streets for 2 euros a bunch. I don’t know if you read the book A Little Princess as a child, but there is a part where she sells bundles of yellow flowers in the streets then buys pastries, only to give them to someone less fortunate then herself. I loved A Little Princess, and perhaps it was its impact on me that prompted me to not only buy daffodils from a lady on my street, but also to turn over a portion of my groceries when she boldly asked for them (not in general, as in “I’m hungry,” but specifically as in “Please give me that banana”).
Yet last weekend I saw flagrant daffodil waste that made me just the littlest bit less compassionate towards the daffodil sellers. I was wandering the Rue Mouffetard with two guys from my college, one of whom teaches English in Bordeaux and the other was here visiting on spring break. As we got to the end of the street, I saw a vendor decide he was done selling, take his box of perfect blossoms to a dumpster and proceed to start RIPPING THEM TO SHREDS. Naturally, I couldn’t stand by, so I dashed over and begged for the life of some bouquets. Surprisingly, he agreed. Beauty was restored to the world and I had a pitcher bursting with over 50 daffodils. And because my friend Chuck has one of those wonderful sniper like lenses that can snoop on people miles away, the whole interaction was preserved.