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Florists have 'stories to tell' on Valentine's Day

PHOENIX -- Floral shops will be flooded with customers ordering flowers to be delivered on this Valentine's Day.

But sometimes customers send the flowers to the wrong person.

Jen Colvin is the owner of Ever After Florals in Phoenix. She remembers one customer in particular.

"I had a guy who was married and also had a girlfriend," said Colvin. "He was ordering flowers for both women, and mixed the cards up."

It happened years ago, in the days before cell phones. The man realized what he did, but not in time to stop the flowers that were intended for his wife, but went to his mistress instead.

As for his wife, he lucked out.

"The driver had to come back to the shop to get something that he forgot," Colvin said. "When he got back, the person was in our store. That's the only thing that saved him."

Colvin made him another flower arrangement and sent the correct message to the man's wife.

"The wife never found out," said Colvin. The girlfriend obviously knew he was married. She got the mellow message that was meant for his wife, you know, the ‘Happy Valentine's Day, I love you XOXOXO.' The girlfriend didn't get the juicy ‘I can't wait to do this and this and that to you' card that she was expecting to get."

Colvin said she was politically correct and bit her tongue instead of telling the customer what she really thought of him.

As for other customers, it can be really emotional for florists when the see the messages people want on the flower arrangements they order and it doesn't only happen on Valentine's Day. She also arranges flowers for weddings and funerals.

"You get a lot of funeral work that really tugs at the heart strings," Colvin said. "At certain weddings, maybe the parent just passed away, and the people are really having a hard time going through with the wedding."

Colvin said that the floral industry has a lot of emotions behind it and florists have to know how to deal with customers and be compassionate with them.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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