Saturday, April 24, 2010

Trader Joe's flowers

Above: Waterless daffodils at Trader Joe's on Court Street

Dear Trader Joe's

I can put up with the Hawaiian shirts, though they are not my cup of tea. I can put up with the homely signs, which are designed to make me feel comfortable in your aisles of limitless prepared foods. I can even tolerate, for a short time, the awful floor of linoleum brown squares under the vaulted ceiling of your Court Street premises.

But I am sick and tired of the dying flowers. You are selling daffodils for $2.99 a bunch. A steal! Ten irises for $3.99 a bunch. A steal! Tulips for $4.99! When will the the madness stop? Cheap!

They are sitting in plastic buckets. You know, the kind designed to hold water? They are empty. Dry. The flowers are parched. Not a drop to drink. They sit in the warm air of the store, these hosts of golden daffodils, Dutch tulips and stately iris, crying for moisture. I can hear them.

Like bees attracted to free honey, we buy them, take them home, cut their stems, give them a drink.

And then they die.

Because they have been waterless for days.

It is not a fluke. I have been keeping an eye on the Situation for two weeks. I bought irises two days ago. In tight bud. By today they unfurled three unhappy petals and curled up. Before that, 2 bunches of daffodils. Crispy at the edges after they managed to open one eye. Before that? Tulips. Two days, then kaput.

The one exception? Freesias. Why?


Not a single human in a Hawaiian shirt thinks to fill the the dozens of buckets with water. Why? Why sell something beautiful, perishable, something that has been harvested hundreds, sometimes thousands of carbon miles away, that you neglect on your watch, at the top of the food chain?

I'll tell you why. Because you don't care. You don't care about the flowers, the customer, or the bent-over labourers who picked them, en masse, for pennies. Your flowers seem cheap, but they are a rip off. You are wasting my money. You are wasting every mile they traveled. They cost more down the road outside Key Food, and they last three times as long. You sell flowers whose care along every step of the way until they reached you is squandered the minute they are through the Trader Joe's door.

I have been suspicious of you for a long time. Nobody should sell that much snack food.

And Hawaiian shirts look good on Hawaiians.

Above: Happy daffodils in water outside Key Food on Atlantic.

Update: March 2011. No improvement.
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