Millie Noe, Love Expert


Dear Millie,

I have been dating Sherri for a couple of months now and I really like her. Do you think it is appropriate to give her a bouquet of flowers for Valentine's Day? I don't want to scare her away by giving her something too serious and I don't want to piss her off by not giving her enough.
Please Help. I cannot blow this.


Dear Spencer,
I believe a bouquet of flowers is the ticket. You are correct that it may be too early to dangle shiny jewels in front of her face. If I were you, I would also take her out for dinner.
Now, as far as those flowers go, be careful with your selection.
Did I ever tell you about that one Valentine's Day, many years ago? The one where I came home from work and the kitchen table was buried under foliage and flowers?
I was speechless.
My sixteen-year-old stepdaughter walked into the room.
"Hi Millie."
"Holy balls," I said. "This is amazing!"
"Oh, I know it," she says. "See that bouquet of roses? It was delivered to me in my Spanish class. It was hilarious! It came to my class."

"Who was it from?"
"What about this pretty purple and yellow arrangement?"
"A guy named Troy gave me those."
"Wow! They are very nice. What about these? I love the white with the pink and orange."
"Yeah. Me too. Those are from a guy named Seth. He's in my homeroom."
"And this one? Who is this one from?"
"It's a secret admirer."
"I know. Isn't that cool?"
"Are any for me?"
"Yeah. That thing there in the middle."
"You mean that thing?" I said, pointing.
"What do you think it is?"
"I don't know," she says in a lowered voice.
"Where's your dad?"
"He's outside."
We looked at each other.
"Help me open it."
Whatever my sweet Sven managed to find was inside a clear plastic bag with a big red ribbon at the top, that was tied in a bow.
We pushed all of her beautiful flower arrangements to the side.
I pulled the end of the ribbon and the bag slowly slipped down, revealing green tentacles.
Adrienne pulled the plastic from the bottom, as I held on to the creature inside the pot.
I quickly set it down.
We both stared at what seemed to be something from the set of The Adam's Family, there in the middle of our table.
"What is it?"
"It's a man-eating plant," I answered.
Sven walks in.
"Happy Valentine's Day, Millie," he says and plants one on my lips.
"Happy Valentine's Day."
"You already opened it? Don't you love it?" he says.
"Dad, that thing looks like a man-eating plant."
"It does not," he says. "It's cool."
"It doesn't even have a flower," she says, in that know-it-all teenage tone.
"That's because it's gnarly," he declared.
So, Spencer, what I want you to understand, is that if you are in a situation where you are trying to choose between something that is delicate and beautiful or something that is man eating and gnarly, you should probably lean toward the delicate and beautiful end of the spectrum.
Because even though, that man eating plant is still alive and well and super dusty, because I am still afraid to touch it, twenty-four years later.
And even though that man eating plant will absolutely endure the end of the world and will walk among the cock roaches.
And even though that man eating plant is a gift that will not stop giving.
Unless you are as cute and as adorable as my Sven, you will probably not survive Valentine's Day.
When you go to buy that bouquet for Sherri, remember to choose something that you will outlive.



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