A supremely wise man, one of my heroes—Taylor Larimore—said his greatest investment was flowers. Huh?
Oh—and he’s no pansy—he’s a former World War II paratrooper.
Early on in my marriage, I’d purchase flowers every occasionally as I knew my wife enjoyed them. Yet life was crazy busy, and we were trying to make it through med school and residency, so flowers didn’t register much in my sleep-deprived consciousness. But when it did, a little part of my brain would say, “Hold on. You have a mountain of student loan debt. And you’re purchasing flowers? What if you took the same money and invested it? Over x years there’d be enough to buy a single share of a total stock market fund! What you’re doing is crazy, irresponsible, and illogical!”
Something that helped me work through this in-my-head argument was to have specific value-centered discussions with my spouse. For one thing, it allowed both of us to cut out things that didn’t provide value—often surprisingly expensive stuff like a second brand new car. Another is we become far more effective as a team.
For example, when my wife put her mind to improving our finances, it astounded me how she was able to drastically lower our expenses. In our relationship, she has far more power over where our everyday spending goes because she makes the day-to-day purchases for our family.
An additional thing to note is a couple not being on the same page about life is far pricier than roses. For example, at times when we didn’t agree about finances, I would single-handedly attempt to lower our expenses by saying something like, “Honey, I don’t think we should purchase that now.”
As a result, our compromise would often be a delayed purchase followed by a lower-quality purchase that didn’t last as long as the original proposed product. Overall this not only resulted in less happiness but a higher final cost.
Taken to extremes, not having open discussions about financial values can lead to marital problems and ultimately, divorce.
So have that discussion and find out what works for you. It may or may not be flowers.
And although my wife would prefer a dozen red or peach-colored flowers, less expensive ones make her equally as happy (or so she tells me). Now when I pick up some roses from Aldis, I smile while I wait in line, satisfied by knowing I’m improving my wife’s happiness.
So now I agree with Taylor Larimore about the value of flowers as an investment vehicle. Yet the investment is in relationship, which ultimately is far more valuable than any stock market pick.
If you want to know about Taylor Larimore commenting on flowers, it’s the 5th comment down.
Note from the editor: Someone one told me, as a wife, to read the book “Men read newspapers, not minds” but in this case, I think DH read my mind to write a wonderful post like this! And I swear I didn’t pay him to write this 😉