The New Rose Day Etiquette Guide for the Modern Lover


The New Rose Day Etiquette Guide for the Modern Lover

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

Since Victorian times, roses have symbolised love, friendship, affection, or gratitude based on what colour they are. Thankfully, we’ve moved past these rather dull definitions, and re-invented new ones that are more fun and true to modern state of love. Here’s the updated colour guide. Read carefully.

Yellow for Your Dirtiest Fellow

Traditionally, yellow symbolises friendship. But what is friendship these days without a few benefits? These cheerful flowers evoke sunshine, cornfields, copulating bumblebees – just the right subtext for the fun, flirty friend you’ve had your eye on. Give them an enthusiastically consensual golden shower of roses and make them feel warm. When it’s over and you’re left with only a wet patch on the bed, let a pressed rose remind you of the time you shared. Trust me, it’ll last longer than your Snapchat story.

Stop at Red

Romantic red roses have always been about passion and depth of feeling. Like, really deep. Red roses say, “I love you. You are my world. You are my everything. I want to gently peel your skin off and eat it.” This colour strongly implies the big C word: commitment. Make sure you ask the florist to write a comprehensive prenup on the accompanying card. Send if and only if you’re ready to wear that sherwani and jump into the mandap.

White in the Darkness

A frigid absence of colour, white roses used to be a classy way of telling someone to drop dead because you’ve already picked out their funeral flowers. Today, white represents the emotionless, coke-fuelled American Psycho hook ups that make the weekend worthwhile. For that Tinderella you love to hate fuck, even though both your hearts are cold as ice, these depressingly impersonal roses make it abundantly clear that things are super casual.

Don’t Think Pink

The most common colour even in Victorian times, pink roses were originally a token of admiration and sympathy. Pink is still a favourite today and is appropriate for any Valentine, especially when you haven’t really defined your relationship – which is the most millennial thing you could possibly not do. Whether it’s the cutie who texts “u up” twice a week like clockwork, your favourite co-worker, or your best friend’s hot chacha, all you need is two in the pink.

Orange is the New Bajrang Dal

Orange once stood for both modesty and fascination. Even today, it’s an unconventional choice for an unconventional Valentine. Peach roses make an excellent gift for your manic pixie dream girl/tattooed hipster boy/whimsical genderfluid love interest. Alternatively, a bright saffron shade will speak to the bhakt babe you’ve been crushing on from a sanskari distance. (Be warned, you might be forced to make good on Propose Day tomorrow.)