Friday, June 11, 2010
Yes, Freckles Can Be Your Friend
Abby Knight’s my name. Flowers are my game.
Okay, job and passion.
Let me clarify that, because actually I have four passions: 1. Flowers. 2. Marco Salvare (more about him later). 3. Justice. 4. Life. The last one I’m particularly keen on, yet because of number 3, I keep getting into situations where hanging onto number 4 gets a bit dicey. But before I get into that – oh, sorry. Let me answer this call.
“Bloomers Flower Shop. Abby Knight speaking. How can I help you?”
To me, those are the most beautiful words in the world. Having my own flower shop, even a struggling one, is a dream come true. Seriously, have you ever stepped inside a flower shop without inhaling the sweet scents of all those heavenly blossoms and feeling a sense of pure delight? Who wouldn’t be happy working there?
It’s especially blissful for me, considering where I started from, and that was ground zero. If being the youngest child in the family, not to mention the only girl, standing at a mere 5' 2" tall, sporting flame red hair and too many freckles to count, and being overly endowed on top (ahem), wasn’t bad enough, try following that with two older brothers who graduated with honors from med school and are successful surgeons. Then add to the mix a fussy fiancé from one of the prominent families in town and a horrible experience trying to cut it my first year in law school.
And finally to finish this recipe for disaster, stir in getting kicked out of law school and top that with being jilted by the fiancé for embarrassing him and his blue blood family. So you can see why Bloomers has become my paradise. When I was drowning in failure, Bloomers threw me a lifeline.
I love working with flowers. My assistant, Lottie, who used to own the shop, tells me I have a genuine eye for design. You can even try some of my original designs yourself. There are at least 2 in every one of my books -- and I say MY books because the stories are, after all, about my exploits. (Step back from that delete button, Kate. I’m serious!) Okay, my misadventures. Satisfied?
I also love the happiness that flowers bring to people. You wouldn’t believe the joy of ringing a doorbell and handing a person a gorgeous floral arrangement. I never tire of it.
In all honesty, though, some customers can be a challenge. Such as one bridezilla and her overbearing mom who wouldn’t take any advice I offered and ended up with a disaster of a wedding. Wilted brown bouquets, ugly boutonnieres, horrendous table decorations . . . But customers like that are the exception, thank goodness. And I’m always up for a challenge anyway.
The one thing I can’t – make that won’t – tolerate is injustice. There is nothing that makes me angrier than to see animals abused or innocent people railroaded by ruthless detectives and prosecutors. When that happens, I have no choice but to get involved. It might come from being the daughter of a cop. Or it just might be a trait I inherited from my stubborn Irish clan. Whatever the cause, I’m up for that challenge, too. I’ve helped catch a number of murderers because of my refusal to let an injustice happen.
And at the end of the day, there’s my hunk-a-hunk of burnin’ Italian love, Marco Salvare, who owns the Down the Hatch bar and grill just up the block from Bloomers. He went into the army after college, became an Army Ranger, Special Ops, served for two years, then came home to be a cop. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good fit, so now he runs his bar and does PI work on the side. He has a large family – 6 siblings in all – and a mom who looks like a younger Sophia Loren, and although Francesca can be, shall we say, a little too enthusiastic at times, anyone who did such a great job of raising Marco is okay in my eyes. Because Marco is hot – dark wavy hair, deep, soulful eyes, hard-muscled, and all man.
And he listens! How many men really listen to women when they talk? Sure, he can be a tad bossy sometimes, but then so can I. But the best thing about Marco is that he loves my freckles, something I've always seen as a curse.
I’ve got a great life now – my flower shop, Marco, my two assistants, and I can’t forget Simon, the white cat who rules my apartment and loves to play hide-and-seek (sometimes in the middle of the night, which scares the living daylights out of me).
Next time, I’ll tell you about some of the funny things that happen to florists. I’ve got some great stories for you. So stay tuned. And I promise to try to keep my clueless, fashionista cousin Jillian from posting in my place. Talk about a recipe for disaster.
Abby, signing off
A note from Kate Collins: You can read more about Abby and the Bloomers gang at my website and take a tour of the flower shop. Abby's next "misadventure," DIRTY ROTTEN TENDRILS will be out October 5, 2010. www.katecollinsbooks.com