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Sisters Tammy Tipton and Tob’e Poynter race each other to work before sunrise on Valentine’s Day.
Poynter, owner of Mulberry Florist in Elizabethtown, and Tipton, manager there, don’t get to celebrate the day with their husbands as they fill orders on the busiest day in their industry.
That’s why the sisters coordinate Valentine’s Day flower arrangements with each other’s husbands to give to their wives on their behalves at the beginning of the work day.
They each rush to be the first to leave the bouquet on the other’s work station, though the annual practice means the gesture no longer is a surprise.
Tipton said she appreciates flowers and her annual arrangement, even though she’s around flowers all the time. She said her husband would be in trouble if he missed a year of giving her flowers.
“I’ve gotten so used to it, I expect it,” she said.
After a few moments at about 5 a.m. to appreciate their flowers, the sisters and other employees at the shop work frantically until after 9 p.m. to get deliveries to their respective destinations throughout the area.
The long day follows an evening during which the sisters stay at work until about 2 a.m., Tipton said.
“We just go home, take a bath, sit down, then it’s time to leave,” she said. “It’s a long two days, so we don’t really get to celebrate except for our husbands trying to surprise us.”
One fortunate aspect of the day is family members often pitch in around that time, knowing how busy things are. That means they get to spend the day with family, even if they don’t celebrate it in a traditional way.
Mari Nall, a clerk at E-Town Florist, celebrated Valentine’s Day with a dinner at her church, which is how she plans to celebrate with her husband.
“We have never been a traditional Valentine’s Day couple,” she said.
Deciding what day they’ll celebrate, rather than making a date work on Feb. 14 means the couple doesn’t have to deal with crowded restaurants or work around the demands of Nall’s job during the holiday.
She said the day is busy, but it’s always fun to help customers find what they need to help bring happiness to loved ones, being surrounded by flowers all the while.
The store’s owner, Beth White, said she and her husband also set their own rules for how and when they celebrate their love.
“He just does really sweet things all the time, so we celebrate Valentine’s Day a lot,” she said. “I’m probably the only gal in town that’s ever done laundry.”
White said she and her husband also celebrate Valentine’s Day and other holidays on dates other than those set aside on the calendar.
“The most important thing about celebrating anything is sharing with those you love,” she said. “I think that everyone should enjoy Valentine’s Day and celebrate it year round.”
Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or firstname.lastname@example.org.