My Experience: Giving out Free Roses to Random Strangers

I had previously written a post about how I was totally wrong about Hawaii.  I wanted to go back for a second visit, and we made it happen this month.   It was also great timing since my brother needed to be there to attend a good friend’s wedding.

Wedding Flowers

My brother was given a bouquet of beautiful roses (centerpiece) from the wedding.   They were gorgeous.

He got back late from the wedding event, so I only saw the roses the next morning. There was only a slight problem.  We were flying out to another island that afternoon, so we couldn’t enjoy these roses ourselves for a few more days.

Bouquet of Roses


As we try to figure out what to do with these beautiful roses, I began to pluck and discard the ones that were damaged when they fell over during the drive. I also trimmed some of the petals.  By the time I was done, there were only 8 roses left.  They were still beautiful, but they didn’t look quite as “full” in the vase.

Giving Roses to Strangers

A thought came to mind:  Just because we can’t enjoy these roses doesn’t mean someone else can’t.

I thought it would be fun to hand out these roses to random strangers!   Who knows?  Maybe…just maybe, it could brighten someone else’s day.

Since I didn’t have flower bag (and I tried — putting them in a regular plastic bag looked tacky), I decided to do the next best thing.  I took the whole vase with me to the hotel lobby.  I figured I’ll start there first and head out to the busy street if I couldn’t find enough takers.

Initial Success

It started off well!  As I headed down the elevator, a nice middle-aged lady got on and she commented on how lovely the roses are.

Bingo!  I immediately offered her one, free.  I don’t think she was expecting it.  She was delighted and picked a rose from the vase and we chit-chatted briefly.

Once we reached the lobby, she stepped out but pressed the button to go back up.  She smiled and said she wanted to put the rose in her room.  She looked happy.  I was happy too — I mean, just how lucky was I to find someone so quickly who appreciated the rose!  One down, 7 more roses to go.


Giving out single roses to random strangers

The next one was super easy.  I made a beeline to the hotel front desk and offered the staff one.  She seemed pleasantly surprised and gracefully took a rose.  I wished her a nice day and moved on.  Just 6 more roses to go.

Not Everyone Was Interested

I saw a couple sitting in the hotel lobby waiting area.   There was some language barrier, but I approached them and offered them roses, emphasizing that they are free.  They looked at me confused and turned down the offer very quickly, looking skeptical.   It’s OK – they were not interested.  I walked away and looked around, suddenly wondering everyone has gone.

After I left, the couple was still eyeing me.  I think they were trying to figure out what I was trying to sell.

A Family Affair

The next most obvious place for me was the hotel pool area, which was across from the lobby.  A family was getting ready to leave (a Mom, two daughters, a child in the carriage and the Dad).   I approached the Mom and asked if she would be interested in a rose.  I suppose she has a healthy dose of skepticism.  She didn’t take a rose immediately, but nor did she decline either. She hesitated, to which I added brightly, “Really, it’s free”.

Not even two seconds after I said it, I hear a little voice to the left of me says,

“I want a rose, please”.

One of the daughters (probably 7-8 years old) chimed in, and I nearly laughed because I totally wasn’t expecting it.  “Of course”, I said, as I lowered the vase so she could choose her favorite one.  She tentatively placed her hand over one but then pulled back to choose another, somewhat indecisive.

The Mom helped her daughter, “Just pick any one, they are all beautiful”.

Immediately after she picked up, the other younger daughter — to the right of me — extended her outstretched hand.  She wanted a rose too, and seemingly not wanting me to forget about her (since her sister got one).   Once the younger daughter picked one up, the Mom also gracefully took one.  The Dad didn’t want one.  What an adorable family.  (Success!  3 more down, just 3 more roses to go).

Gender Stereotypes

There was another couple sitting by the pool.  I went over and offered it to them.  The gal was skeptical and shook her head.  I was just about to leave when I noticed the guy looked hesitant.  There might be a slight language barrier in this case as well, but once again, I said it’s free, extending the vase out to him but leaving the decision totally up to him.

I have to admit that I was mildly surprised when he reached out and picked out a rose – I thought it’d be the other way around with the two of them.  (Just 2 more roses to go!)

I handed the last two roses to two friends chit-chatting by one of the beach chairs.  I wandered over there, apologized for interrupting their conversation and asked them if I could interest them in a free rose.  They were! 🙂   They each took one and I bid them a good day.

Mission accomplished!

Wrapping Things Up

The whole thing took less than 10-15 minutes of my time.  Since I have no storage space in my luggage, I sheepishly went back to the front desk clerk and asked if she knew anyone who have a use for the vase.  She didn’t have a need for it, but offered that one of her colleagues might be able to make use of it.  I was thrilled!  She gladly took the vase from my hands, and I thanked her for her help.

Granted, I don’t know what people did with the roses after, but I guess that didn’t really matter.  I am just glad I can give these beautiful roses to a few people who seemed to be able to appreciate them to varying degrees.

If this happened to me, I’d wonder where the roses are from and why someone is giving them away.  Interestingly, only 1 of 8 people asked.   If it’s free and coming from someone in a non-creepy way*, I personally think it’s a lovely gesture.  After all, it’s not every day that I get a free rose.  It may not be much, but no small gesture is too small, in my book.


*I am clearly biased, but I think I presented the free rose in a friendly, non-creepy way. 🙂

What would you do if you were suddenly given a free rose from a stranger?  Would you take it or do you tend to be more skeptical?


Related Hawaii 2017 Trip Report:

My First Voluntary Denied Boarding Turned into The Best Airport Day, Ever!



Source: Travel Gadget Reviews

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