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For That Not-So-Special Someone

February 11, 1985

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ With Valentine’s Day coming up Thursday, the flower business should be blooming. Kevin Milmoe hopes the same holds true for dead flowers for dead romances.

The 28-year-old law student from La Jolla started the Dead Rose Co. after helping a friend over the pain of being jilted.

″He was miserable and he didn’t know what to do about it,″ Milmoe said. ″I said, ’Why not send her something to let her know how you feel?‴

Milmoe took a wilted bunch of roses that happened to be available, wrapped them in black tissue, tied a black ribbon around them and delivered them - brown, limp and ugly - to the woman who had scorned his friend.

″She didn’t know what to think, but it cheered him right up,″ Milmoe said. ″It seemed like a polite way of telling that not-so-special someone exactly how you feel.″

Recipients of dead roses seem to find the experience ″thought- provoking,″ and the senders get relief without doing anything violent, he said.

The cost for delivery anywhere in San Diego is $25. The recipient gets a standard white flower box, a dozen dead, long-stemmed red roses, and a personalized ″gift″ card.

Milmoe’s big problem is finding enough dead flowers to fill the demand, although he said he has been known to buy florists’ rejects and hang them until they’re just right.

″They have to be pretty brown so there’s no question what the message is,″ he said.

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