Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Plants annoy me. They’re so . . . needy.
If I don’t water them, they won’t live. I think that’s blackmail. And manipulation. And don’t forget codependency.
Plus, they’re liars. They are, too. You buy them in the grocery store, full of blooms and promise—like those cute little miniature roses in clay pots. You take them home, put ‘em in the kitchen window where the sun shines, and the next thing you know, all the flowers fall off, the leaves let loose and you’ve got yourself an eight dollar pot of sticks.
My husband recently inherited some orchids that he bought for me without my permission. Maybe he thought they’d inspire me to get off Facebook and take up cultivation. But plants are smarter than that. They never would have gone home with him if they’d known he meant to give them to me. They’re afraid of me. They saw my picture on the wanted poster behind the florist’s counter.
These three came loaded with blooms, and hung onto them way longer than any premature roses ever did. But ever since the first crop of blossoms fell off, all we’ve been raising are orchid leaves. I even bought an artificial orchid that looked like they once did—giant purple bloom spike and everything--and put it on the shelf next to them.
“Aspire!” I told them. Maybe they thought I said “expire”. At least the fake one still looks good.
I just don’t have the gardening gene. This inorganic thumb of mine has been around all my life. Though I always wanted to live on a farm, God—in His infinite wisdom—planted me in the city where I couldn’t hurt any of His crops of corn. It’s not that I don’t like plants. It’s just that I don’t care. I want them to suck it up and take care of themselves. Bloom where they’re planted. Stop looking pathetic and get a life. Is that asking too much?
Some of my friends hate to receive fresh flowers. They’ve told their husbands not to waste money on dead plants. They ask for live ones, thinking they’ll last longer. But I think that’s a waste of time. Just cut out the middle man and bring me the dead ones while they still look good. We’re not kidding ourselves here – cut roses in a vase get you kisses in my house. Bring me a live plant complete with expectations and guilt, and I may not talk to you for a week.
The only potted plant I’ve ever received that I appreciated was given to me by a friend in Florida. It had deep green velvety leaves and was called a Phonaceous Ignoricus Phophilodendrious. She made it herself from leftover velvet sewn onto wire stems and lovingly placed each stalk into a beautiful little clay pot filled with styrofoam. The special instructions on the homemade label read, “Do not water. Do not place in direct light. Thrives on neglect.”
Man, I loved that plant. I still weep just thinking about it. The Phony Ignorable Fauxphilodendrum. I sure wish I hadn’t dropped it.