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Life is not about getting to the destination, life is what happens to you on the way there. 

Monday, December 20, 2004

I don't always forget my plants

When I was little, I remember I had a spider plant that hung in the window of my bedroom in a macrame hanger that I killed. I was only about 6 or 7 at the time and I let it die because I forgot to water it. Since then I have killed many plants, but I always flash back to being told that it was my fault that the plant died because I forgot to water it. Which was true... I always felt really bad about that, something else needed me and I neglected it. I've inadvertently killed many things, including some hamsters and gerbils in my care during my teen years. I never kill them intentionally, I just forget about them and then it's "oh wow, Tiny is sure sleeping for a long time, Tiny? TINY???"

So, now you know why I don't have gerbils or hamsters. I think they are super cute and I love them and all, but I don't want to be the cause of a cute critter's death. I think the last time I killed something furry was about a year before I got pregnant with my firstborn. I remember my mom talking about my impending pregnancy to one of her friends and I don't remember who said it but someone said "Well she can't kill the baby, it'll make too much noise".

I decided then and there I wouldn't kill anything else, however unintentionally, from that point on. Of course I've never been able to stick to that because I always forget at some point to water the plants and I think that sometimes if my kids didn't ask for food I would forget to feed them..... I remember once, with middle child as a baby, she was really fussy and just cried and cried. Finally, when I realized she was practically sucking the nipple off her pacifier it hit me that she was hungry. I sure felt terrible. Yes, that's the extent of my forgetfulness. I was much more successful with youngest because I breast-fed her for a much longer period of time and by the time she got cranky it was right around boobs-of-steel time so I knew what was wrong....

Back to the topic - the killing of plants. Well, you may or may not be aware that I am fascinated by plants and trees and all sorts of naturey things so it about kills me every time a plant dies at my hands. When I got this fabulous job from He-who-offers-me-money-to-do-what-I-love I hit upon the perfect recipe for a happy plant and a happy me. I keep plants on my desk. Because I see them every day, it's become my habit to water them every day. Therefore, I have no dead plants. No dead plants plus someone who loves plants = happy worker. Well, none of them are dead by my hand anyhow. I used to have 10 of them in teeny pots all over my pod. Then I went on vacation in February, and lost a $20 bonsai. It was a fragile bonsai and didn't like the change in watering frequency (every other day to once that week) so it croaked. I don't think of that as a plant I killed, I think of that as a plant having a temper tantrum and dying to spite me.

So, to avoid plant death, I figured I would appoint a caretaker to my plants while I was gone this past trip. The caretaker had worked well in the past, for three or four days at a time. Sometimes my plants were a bit dry when I got back, but all lived. This time, I think the caretaker remembered water about a day before I got back. I came home and all my plants were wet, but limp looking. More than a few of them had crunchy leaves. I faithfully watered them and bought most of them back from the brink except one. My favorite twisty trunk bonsai died today. He was all right yesterday, just a tad limp and slightly droopy leaves, but today, all his leaves were gone. So, DH, I've lost another $20 bonsai. This one at least lasted 2 years. But, IT TOTALLY WASN'T MY FAULT. I tried and tried to nurse him back to health, he got his Miracle Gro on time and his water on schedule, but it was all in vain.

Yeah, I think I'm to blame. I thought about bringing him home for DH to watch while I was gone but I remembered three cats and their love for anything green so I thought the caretaker would be a better choice. I was wrong and I feel so bad because he was the COOLEST PLANT EVER and this time I really didn't kill him, I'm not just rationalizing his death, I really didn't do it.

DH, do you think the bonsai guy is still at the flea market? I need another bonsai to fill the vacant hole on my desk....

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