I forget to feed things that don’t talk. If it doesn’t make noise or bother me to death when it’s hungry, it probably won’t get fed.
I have two great-grandmothers and a grandmother who are wonderful with plants. They grow everywhere and are always happy to be alive. My plants… not so much. They look more like they are teetering anxiously on the brink of starvation, hoping desperately for this day to be their last.
I have this romantic mental image of myself living in a house with beautiful landscaping and hanging ferns on the porch and potted flowers on all the windowsills. In this dream, I am usually wearing a 1950’s-style apron and high heels as I move about the house watering my fragrant blossoms and gathering them into vases to spread throughout the rooms.
And then I wake up, and I remember that I once killed DESERT PLANTS, so the indoor houseplant thing is definitely not in my future.
The mother of a friend gave me a big pot of desert succulent plants as a wedding present and assured me I could not kill them. The voice in my head said, “Oh really? Let’s find out.”
I did. I didn’t mean to! I watered them! …whenever I remembered. Which would be weeks apart. And then I would water them too much to try and make up for all the weeks they had been shriveling up and redeem myself for being such a horrible plant-parent. Then, come to find out after they were dead, the Mister had ALSO been watering them in an effort to keep me from looking like such a horrible plant-parent. So really, it wasn’t so much that we starved them as we force-fed them to death.
We are now in the season when WalMart expands into the parking lot and fills the outdoor area with beautiful blooms in painted pots and large ferns spilling over in waves of greenery. And a hopeful voice inside me says, “You can do it! This time will be different! You can have a pretty porch of flowers too!” … But then the snarky voice of reality comes back and says, “Oh really? Remember the ferns? Remember the succulents? Remember the FISH you killed because it didn’t remind you it was dinnertime?????”
And so I walk on by, head hung low, resisting the magnetic pull of the garden section and the terrible, inevitable disappointment that awaits there.
Like I said, if it doesn’t talk or cry or whine or paw at me when it’s hungry, I won’t remember to feed it. Good thing Meera is very persistent about dinnertime.