I have a thing for plants.
BA would tell you that it’s an obsession. He would also tell you that I can’t keep them alive. Then he would quietly add in that I buy too many.
I once blamed him for my plants death. We got this little green thing from Ikea. (I don’t know the names of them. Funny how you can be so addicted to something without even knowing anything about it.) It was the perfect indoor plant to make your kitchen just the right amount of home. I had to have it. I begged him for it like a kid in a candy store. An unnecessary amount of begging, to say the least. Of course he would get me the plant, that’s the kind of person that he is. He would buy it, even when he hated what he was buying. I’m still not sure if he does this because I get so passionate about the thing that I want, or because it will shut me up for a little bit. Maybe it’s both.
We put our new family member in the back of our car, next to the new wall shelves and mason jars (I also had to have those). Bill organized and rearranged so that it was just right, or so we thought.
I opened the trunk that night to see my new plant, now homeless, sprawled out all over the place, turning the light tan interior I loved so much into a dark brown mess.
Trying to save the plant by taking soil from another plants home, I blamed BA for about two days. The plant didn’t make it. My boyfriend did. But the plant didn’t. We will keep it at that.
I’m drawn to them everywhere I go. Whether it’s out shopping for pillows or bread to fill the empty kitchen cabinets, I somehow find my way to the plant section.
As I was making toast the other day, I looked around my kitchen. I looked at the white walls, the freshly cleaned granite, the crumbs from the Ezekiel bread falling from the countertop to the floor that I just swept. I looked at the dog licking the crumbs, and then I looked at my plant. My dead plant, of course. My plant that was now a yellowish color instead of a vibrant green it once used to be.
Why can’t I keep you guys alive?
Picking the poor thing up, giving it some water, knowing it won’t come back to life, because that’s not how life works, I put it back in the same spot. I didn’t throw it out, I didn’t toss it away. I couldn’t. I loved it. Dead or alive.
Maybe I over-watered you. Or maybe I didn’t water you enough.
While speaking to my plant that was sadly hanging over it’s home on my kitchen counter (I realize I’m probably insane for doing that), I decided I was going to keep it there. I was going to wake up, make my coffee, burn my toast, and look at it. Every single morning.
I had two options. I could keep it, or I could throw it in the garbage bag with my chewed up dog slobbered slippers and an old apple. The thing is, I couldn’t fix the damage. I couldn’t take back the mistake of over-watering or under-watering, whichever I did. I couldn’t fix it, but I could keep it. I could keep the plant, and I could look at it everyday and remember that life isn’t perfect. That mistakes happen, and we live with them.
Or, I could toss the plant and go buy a new one. I could replace the damage and forget about it, covering it up with something more eye appealing.
I didn’t replace the plant. I kept it there. To this day, I wake up and I see it. I just saw it this morning, right before I burned my toast and brewed my coffee and cuddled with my dog.
Replacing the plant would be easy, and of course it would look a million times better than it does, but I found something in this plant that I wanted to be reminded of when I wake up in the mornings. Life isn’t perfect, as much as we portray that. The pretty pictures, the perfect decor and sparkling granite. If I replaced it, maybe I would think my life is as perfect as those pictures.
I wanted, for once, to see the mistakes that we all hide. The mistakes we all want to bury and toss away with the half eaten apple. I wanted to see the dead plant, and know that it’s ok, while eating my charcoal toast.