html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: They should be glad I don't have a couch out there.

Friday, May 12, 2006

They should be glad I don't have a couch out there.

I really love plants. Plants are the first thing I see in any setting; they’re the markers in my mental maps. If I have been to your house once, I can almost certainly tell you how it is landscaped, but I could ride in your car for years and not be able to tell you the make, much less the model. It took me a long time to realize that telling people to turn at the really stunning tea tree didn’t convey good information to them.

I pay a lot of attention to houseplants, too. I believe you can gauge the quality of a couple’s relationship by their houseplants. Thriving houseplants, couple is happy. Couple is fighting, houseplants droop or die back. I figure most of that is that unhappy couples don’t have the love left to tend their plants, and some of that is that Plants Respond to the Energy Around Them.

The more you like plants, the less you like lawns. I gave up on my lawn four years ago. I don’t even dislike yardwork; I just resent putting effort into a lawn I don’t want. Right now the front yard is full of three foot tall flowering weeds. I was surprised by how much an untended lawn offended my male neighbors. Female neighbors don’t care. I’ve told them I would keep it neat if they ever ask me and they just laugh about it. Male neighbors started by making jokes about how I need a man around the house, then offered their gas-powered lawn mower, then mentioned that gardeners aren’t that expensive, then said that my lawn brings down property values for everyone, then stopped talking to me, then got me cited for blight. Twice*. Male neighbors can suck me.

For all that my yard looks like an untended mess, I know every plant in it. Some plants I planted in there; those I watch carefully. I live on a busy street and people steal my flowers all the time. They likely have the wrong idea; they think I don’t care because I’m not tending it. I do care; I know to the day which plants will be flowering and I notice the theft the instant I step out the door. The clear remedy, which I’ll apply as soon as I can afford it, is for me to rip out the lawn, put a low symbolic fence up, and plant lots and lots of beautiful plants for the insects and me.

*The blight citation isn’t a big deal. They give me a couple weeks to mow my lawn. Since mowing it takes a couple hours once it is three feet high and I avoid a $700 fine, I just figure I’m making $350 an hour to mow, which is the highest wage I’ve ever earned.



Blogger grant said...

What conclusion do you draw when a couple has no house plants?

12:04 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

That they have cold, empty hearts, with no love for any living thing.

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That, or they have cats they don't want to die (or pee on the plants)?

1:27 PM  
Blogger Cladeedah said...

Why not that they're too busy showering each other with love and affection to care about anything else.

5:50 PM  
Blogger matt said...

I'm tempted to agree with you, but neither my girlfriend nor I seem to have any luck with plants at all -- which really just ruins the argument.

4:17 AM  

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