Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fear of commitment

On Saturday I bought a kentia palm for my home.  I know it's a kentia palm because I just looked at the label on the side of the pot.  I bought it because it is an indoor plant; because it fit my image of what should go in that spot; and because OSH has a plant guarantee, and since I kill plants I'm going to need that.

Owning this plant is freaking me out.  I don't own plants.  I buy kitty grass for Sophie, she chews it, it dies, and I throw it out.  I buy cut flowers.  I don't remember the last plant I owned.

A plant is a live thing I need to care for.  But it's not like having a cat.  Most people would think that it would be harder to take care of a mammal because the stakes are higher.  But it's easier when the thing interacts with you.  I have no problem feeding a cat regularly and keeping the litter box clean and taking her to the vet when necessary.  If I forget to feed Sophie, she sits on my lap and makes sure I don't do anything without thinking of her first.

It's not like having a person.  With dating and relationships, you know when date night is.  There's a routine.  And if needs aren't being met, you can talk about it and sort it out.  (Or not.  But at least you can interact.)

A plant just sits there.  It has fragility and needs to be maintained.  It needs to be kept alive, but it doesn't tell you what it needs.  How am I supposed to make this work?

I think I'm supposed to buy it a new pot.  Something pretty.  And I'm supposed to water it.  It gets sunlight -- I'm pretty sure it's grown since I brought it home.

It might help to name it.  I'm stuck on a name, though.  I don't want to gender the plant: do I want a male plant or a female plant?  I am not particularly enamored of having to water Bob.

And maybe I should have date night with it.  Meaning, on Saturday nights I make sure it is watered.

I look at it and think, "So pretty."  And then I think, "What am I supposed to do now?"

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