Plant people: I get you now. It's fun. I see it.
Years ago, a friend brought me a succulent. I didn't know how to take care of it and I told her that and she said to me, "It's okay! These are hens and chicks and they're impossible to kill. You don't have to be good at plants. Just water them sometimes, and that's it."
I got excited. I had never, ever, not ever, not once, been able to keep a plant alive in my house. Or outside of my house, for that matter.
Exhibit A: The Garden.
The lady who lived here before us kept an immaaaaaculate garden. She was, like, really into it. She left me a binder full of details about it—what the plants were called and what they wanted and how I should, what's the word you garden people use, tend them.
Well, I destroyed that beautiful garden. Decimated it. Enjoyed a few years of dazzling, fragrant blooms, and then watched stupidly as the whole thing fell into ruins like an old Scottish castle. A few of the lilies still poke their heads up, year after year, cautious and pessimistic, but they're ghosts of their once glorious selves. Straggling up through the dirt like zombies, mourning over their lost kingdom, hopelessly beholding the dandelions that have begun to advance across the sparse lawn toward them. I am fairly certain they're hostile, the lilies; I think they know I'm the problem, think I should fix it all and banish the weedy dissidents, restore the flowers to their rightful place as illustrious rulers of the block, just as their previous gardener would have done, but, you know. Alas and alack and everything.
So anyway, the hens and chicks. I thought to myself, sure, I couldn't manage a whole garden, designed and grown and cared for by an older woman who had, no doubt, years of experience and knowledge under her belt and years of dirt under her fingernails. But a tiny clay pot of hens and chicks? I could probably—
It was dead within the week.
So I...gave up? The other option was to buy one of those ridiculously big books about gardening and try to learn how to fix the problems, and I didn't have time to do that. Giving up is always the easiest thing. I did buy some very realistic-looking fake plants to hang over the piano, and one of my more planty friends congratulated me on them, thinking they were real. A win!
I met this person on Instagram who lives in my neighborhood and they offered me a little houseplant (thanks, Steph!). I almost said no, because I felt bad in advance for killing it. But then I thought about how much I wanted that particular plant.
It was very cute.
So I said yes, and she brought it over and gave it to me and I put it in a place of honor and respect in the kitchen windowsill and whispered to it, "I'll try so hard to keep you alive but you're going to have to be pretty forgiving."
I think the plant understood, because it has now been three weeks and one day and the plant is not dead. THREE WEEKS AND ONE DAY AND THE PLANT IS NOT DEAD.
Furthermore, the plant is getting bigger and making more leaves. I'm no expert, but I think this means I am taking such good care of it, that I am doing it exactly right.
So suddenly, after three weeks and one day of doing it exactly right, I'm just really super overconfident. I went and bought seeds and I'm growing vines for my fence on the windowsill and I'm nurturing a brand new apple tree in the backyard and I planted flowers in the front...I am a whole new lady. I get excited to come home and look at dirt because what if something sprouted something? What if something bloomed? What if something grew?
And I think there's a moral to the story, and I think the moral is that it's okay to decide that you hate something and that it's not for you and that you never want to give it the time of day and that the thought of it makes you tired and grouchy but then to decide on a whim and for no particular reason that actually it's your favorite thing EVER and is, in fact, your entire personality now.