April 16, 2009

The "Plant Experience"

I know, I know - I took a full month off from blogging. Listen, it's hard to think of so many things to complain about every week. I will confess that I thought about retiring for a while... until someone gave me the shittiest present in the world. So here I am to tell you about it.

I moved into a new house recently - nothing fancy, just a nice row home in a quiet part of town. All the houses lined up along my street have a small yard in the back. Believe me, this was NOT a selling point for me. I don't want to mow grass or rake leaves or do any of that crap. In fact, it was in spite of the yard that I bought the house. However, the yard is really small and not that big of a deal.

I met my new next door neighbor a while back, a woman about 50 years of age and living with cats (I told you that it was a "quiet" part of town!), and she went on and on about how I have to grow plants in the backyard, and how great it is, and how she does it, etc. I pointedly told her that I grew up in the city, I don't have a Green Thumb, I don't want plants, it's too much work, and I'm too busy.

Well, she bought me a house warming gift today. Guess what it is? It's a giant fucking green planter filled with dirt and budding plants. Are you kidding me?? The thing is huge, it can't go anywhere but outside in my unmowed backyard. She manically beamed as she told me, "You said you didn't have much experience with plants... well, now you will have lots of experience!"

What?? Hey, lady... SCREW YOU! Did you ever think that I don't want "plant experience"?? Do you know what the definition of "plant experience" is to me?... It's "work". Why do you think I spent 20 years of my life pretending I had a stomach ache every Saturday morning so that my dad wouldn't make me rake leaves? Why do you think I bought the house with the smallest yard I could find? It wasn't an accident that I don't have plant experience - it was a well-crafted strategy I used to make sure that I enjoyed my weekends.

Do you believe this? So, of course, this giant planter has to go in my backyard, where this woman will see it every day out of her kitchen window. It's so big, I can't even throw it out if I wanted to (which I would have done, if she didn't live RIGHT NEXT DOOR to me). Now I have to water it every day, tend to it, and do the other bullshit gardening stuff to it - ("pruning"? is that what it is?) - because if I don't, then she will see it all die, and then I would have to face the botanical inquisition from her about why it died - or she would know that I killed it from neglect and her feelings would be all hurt, and I'll have an "angry neighbor situation" for the rest of my life (or the rest of her life, whichever ends or moves first). Jesus Christ.

Who gives this kind of present?? She basically saddled me with another chore to do every week. I told this woman from the beginning that I didn't want anything to do with plants or dirt. When she first saw the inside of my house, she remarked about how I had no "living green things" around. Yeah, that's right - that's by design. I don't have "living green things" around because I don't want "dead brown things" around. It's not that I would kill the plants accidentally because I don't know what I'm doing - I would kill them intentionally because I don't want to deal with it!

What is this lady going to do for my birthday?... gift wrap a baby and leave it at my doorstep so I can be burdened with taking care of that thing for the next 18 years?! Forget the plant experience, why not give me the parent experience instead??

I know some people get relaxation or satisfaction from doing gardening and lawn work, but I'm not one of them. And to give someone the "curse of chores" is not a gift. And I don't want to hear from all the altruistic women on The Knot.com that will tell me that "it's not the gift that counts, it's the thought" - because she DIDN'T think. She knew I wasn't interested in plants, and she's trying to force it on me, and now I have no choice. The planter is so big that I can't "accidentally drop it", I can't accidentally burn it, and no one would believe me if I said that someone stole it (plus I can't stage a theft because it's too heavy for me to move). So now I have to go through this whole charade of trying to care for the plants until I come up with some clever way to remove this albatross from around my neck. In the meantime, the planter is consuming 25% of the square footage of my backyard, and I was going to put a beer pong table back there now that the snow has thawed and it's warming up. Goddamnit.


  1. Good luck with the plants! Very funny!!! Welcome back, it was worth the wait.

  2. This reminds me of the time someone gave me a puppy as a birthday gift! Talk about giving the gift of work and responsibility!! I think you really need to make sure the person really wants what you plan on giving them, especially if it's alive!