I kill plants.

I don’t intend to, but they just don’t demand enough of my attention to actually care for them. I realize that sounds awful. And I’m unapologetic about it. I forget to water them; I over water them. I don’t give them plant food. I don’t move them with the seasonal light. I forget to bring them in when there is a frost or freeze warning.

I suck as a plant owner.

Plants aren’t vocal about their needs and wants and every thought that comes into their brain like children are. They don’t demand anything from me. They aren’t counting on my productivity or creativity or reactivity or any other -tivity there could be. They fall to the bottom of my list.

The only think lower on my list is my non-existent love-life.

I’m not even saying that in the “If I say I’m not looking, something will fall right into my lap” way. I’m saying it in the “Listen, bub. You will fall behind the following things in my life: kids, job 1, job 2, MBA classes, housework, vehicle maintenance, and plants” kind of way. I can’t even add a pet to the mix because there is just not enough of me to make that happen. Also, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to be at the end of my list. It’s a lousy place to be – I know – I’m there most of the time, too.

It is kind of liberating to be voluntarily off the market. I truly do not spend any time checking men out. I don’t ever think, “Hmm… I wonder if he’s single?” I leave my house ready for my day and come home at the end of the day, get the kids to bed, do my homework, and watch whatever the hell I want on Hulu as I fall asleep. I don’t have to check with anyone else’s schedule if I want to plan something. I can happily wallow in low-maintenance mode as long as I want. I don’t worry about mixed signals because everyone and everything is absolutely platonic in my world right now.

The one thing I do miss is the thing I wasn’t aware I was missing while I was married. Seriously, why did it take until I was 40 and someone’s marital refuse before I learned that porn sex is not a ruse like the Tooth Fairy? Someone could have clued me in on that one…

I’m hitting the point in this reflection where I should be making the realization that I am like the plants I cannot sustain. I need to water myself and feed myself and care for myself. I should give myself space to grow and stretch for the light. I should nurture myself in the midst of the single working two jobs and going to school mom Olympics. You know, “Wake up Courtenay and smell the roses in your own garden!” or some other platitude.

But, like I said, I kill plants.

13 thoughts on “Plants

  1. This was done really well. I can certainly relate to the “I’m mom and I always the last priority”. Unfortunately, that’s what parents tend to do, especially moms. Comparing the care of yourself to the care of a plant was great. I love your voice in this too. “I kill plants” was a great way to start this piece.

  2. I kill plants too. In fact my husband was just commenting on the number of dead that exist on our balcony. I’m also not so great at self-care. Maybe there’s more to your theory here!

  3. The fact that your sense of humour is intact, is proof you are one courageous woman!
    And, yes, moms do that – put themselves at the end of their priority lists. And, there’s not much we can do about that without feeling guilty, is there?
    I so loved this piece! 🙂

  4. *sigh* I killed the fake plant my mother gave me in college.

    It’s not even that you put yourself last (generic, all-encompassing “you”), it’s just that that’s where you are, y’know? I do love the way you tied this together with your metaphor-not-metaphor. <3

  5. Oh my – change some details and you could be writing about me.

    I identify so hard with this line: “It’s a lousy place to be – I know – I’m there most of the time, too.”

    Have you thought about cacti? 😉
    MM Schreier recently posted…The SnowglobeMy Profile

  6. I kill plants too. I don’t mean to but oh well. I hope you make sure to take care of yourself though. It’s hard when you are a mom, and even harder I’m sure when you are a single parent but it’s so important. How about a pedicure every now and then?!

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