The Plant Whisperer

If you give me an office plant that’s been neglected, I will bring it back to life. On my desk, that plant will flourish.

You know why?

Not because I water it more than you did. No. Not because I put it in the sun.

The office plant will do well on my desk because I’ll love it. See?

How do you love a plant?

Do you talk to it each day, so that the carbon dioxide comes out of your mouth and nourishes the plant like its oxygen nourishes you?


You just love it. You don’t have to tell it. The plant knows.

Also, I regularly remove the dead leaves from my plants. And sometimes I do talk to them, then. But just about regular stuff. I don’t say anything sappy or overdramatic. Just stuff like, “Look at you. You’re looking nice. Let me get this crap off your branch — hold still.” But that’s about it.

I have this plant on my desk now. I rescued it from the desk of a bitter person who left our company. When I got the plant, it was sad, but now I have to say that it looks pretty happy. Recently, I made the decision to cut off about 85% of its foliage, because it had gotten very leggy and sparse while on the bitter person’s desk. It was kind of risky, cutting off that much, but I felt that it was time. And, while I did it, I actively felt love for the plant. It sits where I can see it as I type, and whenever my eyes make contact with it, I take a split second to think of it with love.

And now it’s bushy, and happy, and it’s even putting out a new little arm to reach the sun.

Plants are pretty simple beings. They’re just like pets or babies or cars, in that they’re happy to be loved, and you don’t even have to say it aloud.


I feel like I’ve been super busy lately, and yet when my friends say “What’s going on with you?” I can’t think of anything to tell them.

My kids are coming home from their dad’s in a couple of weeks, and then the school preparation maelstrom will begin. Hooray. That hooray is sarcastic, but I will be glad to have my kids back because, without them (this is very untrendy to say but I’ll still say it), my life doesn’t seem to have a lot of purpose. I mean, I spend the whole summer saying, “Wait… what am I doing? Why am I doing this? Should I just get drunk now? Should I just lie on my bed til my kids come back home?”

Just kidding. Sort of.

I’m pretending I might write another book now. Go back to work on a book I’ve already started, I mean. In theory, I should have been doing that all summer long, the whole time the kids were gone, but I didn’t. I just couldn’t. And that’s okay. Sometimes mommies just need to rest. And drink. Right?

Just kidding. I really haven’t even drunk that much lately, because alcohol has lots of calories. A glass of red wine has, like, 70. Michelob Ultra Light has 95, and it doesn’t even taste good. The frozen sake belinis that Mo Mong sells for $2 on Monday evenings? I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing they’re 200 calories each. And, as y’all know, I am counting them. See, I just counted a whole bunch of calories in this paragraph, alone.

Speaking of Calories

The other day, in one of those cheap, photo-full celeb mags, I saw a picture of manorexic Steven Tyler (lead singer of Aerosmith, who sings “Sweet Emotion,” which I’ve decided is one of the best rock songs ever made*).

And… Steven Tyler was quoted as saying, “Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.”

And I know he didn’t make that up — he’s just quoting some gay icon from the ’70s or something — but the image of him saying that has stuck within my brain.
“Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels. [Swee-ee-ee-eet… ee-mo-o-o-o… shun!]”

And I disagree.

Things that taste as good as being thin would feel, in my mind:

  1. carrot cake
  2. lemon-filled donuts (from Shipley’s, though — not from some assy chain)
  3. high-quality cheesecake, maybe
  4. creme brulee with ginger crust

And that’s just the desserts, off the top of my head. That’s not even getting into all the other categories of good-tasting food.

However, I can see that a piece of carrot cake probably tastes exactly as good as it would feel to fit into a dress from one of those boutiques that doesn’t carry my current size. I mean, walking into Charlotte Russe or Forever 21 and trying on a cute dress, even if I end up not buying it because I don’t want to look all mutton-as-lamb… probably feels as good as a lemon donut tastes.

And so I’m still counting, and resisting, and lifting weights with the sadistic woman on Fit TV. But I still like myself, too. I don’t have to be as bone-thin as Steven Tyler in order to like myself. Thank God.**


I’m practicing healthy techniques for coping with stress. The main one is, “Don’t be bottling up all your stressful thoughts inside.” So, in that spirit, I’m going to share with y’all something that’s been making me very sad.

Something is wrong with the shower in my master bath, in the house that y’all might remember I bought exactly a year ago.

The shower is leaking water into the floor somehow, and it wets the carpet and the pad underneath, and it’s starting to rot the bottom edge of the door frame.

And it makes me sad. And I know it needs to be fixed, but I’m also imagining that fixing it is gonna cost more money than I have at the moment. The shower stall is encased in wall tiles — it’s not one of those fiberglass deals. So, it all has to be broken apart, probably. *Sigh*.

So that’s been in the back of my mind, and I’m trying to gather together the money to fix it. And I’m trying not to spend more than 10 minutes of each day mentally cursing the hucksters who sold me this house, wishing for them to have as many problems with their new house as their neglect has caused me. (Seriously, though, if you guys are reading this, I hate you both and dearly hope for instant karma to get you.)

So. Yeah.
I think I’m supposed to feel better, now that I’ve unburdened myself like this. I can’t tell yet. Well, whatever.

Talk to y’all later. Send me good plumbing vibes, would you?

* One time this guy told me that the Clash’s “Rock the Casbah” was the best rock song ever made. While I agree that that’s a very good song, I personally don’t believe that the best rock song ever made would have piano.

** Okay, so not only did someone else already write a blog entry using this exact theme… but she name-checked carrot cake, too! I tip my hat to you, Laura Moncur.

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in domestic, parenting, vanity, venting on 08/08/2007 05:06 pm

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.