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Language Log

Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013 - 1:02 p.m.

My mom did this very characteristic thing for me for my birthday. The Friday before we left for our trip, I had tried to get to the native plant sale at the desert museum. It turned into a bit of a fiasco, and I didn't end up buying anything, although I had picked out a native honeysuckle. Mom was along for the ride.

When we got back on Monday, I find not one, but two honeysuckles on the patio. Not natives, though one did have coral blossoms like the one I wanted did.

1. I do not have time to plant these, because they climb and need to go in the ground. I do not have a trellis or ground prepared. The ground requires more preparation because they are non-natives.

2. I didn't really want a non-native honeysuckle.

3. Had I had time to reflect, I probably would have talked myself out of buying the one I wanted, on account of no time/space.

4. But even if I hadn't, I certainly would not have wanted 2.

5. I don't mind wasting my money on occasion, but I feel like a jerk for effectively causing her to waste hers. One of the plants is already dead. The other may go at any moment. It's so dry here, and I can't necessarily get out there to water things every single day. She knows that but it does not compute. She just cannot understand why it's so hard, even though she's over here often.

Why it is so hard to water the plants:
Because popping out to water the plants means I have to be ready to have both children with me, which means the patio has to be ready-- no filthy water still out from yesterday, no trash bags waiting to be taken out. If there's water out, they will dive into it. Even if it's not out, Q will want to help with the watering and then everyone will end up wet anyhow or we'll have to have a 20 minute negotiation session or tantrum to get her back in again. Which is fine sometimes. But not every goddamn day, just to get the plants watered.

So while I'm touched at the thoughtfulness of my mom's gift, I'm at least equal parts annoyed. And she's gonna be so mad when the second plant dies.

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