The Orange Slate

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The Adventures of the Crepe Myrtle

July 2, 2013

Have I mentioned that we are the parents of plants? Not that I have any respectable experience with plants. I have killed so many herbs that the ghosts of gardens past will probably haunt my sleep one of these nights.

Mark is apparently more experienced with this sort of thing. He claims that he helped grow tomatoes as a child. I've heard tomatoes are a lot of work, so hopefully his past experience will prove beneficial to our yard.

But neither of us knows what to do with The Crepe Myrtle that we adopted one sweltering afternoon. It's become a bit of an obsession. After Mark leaves for work, I head outside and stare at it. Is that a brown spot on that leaf? Is that ant just on an exploratory jaunt or is he going to take a bite of that lucious green branch? Is it my imagination or is the entire bush falling over? 

I leave The Crepe Myrtle to its fate and head inside to send out more emails. Today, one of my responses to a Craigslist ad resulted in a  phone-call that smelled mildly of a scam.

I am 25 and have two respectable degrees in English, I tell myself. There are legitimate jobs that value my knowledge of 19th century British literature and correct comma usage. Also, I can always sell cookies on the sidewalk and call it a startup. Then maybe Google will discover me and buy the startup and hire me. 

A downpour starts outside and my mind returns to The Crepe Myrtle. Thank goodness it's raining. I can skip watering it. Then I remember those brown spots. Maybe I've already watered it too much and the poor plant is now drowning. Or maybe the brown spots are evidence of acid rain (whatever that is). 

Mark comes home and promptly heads outside to stare at The Plant. I follow. The two of us, both reasonably sane, fairly successful professionals (unless you count the fact that I'm unemployed), stare in silence at The Crepe Myrtle. Our neighbors probably think we're crazy. Or that we're part of some weird religion.

On the other hand, they probably aren't paying a lot of attention. Most people have better things to do than spend their entire evening staring at a plant. 

Mark gets bored and decides to assassinate the weeds that have managed to make their way into our yard. I sit on the steps and continue to stare at the plant.

Me: "You know, we really should be able to keep a plant alive before we try parenting."

Mark: "Yep."

Me: "What if it dies?"

Mark: "It better not. You said it was a symbol of our marriage."

Me: "I take that back."

Mark: "Too late. Why aren't you helping me weed?"

Me: "They make products for that. We shouldn't have to weed. There's spray we can buy."

Mark: "Why don't we have any?"

Me: "Because it can kill your plants and I feel like we shouldn't add any more variables to the situation right now. At least if the weeds are surviving, we know the bush can."

So this is marital bliss. I don't remember what Mark and I used to do for fun but I don't think either of us saw a daily War with Nature in our future.

It's a good thing we only bought the bush intead of the tree. I've heard that trees require a lot of attention and care. 

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  1. I feel for you. Marty says he knows it is spring when I start moving plants around. I dig them up from one place and move them to the next, leaving broken shovels in my wake. I think I’ve broken three in the last two years. A somewhat expensive and unrewarding hobby.

    1. How on earth do you break the shovels?? Planting can be expensive, but fortunately, we live near a Home Depot which helps a bit. Our Crepe Myrtle finally bloomed and the relief in our household was tangible. Too funny.

  2. Well…. we aren’t very neat and tidy, and this is compounded by three extremely experimental and untidy boys. Which means that three shovels have been used to dig tunnels to the center of the earth or spider traps, or bear traps, or any other number of things and then left out in the rain in spite of a great deal of haphazard effort on my part. Thus, when the inevitable moving of shrubs and flowers comes about, they break at the most important moment. It’s very annoying. We are currently shovel-less.

    Congratulations on your crepe myrtle! I have become disillusioned with myself and my plant relationship. I love them still, but I know how inconstant I can be.

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