Thursday, July 3, 2008

Got a Plant? I Can Kill That for You

I suspect that one of my gifts is that of a natural-born killer.

Self-discipline, organization, drive: all has-beens when I get done with them.

Mood moments, companionable silence, appropriate topics in conversation: short-lived if I'm nearby.

Add to that list plants. There is no plant foolish enough to stay alive in this house. And if an outdoor plant shows any sign of weakness, it also becomes past tense around here. It's not that I enjoy killing plants. It's simply that I am quite proficient at it.

Sometimes that bothers me. My grandmother died when I was a baby. My mom with her green thumb still has a plant my grandmother owned 40-somethingsomething years ago. She gave part of that plant to me recently. It is now dead.

I received plants when each of my children was born. The children (through God's grace) are alive. The plants are not.

We also brought home several plants from my mother-in-law's funeral. Those plants are no longer living either.

So I am comfortable admitting: you plant it. I kill it.

I've thought for years that the DEA should make me the marijuana czar. Any plant falling under my jurisdiction would immediately die and disappear. I could single-handedly make our country marijuana-free in a matter of days.

But into every theory must come a detractor. Enter this poinsettia.

I've tried everything to kill it. No water. Smoking it to death with burning cookies. Negative thoughts. Dropping canned goods on it from the cupboard.

And still it lives.

And that raises this very important question: how do YOU pronounce poinsettia?

Poin-set-ee-ah OR Poin-sett-ah

I need to know.

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