Killing Me (not so) Softly…

Square peg, round hole…
Square peg, round hole…
Square peg, round hole…

Goddammit.  You’ve heard me say it before, I’ll say it again.  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Back in Demons, Swings, and Sunflowers, you heard me briefly extol the virtues of the sunflower.  Truly my bloom of choice, I remember them growing in the backyard of a house in Illinois when waaaaaaaaaaaay young.  I couldn’t have been more than three or four years-old at the time, but I’d wander among them and my parents even have (had?) pictures to the effect in a blackmail album somewhere.

I cannot, for the life of me, support non-animal life in my home.

I love sunflowers, but I should not try to grow them, nurture them, nor expect that they will live for any length of time after being introduced to Chez Erika.  The truth of the matter is, I’ve always had a black thumb.


I can look at a plant harshly and it will immediately go into phyto-arrest and die.

Let me tell you about Alvin to support my case.

After moving out of mom’s house at the tender age of 18, I was chock-full of wisdom, independence and a bit of pocket change.  I thought that a plant would be JUST the thing to brighten-up my lovely new apartment abode.  So I bought Alvin.

Say hello to Alvin, everyone:

snake plant - laurenti(mind you, this is not the actual Alvin, but he plays him on TV)

I placed him on the balcony of my apartment and named him Alvin.

A week later, Alvin was dead, cooked in the Houston’s unrelenting summer sunlight.

So I bought Alvin #2.

And Alvin #3…

Dead …  aaaaaaaaaaaaand dead.

After Alvin #3, I resigned myself to the fact that I should never, ever, attempt to provide mothering to anything with leaves.  I’ve stuck by that for a good 15 years.  That is, until about 2 weeks ago.

Whole Foods had these adorable little dwarf sunflower plants potted outside the front entrance.


Taaaaaaaaaaaaaaake meeeeeeeeeeeeeee hoooooooooooooooooome, they whispered.

(Yes, plants talk to me.  What of it?)

I promptly abandoned the curse of my black thumb and loaded Ms. Sunshine up into the child carrier in my Whole Paycheck Market buggy and embarked on a store tour.  A smile on my face, determined to see golden blossoms welcome me on my front porch each morning.  Ms. Sunshine and I would have grand times, oh yes, we would…

It appears as if I’ve killed it.

I followed the instructions on the little plastic stick stuck in the dirt:

“Direct sunlight, soaking soil.  Water daily.”

I did all of those things!  Ms. Sunshine is a bit more Ms. Melancholy this morning, as she appears to have kicked the planter.  I was nurturing, attentive, giving all I could give, and for my efforts, Ms. Sunshine has flipped me the petal.

(Would it have been ridiculous for me to hire a gardener for Ms. Sunshine?  I’m thinking not at this point.)

So, I’m back to my belief that I have a black thumb.  I have no problem nurturing human beings, kitty cats, puppy dogs, and the occasional baked good, but it’s obvious that green and I don’t get along.  It’s a fine color for my wardrobe, but it should never
ever require my attention in order to survive.

Here is where I ask you, my blog-reading public:  what’s YOUR insanity?  What’s YOUR square-peg, round-hole scenario for your lifetime?  C’mon and out with it.  I just bared my ass, and we now all know it’s green.