You ever notice the moments when you realize you’re starting to turn into your parents? They sneak up on you in places you wouldn’t expect and leave you wondering, now why the hell why did I just say that? But you know. You definitely know.
My moments have been happening lately at the plant store by our house.
Little back story on my parents and how they feel about their plants- (they’re nuts.) Nuts to the point where once their garage got broken into and someone stole a bunch of stuff from my dad’s car and do you know what he was the most upset about?
“My cucumbers! That bastard trampled my damn cukes!”
“Yeah, but dad your wallet was stolen, and credit cards. And cash…. What about that stuff?”
“These were going to be my best cukes yet and would you look at them? They’re ruined. RUINED. Well thank GOD they didn’t get my tomatoes.”
Whomever broke into my parents garage did so by trompsing through their garden first, a tragedy none of us has forgotten ever since. My parents installed an alarm system shortly after, but I’m fairly certainly it’s mostly to protect their garden and potted plants.
And such I grew up in a world where summer days were meant for one thing, and one thing only: planting.
As a kid they’d drag me to boring plants stores like “Mulhalls” and “Lanohas” and “Earl May,” and I’d sit in the car counting my arm hairs (after I’d get my free popcorn from Earl May, obviously.)
When I got older and realized my parents were actually paying money for this crap my mind was blown.
BUT WHY? Why would you spend money on plants? Who cares?????
They would try to teach me about the plants and their names and their hobbies and blah blah blah but I didn’t care at all. I had so much more important stuff to worry about; like which Hollister board shorts I should buy with my lifeguard money.
I blocked all of the plant talk from memory, certain I’d never care about something so boring.
Until ten years later. When it turns out … I do. Ugh.
Last night Chris and I were picking out plants for our rooftop and kitchen balcony, (because that’s what we do now) and he pointed to a pretty flowering plant and said, “that one looks nice, wonder if it blooms all summer?”
And without skipping a beat I responded, “yeah it does, it’s a Hibiscus. And you can bring it in the house in the winter and it will do fine, it’ll stay alive years. But you have to be careful as it gets older because it will get so heavy it could topple over in the wind.”
And then your pot will crack and your mom will be mad for days and your dad will say, I told you so!
Chris was like, “how do you know all that?” And I just responded, “I have no idea.”
A lot of people can recognize a hibiscus, I don’t think I’m Jenny-Green-Thumb for knowing that one. But as we continued to walk down the rows of plants I could name them all, using knowledge I was certain I had ignored.
Bougainvilleas, Snapdragons, Blackeyed Susans, Hastas, Gazinias, and the famous Oleander, (also a movie starring Michelle Pfeiffer.)
In the past three days I’ve been to the plant store four times.
I used cilantro for our tacos last night that we’re growing on our kitchen balcony. We also have mint and basil and parsley. And a tomato plant. And a cucumber plant. I check them all, several times a day.
I don’t know who I am anymore.
But I do know one thing, if anyone were to mess with my cukes I would be pissed.