Posted by: mindyourknitting | April 5, 2011

I hope I don’t kill it. Who am I kidding? I’m totally going to kill it.

My husband is a romantic man by nature, and he is the prince of all gift-givers (he really is very good and always thoughtful, ask anyone).  And in the past week I got flowers from him not once, but twice.  The first time he arrived home with a lovely bouquet of spring flowers in shades of Easter purples and yellows.  See Figure 1:

Figure 1.

Pretty, right?  The second time, last night, he brought home a house plant.  An orchid, to be specific.  See Figure 2:

Figure 2.

Now, I consider myself a fairly competent outdoor gardener and am quite anxious to get started on our flower beds, herb garden, and tomato plants.  I’m considering putting in some strawberry plants too.  But my backyard success belies a dirty secret: I kill all houseplants, almost upon contact.  It’s worse if they’re the flowering kind.  I don’t mean to kill them, but I’ve never managed to keep a houseplant alive longer than, say, a few weeks.  Poinsettia sometime linger for a while after Christmas, but it is never pretty near the end.  With all plants that enter my care, inevitably the flowers fall off, the leaves brown, and what was once lush and healthy withers, dies, and gets pitched into the compost bin.  Every time someone gives me a houseplant as a gift I cringe, because I know that it will not be alive the next time they visit, and I am privately too mortified to confess that I killed it, so I say nothing.  I know some people take a moral stance against cut flowers as environmentally wasteful, but honestly, in this house it’s all the same – nothing survives my particular brand of tender care.

So, the orchid.   When I saw that the paper wrapping was obviously holding some sort of potted something, I was a little alarmed.  When I saw it was an orchid, a delicate, lovely, fussy orchid, I immediately felt my black thumb start to pulse with evil intention.  What I said to my husband was something along the lines of “thank you, it’s gorgeous” but what I was thinking was “What the hell, dude?  What the hell?”  He should know better.  I will follow the care instructions (decent amount of light, moderate temperature, water once a week) and it won’t make the slightest bit of difference.  I’m pretty sure “Phalaenopsis” is Latin for “Take a good look, I won’t be around long.”

Pray for me.

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