I am like the touch of death to plants.  I am a Southern girl, but I do not own one of those big straw hats.  And I do not grow tomatoes.

If I tried, they would probably turn out to be cherries.  Not cherry tomatoes.  Cherries.

Seriously, I have absolutely no ability to grow things or even maintain them.  I do not own plants, and it is really for their own good. 

At my previous job, someone gave me a peace lily for my birthday one year.  The poor plant lived quite a traumatic existence.  I put it up on top of a shelf that was literally directly in front of my face.  Yet I never remembered to water it.  Despite the fact that I drink gallons of water every day, I somehow forget that plants need it too.  It finally got to the point where it was quite a wilted little lily (which I felt guilty about since the gift-giver could see it).  One of my co-workers came into my office, saw it, and took pity on the poor thing by watering it.

The little plant loved that.  It sprang back to life and stood tall and proud for quite a long time again.  Until it became parched again because I kept forgetting to water it.  This cycle of co-workers resuscitating my poor plant continued for quite some time before I finally decided that plants should only die one death.  It’s just not fair to keep setting false expectations by bringing them back to life and then neglecting them again.  So I put that plant out of its misery. 

I believe it was the most humane thing I could do. 

And since that time, I have told people that fresh-cut flowers are much more likely to survive in my home than a plant. 

You might want to keep that in mind in case you’re thinking about what you’ll get me for my birthday.

So last week, I heard a knock at our door and opened it.  There stood our neighbor from across the hall with two potted plants in his hands.  Their family was heading out of town for a few weeks, and they wanted me to look after their plants.

Me?

Seriously, a monkey would take better care of your plants than I would.

He told me they were pretty low-maintenance plants.  Like that matters.

I told him I was really bad at taking care of plants.  He said they don’t need much direct sunlight, just a little water when the soil gets dry.

I think he thought I was exaggerating.

He has no idea.

The worst part in all of this?  One of the plants is a tiny little pot with a bean sprout in it.  It’s their daughter’s science project. 

I’m going to kill their daughter’s science project!

Mind you, I don’t want to.  But it will happen.  Because my fingers, they are like death to anything breathing carbon dioxide.

Two days ago, the soil felt dry so I watered both plants.  Yesterday I stuck them in our window sill for a little while so they could get some sun.  My husband and I went out to dinner last night – a much delayed anniversary dinner because we’ve had a crazy month.  We came back and the mum looked like the leaves were wilting.  I kid you not.  That plant looked happy as a clam when we left.  Now it’s on death’s doorstep.  Well, maybe I exaggerate a little.  It’s not quite on its deathbed yet, but it looks like it has a serious case of mono. 

What is wrong with me? 

So this morning I turned on the Today Show, and they were doing a segment on plants that are really hard to kill.  The “expert” guy said the most common mistake people make with indoor plants is that they overwater them. 

Great!  So whether I water plants or not, I will kill them. 

There is really no point to this post. 

Other than to notify the world in advance that I am on the brink of destroying a nine-year-old’s understanding of nature.

And her family does not get back for two weeks.  Which means that I get to look at what I’ve done for that whole time and think about how completely inadequate I am.

On that note, I think I’m going to get out of this apartment and run errands.  Even the grocery store has to be better than this!

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