28 Days is a movie about a girl who goes into rehab for her drinking problem. During the program, one of the participants asks when, after she gets out of rehab, can she start dating. The instructor answers “Get a plant. If it is still alive in a year, get a pet. If that is still alive in a year, then you can start a relationship with someone.” My fiancé looked at me and went, “Uh oh.”
A few months after we started dating, he bought me a lovely little potted red rose. I put it in my bedroom window and dutifully watered it. It slowly faded away and dried up and died.
The next plant he got me was a tiger lily, and as soon as the weather got warm enough, I planted it outside with my other lilies. It bloomed for the rest of the summer and then went dormant for the winter. I’m waiting to see if it comes up in the spring.
Just after I started my new job, he gave me a begonia. I carried it to work and put it on my desk, where it garnered compliments from all of my coworkers. It was covered in orange blossoms, but as the weeks passed, those blossoms slowly died and disappeared. I tried watering it every day, then watering it every second or third day. I tried watering it in the morning, or just watering it whenever. I moved it from beside the wall to beside the window to beside my computer. So far, it is still alive, with one lone, orange blossom on it, but it’s a sad little plant.
The other day I got back to my apartment after work, dumped my purse on the floor, went into my room to get something, and discovered that two pieces of shrubbery had appeared on my dresser. They look like miniature Christmas trees, about four inches high. I laughed and smiled, and turned them around, and then went into the living room.
There was a potted flower sitting on my desk and another one over on the computer. My fiancé had been saying the place needed some plants. Apparently he’d gotten more than groceries when he’d gone to the store. He likes surprising me with little things like that, and has been doing it since before we started dating.
I suppose the rehab instructor’s advice had something to do with the fact that if you can care for a plant or a pet, and figure out what they need, then you’ll probably be better at taking care of the person you’re dating. Like my fiancé knowing what I want without me having to tell him or ask for it. Hopefully I know him well enough to do that as well, even if I can barely keep the plants alive.
Since our relationship has lasted longer than the plants, I’m pretty sure that my lack of a green thumb has nothing to do with my dating ability. Although if he keeps expressing his love with plants and shrubbery, maybe sooner or later I’ll develop a green thumb.
What dating advice would you share?