Chapter 1–I Talked Myself Into This
Ever since I moved out to California, I have been obsessed with having something living in my care. Usually this involves an emotional spiral wherein I:
1. Get lonesome.
2. Decide that a dog would be a great idea.
3. Spend several hours on adoptapet.com seeing what kind of small dogs are locally adoptable.
4. Examine the adoption requirements and ponder renaming the dachshund/chihuahua/bulldog in question.
5. Think about it.
6. Think about it.
7. Conclude that I can neither afford to give the pup the time it deserves, nor can I afford the potential expense (particularly the hike in rent).
8. Get sad.
9. Feel that I have made the morally right decision and congratulate myself.
10. Return to step one.
Clearly, I have made a series of logical decisions. On repeat. For ten months. Writing this has nearly put me on the threshold of step one, so I probably need to cool it. A dog seems like a great idea, but ultimately I realize it wouldn’t be fair to the little fella in question.
After a lot of deliberation, I landed upon my answer–plants. They’re alive. At least if you do it right. They’re not expensive. They don’t need to be walked. And they don’t require a large amount of time. Plus, I figure keeping a plant alive is a baby step towards a pet. So I wanted to start small. Enter the succulent known as Gus.
Side story time. My Mom’s favorite little store back in St. Louis, is called The White Rabbit. We go in there whenever I’m home, and the store is full of antique inspiration. One of the things that I saw repeatedly in The White Rabbit was adorable little succulents in tea cups or other unlikely vessels. I’m eternally convinced that I can be as crafty as a storefront or someone’s pins on Pinterest. And there are antique stores aplenty in Orange County for more convenient vintage hunting grounds.
Several months ago, I dragged my friend, Dara, to one of the various antique stores in downtown Orange, CA in search of the perfectly unique container for my small, rose-shaped succulent. After scouring several of the booths in the lovely antique mall, we came upon a porcelain shaving pot with pastel flowers painted on the base. Hurrah for girly masculinity! The shaving pot had five holes in the uppermost portion that I thought would make a perfect method to drain excess water. Never mind the fact that succulents do not require a ton of H20. So shaving pot purchased and Gus had a new home. Gus, it should be noted, was picked out at a random nursery after I stared at their succulent selection for fifteen minutes.
Except I think I over watered Gus. Next I worried he wasn’t getting enough sun in my kitchen, so I took him on field trips outside. He seemed happier out there–his trips became longer and longer. Then he looked a little fried. And then I got concerned Gus didn’t have enough room to grow in the shaving pot. I trimmed his roots. I put more soil in the pot. I may have accidentally broken off a few of his leaves at some point. One plant and suddenly I’m a paranoid (and terrible) parent. This is may be why I shouldn’t get a dog.
Multiple Google searches later, I felt that despite the mishap with the leaves, Gus could still have a happy life in my home. Instead of jumping around trying to fix any conceivable problem, I needed to provide more consistent care rather than repeatedly shock the plant with outdoor/indoor changes. I rationalized that Gus just needed better living quarters. And maybe some company. So I trucked on down to a store called Dragonfly in the circle to purchase a slightly larger pot, and a smaller succulent to move into the shaving pot. The new pot isn’t fancy. It’s just blue with room to grow. The new succulent looks like a tower of mini Lima beans. His name is Harold. Gus and Harold are now ensconced in my kitchen receiving modest sunlight and even more minimal water. They both appear to be content. Though I still helicopter parent them on a daily basis. I ask them how they’re doing, and they have yet to respond (Yes, I talk to my plants on a regular basis). The key here is that they haven’t died and this makes me happy.
Chapters two and three of this saga detail my belief that I now have a green thumb. Get ready.