Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Many Lives of O2

I have a plant named O2. I know I've mentioned him before. Usually when I've mentioned him it's because I'm comparing myself to all of my peers who practically have grandchildren by now and I want to make sure everyone knows that I have taken on responsibility in my life as well. Because I have my plant.

O2 and I have been together for 15 years now. He is a part of me and I, him. My uncle passed away when I was 14 and someone, I don't remember who, gave Bob this small plant with a nice card. Bob passed it off to me and I began caring for it. O2 grew and grew. We've been through so much together. I've seen him outgrow several pots. I've watered him. There was one brief period of awkwardness when he went through puberty and I did not. But I'm not angry with him anymore.

My time will come, too.

I knew it was impractical to bring O2 to Palau with me. For one thing, he's very big and heavy. But also, O2 is sort of a diva and I knew he would spend the whole year complaining about how frizzy the humidity made his hair. And if there's one thing I can't stand, it's when people move to the equator for one year and complain about how hot and humid it is there. 

Uh . . .

My friend Anna Swayne offered to take care of him in my absence. The only reason I can think of why I agreed to this was that the stress of moving had zapped me of the ability to think rational thoughts.

The reason it was insane for me to take Anna up on her offer is because ANNA SWAYNE IS A PLANT KILLER.

You have all been warned.

I truly believe it is intentional. Anna is a very responsible human being. One of the most responsible people I know. But if you give her a plant and tell her to water it every so often, she will take that "every so often," divide it by 13, put the plant in a dark room, and then light it on fire. Then she'll cackle-laugh like every witch you've ever seen on T.V.

I knew this about her already. Because in May of 2012, I went to Mexico for one week with Daniel, Krishelle, and Uncle Will. Daniel and I had some roses growing on a balcony. These were basically award-winning roses. Every magazine in the country was trying to come over to take pictures of them for the cover of their next edition. Strangers in the street still stop and slow clap me through when I pass by because of how amazing these roses were.

Then, Anna Swayne happened to them. 

Because she is so responsible, we asked her to water them while we were gone. Just water them. Nothing more. We told her they needed water every day. She gave us the thumbs up like she was born to do this task, and off we went, sure that we were leaving them in good hands.

Seven days later we returned to scorched plants. They looked like what you might find in Hell. Completely, 100% dead. Dry. Half of the soil had blown away. It was the Dust Bowl all over again.

I called Anna.

Eli: WHAT THE HELL, ANNA SWAYNE!?

Anna: Huh?

Eli: THE ROSES! THEY'RE ALL DEAD!

Anna: No! Really?!

Eli: Did you water them?!

Anna: Well I stopped by on Wednesday and saw them through the window. They looked ok so I didn't bother.

Eli: MURDERER!!!

And with that kind of a background, I left O2 in her hands for one year. 

Every once in a while I would Skype with Anna from Palau, always asking her to show me O2. Every time she had an excuse for why she couldn't do that but said she would "totally send a picture later." The picture would come. Always the same one. Sometimes rotated. Sometimes put through a different filter to make it seem like it wasn't the same picture she took on the day O2 got to her house.

I was getting worried.

Then I returned to Salt Lake City and saw him.

Eli: WHAT THE HELL, ANNA SWAYNE!?

Anna: Huh?

Eli: O2! YOU KILLED HIM!

Anna: You knew what I was when you picked me up.

O2 wasn't completely dead. Just 90%. So I brought him home and started my routine of TLC. After two months he appeared to be making a pretty solid recovery. Then Saturday night happened.

We had just gotten back from Moab and Sir Kurt was adjusting the blinds at the window when I heard a loud crash and a disconcerting, "oops."

I looked over and saw that a heavy piece from the blinds had come plummeting down onto O2, cutting him clean in half.

Kurt: I was pruning it. You're welcome.

I think Kurt and Anna are in cahoots.

~It Just Gets Stranger

23 comments:

  1. How about a picture of O2- and not the same one Anna would send. :)

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  2. What can I say? LIFE IS PAIN.

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    Replies
    1. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something. :D

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    2. Oh how I love a good Princess Bride quote....

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  3. If cahoots is a place plants won't grow, you are probably correct - Kurt and Anna are in cahoots or want to take you there.

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  4. I'm concerned about the guillotine-like qualities your window shades posses.

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    Replies
    1. Seriously. He sounded like a pretty sturdy plant to me. And then window shades cut it in half?

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  5. You need to start choosing your friends more wisely. What kind of plant is O2?

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  6. I have to admit: I am a serial plant murderer. An unrepentant one, at that. I KNOW what is going to happen to the plants and I just keep buying them. Bwahahahahaha!

    Happy Halloween!

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  7. I'm feeling like it was a Christmas Story moment... "I was watering my plant and I broke your lamp" became "I was adjusting the blinds and I broke your plant." Just be aware that no amount of glue can fix leg lamps or plants. Just sayin'

    Happy Halloween!

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  8. Put the murdered half of 02 in rooting powder and you might become the proud parent of twins! No one ever said the birth process was painless! Smile

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  9. Oh no! Poor 02, will he make a full recovery? I think we need a before and after picture

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  10. I'm happy that you recognize this was your fault. You would never allow someone to watch your favorite cat when they previously killed another of your cats by neglect. Right? Why would you not apply the same standard to your plants?

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  11. I'm really upset to hear about your plant.

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  12. I'm ashamed to say that once a plant comes into my house, it will die. I still have gerbera daisies in full bloom (there are seriously like 6 new ones on every plant every day,) but the minute that plant crosses the threshold, my husband starts tormenting me about getting a priest to give it last rites (I still don't find it very humorous.) I once kept a hibiscus alive all winter, put it outside on a warm day (it had aphids, and I wanted to try to get rid of them,) forgot to bring it in, and it froze overnight. I really thought that the curse was broken. That is the only time I've ever really cried over the demise of a plant...and my "loving" husband, he gloated for 3 days.

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  13. An appropriate Halloween post.

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  14. "He's only MOSTLY dead."

    I love when I can quote The Princess Bride.

    Also, I'm sorry for your loss.

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  15. I'm sorry for your plant's grisly demise. I must say though, O2 is an excellent name for a plant.

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    Replies
    1. Also if you get a new plant, you could name it O2II!

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  16. I came back to post here when I saw the picture of O2 in Weekly Distractions because I recently sold the cousin to O2 at a yard sale. Gus had a similar life story. We found him at the far end of a grocery parking lot on his side half out of his pot and covered in 2" of snow with more rapidly falling. He was bearly a foot tall at the time. Assuming he was abandoned and not abducted, we took him home. We neglected him for 10 long years with no success of killing him off completely. He grew to be nearly 7 feet tall and 2 feet wide. He got too big for his little spot in the window. The rocking chair kept banging into him and severing limbs when the nieces & nephews were over, so we sold him at a yard sale for $10 hoping that anyone who would pay for a plant would care enough to actually try not to kill it.

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  17. You knew what I was when you picked me up. She sounds like a snake.

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