Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tilling the Marriage Soil



I'm only posting pictures of plants I haven't killed to make a point. Really. I'm not showing off. Seriously. Note how the roses pictured above appear to be thriving. And do you see those lovely petunias? Those timely died off last year at the end of their season (i.e., I killed them by not watering them enough when it got so freaking hot) and have magically reappeared this year -- granted, not due to any particular horticultural gift I happen to have, but still it says something that when I killed them last year, they chose to come back.


Once, when Flamingo Joe and I were at the first meeting of some church small group with a bunch of people we didn't know, when the time came to introduce ourselves and tell everyone what we did for a living, FJ says, "My name's Joe and I'm a forensic horticulturist." Everybody just stared at him with a blank look on their face while I fell off my chair laughing. Not everybody gets Flamingo Joe.


Anyway, back to the plants that manage to stay alive under my care -- another example:



I think these only stay alive because they are sitting outside my office door and I'm afraid that my clients will drive up and judge me by how well or poorly my doorway flowers are doing -- I'm afraid that they will decide right then, on the spot, whether or not I could represent them well in a bankruptcy proceeding. So they get lots of water and tender care (i.e., I don't let the dog dig through them looking for lizards). These plants could be characterized as the exception to the rule, probably.


These plants here, however, are the rule:


How on earth did I manage to kill only one of the petunia plants in this pot while the other appears to be flourishing, you ask? Well, that is a good question. A very good question indeed. If I had the answer to it, we would probably all be a little bit more enlightened on Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest. As it is, I'm content to take Job's approach: "The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."


I know you're waiting patiently for the picture you know is coming. You're dying for an update on the tomato plants. Perhaps you are hoping for a miracle in regard to the tomatoes -- I know I am. Hope springs eternal, people, but we're all in for a disappointment.


I can't explain to you why I continue to hold on to the dream of the homegrown tomatoes -- these particular homegrown tomatoes. But I do. Flamingo Joe is encouraging me to let go of the dream of the homegrown tomatoes as it is coming between us -- it was one of the hot-button issues we dealt with this weekend at our church's Marriage Workshop:


FF: I confess that I cannot let go of the dream of the homegrown tomatoes.


FJ: That makes me feel angry, saddened, and confused.


FF: I hear that you are angry, saddened, and confused. I acknowledge your feelings in this regard. I am sorry. Will you forgive me?


FJ: I'm working on it.


FF: Well, while you are working on it, I will keep the dream alive. I'm glad we went through this exercise.


It was a good workshop. You would have enjoyed it because you would have gotten to sackrace with your spouse:


Nothing brings a couple closer than racing each other in the sack. Wait. Did I say that right?

Oh well, it was a good workshop. The Flamingos have never attended a Marriage Workshop and did not know that there is ball-throwing, bubble-blowing, bead-tossing, and fortune cookie-reading to go with the weeping and gnashing of teeth. So to sum up: it was fun and yet somehow excruciatingly painful at the same time, much like, well, nothing else in life except marriage generally.





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