GREENISH THUMB

Friday night as we were putting the Cabbage to bed, Michael asked her what she wanted to do on Saturday. The Cabbage replied "I want to go to that place that has the big pillows and plays movies." Michael and I were perplexed. After further investigation we realized that the Cabbage wanted to go to Smaland in IKEA. We really had no need to go to IKEA, but Smaland is a free indoor activity on a cold rainy/snowy day and it's hard to say "no" to free. I looked at Michael and shrugged "We'll look at kitchen displays while she plays in Smaland." We dropped the Cabbage off at Smaland and headed up to browse kitchen displays. Except all of the kitchens were closed because they were putting in new kitchens. Michael decided he wanted to look at lighting so we headed back down stairs. Then I remembered that I wanted a wooden cutting board to turn into a laptop desk. Michael found an awesome travel backpack and then before we knew it we were in the plant section. 

You guys know that I can't walk through this section without deciding that I need a plant of some sort. On this day, I was drawn to the orchids. I stood there hemming and hawing with Michael hovering nearby saying "just get one." This is where I confess. I am not all that great with houseplants. The ones that I have in our house are surviving, but not really thriving. I don't fertilize. I barely remember to water them. If I take them to work, all of this changes. They sit in a window that gets plenty of light and they are watered on a regular basis. I don't know what happens at home. I'm more focused on keeping us alive than the plants? I have no idea, but the plant I put in the bathroom is dead dead and has been dead dead since the bathroom remodel. Yet I'm standing in IKEA looking at orchids. ORCHIDS! The most intimidating house plant ever imagined. These things require more than attention. My favorite teacher and adviser in undergrad, Dr. Magrath, was a botanist and president of the National Orchid Society (or something like that).  He was always trying to give me one of his orchids. I refused every time because the last thing I wanted to do was kill a plant given to me by the person who decided if I would graduate college. I would never have been able to ask him for a letter of reference. And Michael's all "get one."  I will kill this plant. This is an expensive plant that I will kill. I say all of this. 

That's when a lovely young man standing within ear shot pipes up and says "One to two ice cubes a day. That's all they need." I turned around and said "really?". He shrugged his shoulder and waived his hand and said "Really. They're totally easy. One to two a ice cubes a day and no worries." I turned back to the orchids and hesitantly reached for one that had two blooms, and several buds. I looked at Michael and said "Well, you heard the man. I can't kill this." So I bought that orchid, the most intimidating house plant of all house plants. I'm going to try really hard not to kill it or fuss over it. We'll see. 

Oh, by the way, I lied about Smaland being free. It cost us $65 that day. IKEA knows what it's doing.