If I’ve learned anything from my first year of home ownership, it’s that I have forgotten everything any of my Biology teachers every taught me about the kingdom Plantae.
The human body, environmental science, chemistry – they all make sense to me. Home repair? Electricity? I can handle it.
Flowers? A complete lie. Total bullshit.
A few weeks ago our neighbor’s massive block of azalea bushes were in full, hot-pink bloom – the exact color of my Gem and the Holograms bicycle, circa age six.
“They must be new,” I exclaimed to E as we toiled in our front lawn, “because I don’t remember anything pink from last year.”
E fixed me with a look – the look she gives me when she can’t tell if my naivete is a conversational ploy or if I could really be that ignorant about something
“You realize,” she said evenly and carefully, “that those are the same bushes that have always been there. Right now they are flowering. So, you see, they are pink.”
“You mean to tell me that we’ve lived here an entire year and I’ve never noticed that her bushes are actually covered in hot pink flowers?That seems hard to miss.”
E examined my face for a tell – some indication I was putting her on. There was none; I am awesome at bluffing when I don’t even realize I am bluffing AKA I have no idea what we’re talking about.
“Peter, not all plants flower for all of spring. Azaleas only flower for a few weeks. Last year they probably flowered before we saw the house, or even between when we saw it and when we moved in. You know, like our pink tree.”
I considered our pink tree. Really it was a tree-colored tree, but per its pink tree-print on the Google Maps overview of our house, it had produced delicate pink blossoms for a week, which then fluttered away to cover the neighborhood. But that was a tree! Bushes, I reasoned were something different.
I thought back to all of my grandmothers’ flowers from childhood, and I didn’t remember any of them coming and going as they pleased. They were flowers, and that’s what they did – flower.
I rendered my reply.
“That’s bullshit. Flowers don’t come and go week to week. Except for, like, tulips or other special stuff. Maybe they’ve just,” I stammered, flummoxed for an explanation, “matured this year. Maybe they are in hedge puberty this year.”
E shook her head in submission. “Okay. Let’s talk about this again in two weeks.”
It’s been two weeks.
Yeah, the bushes are now green, again.
You know what, I’ve felt the same exact thing. I don’t have a garden but I walk by the same bushes every day. One day they flowered, and I figured landscaping must have decided to replace them with prettier flowers!