Monday, September 22, 2008

Love Me Love Me Not

I am used to reading stuffy articles at the 'Money' section in the ST. This morning, I was pleasantly surprised to find one on plants - the leafy type, not the heavy machineries. For a moment, I thought I was at the 'Life' section.

The article was ' selling' the idea of having desktop plants in the office. It was a refreshing read in the midst of all the financial woes and food contamination. I was instantly attracted to the wide range of suitable choices to pick. The plants were pretty and promised to be fuss-free. I was very tempted to consider the idea of ....

NO! I can't!

I suddenly remembered the cruel fact that I am a 'plant killer'. All my life, I never had a good time with plants. Err... let me rephrase that... All my life, plants never had a good time with me.

I have nothing against plants. The thing is, I have this 'unwanted' ability to kill plants. All I have to do is to 'care' for it and the plants will wither as if they are under a spell.

Initially, I thought I was not doing it right. So, I consulted those with 'green fingers' and they gladly shared their tips with me. Almost every aspect was covered. I learned a little about pots, soils, fertilizers, seeds, watering, sunlight and some DOs and DON'Ts. I followed every 'instruction' and was very pleased with my newly acquired know-how. However, the plants were in total disagreement with me as they soon showed it.

Then I suspected that my choice of plants were wrong. I decided to look for something less fussy. Someone recommended 'money plant' to me. After seeing her 'money' growing uncontrollably out of the pot on her desk, I was convinced that it was an easy plant to care for. I started with a small pot of 'money plant' with four leaves. I was told that it would soon blossom into a full pot of 'money'.

I waited patiently. Meanwhile, I did what was necessary to care for the rather fuss-free plant. Other than ensuring that there's sufficient water, I did nothing more. I was cautious. I did not want to 'interact' with the plant more than necessary. My perseverance paid off. This time round, the plant did not wither. However, for the longest time, the number of leaves remained at four ! It was definitely not a good indicator for my wealth prospect <~sob~>.

I was not about to give up. I wanted a tougher plant and cactus was my obvious choice. I got myself a pot of colorful cacti mix. The florist assured me that the plant required very little care and I believed that it was the right choice for me. 'If cactus could survive the desert, I couldn't have been harsher than that barren land with little or no rain.' I thought.

To cut the long story short, my cactus plant withered just the same. I was at my wit's end and I was devastated.. no, I mean, my cactus was devastated. It must be thinking 'You are worse than Sahara!"

For a long time since then, I told myself that I will love plants by not having them. I would walk past office desks decorated with lovely plants and quietly sighed within me... those were not meant to be mine.

Am I really cursed with 'plant-killing-fingers'? Should I give it another try? On one hand, I want very much to discharge myself as a 'plant murderer'. On the other hand, I cannot bear to kill another plant.

Perhaps, I shall continue to be a 'secret admirer' of plants and will adore them from afar.

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