Headline courtesy Melanie
So it’s been an awfully long time since I’ve shown my face around these parts, but there’s a good reason for that. Actually there are many good reasons, but listing them here seems silly and boring. I know what you’re thinking, “Why Katie, ‘silly’ and ‘boring’ is what DAK is all about!” and while that’s true, I think it’s a little rude of you to say that while I’m still in earshot, and find your emphatic punctuation especially cruel.
Hurt feelings and cogent explanations aside (don’t act like you’re not impressed by my use of the word ‘cogent’. There are lots of people who don’t know what that means. I know this because I am one of them. Seriously, did I use that right? Here’s another word I don’t know, one I hear all the time and heard today, as a matter of fact: bi-monthly. I never know if that means once every two months or twice a month. I know I should know, but it’s one of those things that it seems to me, the statute of limitations on asking for clarification has passed. Maybe it means a month that enjoys dating either sex), there is a point to this post, and it is that I am a terrible gardener.
I like the idea of gardening, love the idea of wandering happily through the rosebushes in a floppy hat and matching rubber boots, gathering blooms to display with haphazard charm throughout my house. I imagine giving bouquets as gifts to my neighbors. If only any of them were speaking to me.
The reality is, every spring I go outside with the best of intentions and ruin whatever might be working and downright destroy what isn’t. My latest escapade involved trying to edge the grass around the landscape bricks in my front yard. The same bricks I installed several years ago, which have now sunk so far into the sod you can’t see them anymore and the wood chips won’t stay contained.
I bought an electric edger from a delightful, little-known hardware boutique called Home Depot. They may have a website, I don’t know. Anyway, I brought it home, plugged it in and then did what any good wife would do: I told my husband to go out and edge the grass. Which he did. Or at least, he attempted to. The last thing I saw before leaving to go enjoy some margaritas with my girlfriends was him dragging the edger across the sunken bricks, surrounded by a large cloud of wood chips, grass and the occasional spark. “I love gardening,” I thought, as I licked the salt around my glass.
The next day, I went out to observe the result and while I commend Miguel for the ol’ college try, the edge of the grass did not quite have the hospital-cornersy sharpness I was hoping for. I went and got a kitchen knife and for the next three hours, hacked large divots away from the bricks until where were once a few tufts of unruly grass was now a large trench. Which quickly filled with wood chips.
It looks I hired Scott MacIntire to do my yard.
I guess this story really belongs under “landscaping”, not gardening. Let’s not split hairs.
Back when I was writing YSWB, I wrote a story about spraying my entire lawn with Round-up to kill three dandelions.
I once killed a houseplant by spritzing it with Windex.
I planted petunias in a pot a few years ago, and they “failed to thrive”, to borrow a phrase from the medical community. I put the pot in the car, drove to the garden center and showed it to the fellow who worked there, sure that he would shamefacedly refund me for the faulty plants. He looked at me with a smirk and asked, “Did you ever water them?”
No. No I did not.
There are many things I have oddly romantic ideas that I’d be good at or enjoy, sometimes despite proof to the contrary.
I’ve always thought it would be fun to be a soldier. I hate getting up early, getting yelled at and I imagine, getting shot at, but for some reason I think I’d love it.
And being a stewardess. Not a flight attendant, that sounds hard and I hate handling food and talking to angry people and flying. I mean a good-old-days, old-school stewardess, who wears a short skirt and a beehive hairdo and spends the entire flight mixing sidecars and playfully slapping away the hands of rich businessmen.
Bartending. I don’t like staying up late, or touching sticky things or loud music, but wouldn’t it be fun to dole out sage advice to friendly regulars, tear-up when they remember my birthday and chip in on a gift card, when I thought no one cared about my life?
Yes, I do know what all these things have in common. I probably would’ve enjoyed being an actress. But I would’ve wanted to be the kind who goes to fancy awards shows and gets my hair done and laughs along with the ladies on the View, not the kind who goes on auditions and has to listen to some fat buffoon tell me I’m too old or has to learn a bunch of lines. I wouldn’t have had the stomach for that.
I’m going to plant a vegetable garden tomorrow. I’ve got the overalls, the hoe, the chicken wire and I’ve been practicing a small town, east-coast, ‘Pepperidge Farm Cookies’ accent, and blowing a tune into a brown jug. I’ve settled on a single braid in my hair. I feel like I’m ready, but I have this sinking feeling I’m forgetting something.