First, I am sunning myself with an old, navel-grazing post of mine over here today:

Three Day Weekend

Because why aim high, when you can aim low?

(that is not a trick question)

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Second, don’t forget to vote for your favorite entry in Aunt Becky Travel’s The World, Making Mischief.

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Be sure to submit your rockin’ questions to Go Ask Aunt Becky because, obviously.

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And lastly, the dorkiest post, well, ever.

Like any addict, I’m not really sure when it started, although I seem to remember it first after Amelia was born. Besides sticks of butter and cupcakes, one of the few things that would comfort me were cut flowers. Every week, as I dutifully churned out batch after ever-loving batch of white cupcakes, I’d go to the store and buy myself flowers.

A vase of fresh flowers cheered me up in a way that only Vicodin normally could.

At some point, my cheap-ass nature won out and I realized that for the same $20 a week, I could buy a real! live! plant! that I could keep for longer than 5 days. Midwestern winters are notoriously brutal, and seeing even the slightest sign of plant life is welcome.

(my front yard is so over-landscaped that I genuinely cannot find anywhere to stick tulip bulbs)

In that manner, my first orchid was bought.

Because he is a good, kind man, The Daver didn’t point out, as he sat among the cats, dogs, bunny and kids, that I needed something else to take care of like I needed a hole in my head.

Nor does he gently mock me like he could when he comes home from work to find another couple of plants sitting in the sink or sunning themselves merrily on the printer. Although that may be a product of his inability to notice anything other than unopened cans of cheese-whiz or his Linux box.

He shares my love of plant life in the same way I share his love for gadgets, which is to say, not at all. Of all the things I could get into, especially with the streak of alcoholism that runs a mile wide running rampant in my genetic code, this is probably the most healthy.

Unlike the alcoholic gene, though, I do seem to have inherited some of my father’s *ahem* OCD tendencies. Because if one orchid is good, ten is better, right? RIGHT?!?

(shockingly, I am the same way about plants as I am about soap. Did you see that movie with Jack Nicholson, “As Good As It Gets?” When he opens his medicine cabinet and it’s stocked with like 25 of the same bars of soap I nodded appreciatively while everyone else laughed. Someone had to explain the joke which, I should add, I still don’t find funny.) (probably because it is NOT funny)

Slowly but surely, I’ve added to my collection, quickly outgrowing the small Southern facing window by my computer. I’ve begun researching the different diseases, had to treat a few, and started collecting different types. While I am afraid of vaginas, and orchids look remarkably like vaginas, I seem to be fascinated by studying them. The orchids, not the vaginas, you pervies. Freud would, no doubt, have a field day with that.

(Freud can also kiss my lily white butt)

As the orchids in various stages of life slowly creep outwards, spilling off the table and onto other surfaces, I’m starting to feel like I’m doomed to be a crazy cat hoarder, except without the cats. I guess when I die alone in my apartment, the orchids, unlike the cats, won’t eat my face. Thank God, I suppose, for small favors.

My youngest son seems to have inherited my love of flowers which makes me completely appreciate how a parent could push a colorblind kid to paint just like mom did, because man, does that feel cool to be like, “ALEX likes flowers TOO!” Hearing him shriek indignantly, “Come ON Mom, socks and shoes ON” when he hears me mention “greenhouse,” because he’s that jazzed to go see flowers gives me a huge sense of pride.

So at the greenhouse, after we examined the koi fish, which were deemed “cooool” I asked the greenhouse guy about some special moss that I was specifically looking for, and he claimed ignorance of such a thing. While he showed me what might have been reasonable substitutes for some, I declined his offer, preferring to drive my fat white butt (with cranky toddler in tow) across town.

He laughed, saying something like, “yeah, this probably wouldn’t work for someone who names their orchids,” like those-crazy-assholes. I sputtered out a “heh-heh” and ran away as quickly as possible before he realized that I was thisclose to naming my plants after my television ex-husbands.

On our anniversary, after scoring a prescription for both Topamax and Vicodin for my My Grains, I’d requested a quick stop to pick up a new orchid. (shut UP) But, not being totally in season, there were no orchids to be had (there were, however mini-roses! SCORE!). Really, buoyed by the ever-hopefulness–followed by the inevitable letdown–that a new prescription brings, I was okay with this.

But, The Daver, he suggested that take a trip to a nearby orchid greenhouse. That’s right, 4 acres of swinging orchid awesomeness.

(shut UP)

And as I roamed the aisles, sweaty and smelly, happily picking up new species to try my hand at growing destroy what is left of my window space, while contemplating how to make it to an event that I will affectionately call Orchid Stock*(certain to be filled with little old ladies), I realized that the greenhouse guy wasn’t that off base.

It’s time to find some new television husbands to divorce.

————

*I am not kidding**

**Want to go with me?***

***No, seriously, please? I’m pretty sure I’d get launched from the car like a particularly chubby missile if I tried to trick my family into going with me.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

49 Responses to Wait, Doesn’t Everybody Name Their House Plants After Their Television Husbands?

  • Kyddryn says:

    Hey, Aunt Becky? Come see what I did to you yesterday…

    What, you thought I was going to comment on your post? Oh, all right…great post. Now…come see what I did to you yesterday…

    Shade and Sweetwater,
    K

  • Hi,

    I’m just getting started with my new blog. Would you want to exchange links on our blog-rolls?

    BTW – I’m up to about 100 visitors per day.

  • Mwa says:

    No, sorry, still don’t get it. I just killed another CACTUS.

    *snicker, snicker.* I’ve never grown one, but my Venus Flytrap is thriving. Those are hard as HELL to grow.

  • Teresa says:

    Okay…I kinda understand the soap thing, but for me it is Toilet Paper. WE MUST NEVER RUN OUT! My hubby has been doing the shopping lately and the other day he quietly walked into the room and said, we have an emergency…..I was kinda starting to worry and then he showed me a roll of TP and said this is the last roll……he was looking at me like he was waiting for me to freak out (which I was trying NOT to do)….well needless to say, we went directly to the store and bought 2 – 24 packs……freaks me out not to have lots and lots of TP! So I totally get it.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHA! See! USEFUL! I totally get this!

  • I don’t relate to things that grow or require care. Thank goodness for the genetic code between my children and I because it must be what made me want to take care of them. Unless a house plant is drought tolerant and thrives on neglect, it’s just not gonna work out between us. When I think of the exquisite loveliness of an orchid and the shriveled disaster that it could become under my care, it makes me thankful that your orchid garden is 1200 miles away. I think I can kill a plant with a dirty look.

    Dave pretty much has a rotted black thumb and he manages to live near the orchids, so you may be okay. But, just to be safe, if you come over, stay away from my orchids, okay?

  • moonspun says:

    I have huge admiration for flowers and plants. They are lovely and many smell good. But for THEIR sake, I don’t have them in my house. I’ll kill them. So I am glad to hear you are taking care of some of them.

    They, unlike my children, do not poo their pants. It’s divine.

  • Badass Geek says:

    You and your orchids. I’m thinking you may need to attend Orchids Anonymous sometime soon.

    I’m afraid you’re right. I do have a problem.

  • Sam says:

    Aunt Becky, I had a brief stint working for a gardening company that sold the hydro stuff; because no one was allowed to refer to the fact that most tie-dye wearing 20 somethings were buying the lamps to grow the ganj, we would jokingly refer to them having orchid collections. So, you know. Midwestern winters and all, maybe you could be the ONE who really does use the lamps for REAL ORCHIDS! :)

    Bwahahahaha! Exactly. I’ll be all, huh? when I get the weird looks from people when I order the lights. HA.

  • I stay away from the plant kingdom. I’m allergic to most of it, though I suppose flowers in the house would be less weedy & it is the weeds I am mostly allergic to.

    At least the orchids will cover the smell of your decomposing body

    It’s a win/win situation, as far as I’m concerned.

  • Summer says:

    The only things I can grow without killing are children. Seriously. My thumbs are black and have little skull ‘n crossbones tattoos on them. I can’t even get our St Augustine “grass” (this is a *weed*, Aunt Becky) to stay healthy. Of course, this year I’m blaming God for that one, considering it’s been about 108 degrees since May.

    But I wish you the best of luck with your orchids and thank God that they’re in your windows instead of mine. Because then they’d be dead.

    Bwahahahaha! I love you.

  • Dot says:

    I’ll totally go with you. Can you forward air fare?

    The poor orchid that I adopted didn’t last very long, unlike the African violets, which lingered forever without a bloom. I currently own one plant, which is kindly and happily growing despite sporadic care.

    Dave is drooling over some African Violets that he’s itching for me to grow. I suppose that’s next on my list.

  • Kate says:

    Aunt Becky, I think you and my husband are separated twins. He’s the exact. same. way. about plants. And after 19 years with the man, my house is a jungle.

    I’ve gotten used to it.

    I’ve never been able to understand the allure that looking at plants holds for him, but I smile and go along until I can’t stand it anymore and finally snap, “Just pick some already so we can GO!” He likes that part, ‘cuz it means he gets more plants.

    Want to make him happy? Buy him a new plant. Simple!

    You could name your plants after all the medications you’ve tried. That might be more fun than tv husbands. Just a suggestion. ;)

    I hope the Topamax works without giving you nasty side-effects.

    I SHOULD name them after the meds I’ve tried and discarded! Awesome plan!

  • Deb says:

    Aunt Becky, I share your orchid adoration. I have a small room off my kitchen dubbed the “Orchid Room”! I also live not far from you, so I understand how a lovely Phaleonopsis blooming in January can lift your spirit tremendously. Have you been here yet? http://www.orchidsbyhausermann.com
    Hausermann’s is a place where orchids are NEVER out of season!! If you haven’t been there, go!

    THAT IS TOTALLY WHERE I WAS!! There’s one in Sycamore too! Holy balls, who knew we were so close to Orchid Heaven!?!

  • Suzy Voices says:

    I’ve never had houseplants. We have a fake ficus that my husband’s father MADE for us (He was a florist). So I can’t get rid of it. I’d like to have something pretty around, but the dog might eat it.

    This is always what’s kept us from having a ficus. Which I’m itching for. Well, not the dog, but the cats using it as a litter box. Because, ew.

  • Kelly says:

    I hate to even think about the number of orchids I’ve brought into my home… and then promptly killed. We are lucky my cat and dog are still alive. A delicate plant doesn’t stand a chance. And yet, I keep buying them, and loving them, and killing them.

    While at Nursery #1 (not the Orchid One), there were a number of clearance orchids which were on the way to dying. I resisted the urge to try and revive them, but I was saddened.

    It happens, tho. Left to Dave, they would die. Quickly.

  • Vinomom says:

    I have never tried orchids. I spent one spring and summer absolutely obsessed with gardening (I was trying to cut back on my drinking) I spent inordinate amounts of money and time in the garden.

    I’ve never really gotten into houseplants, though. I like the idea. Maybe you’ve given me the gift of something else to spend all my time and money on!

    I should be so honored to have sparked your obsession!

  • TheOnlyGirl says:

    While I can not appreciate your love of plants (because I’ve been unable to keep any of mine alive), I can appreciate your OCD with soap. I currently have a juice box thing going of my own.

    But I do love the look of orchids. If you come across any really good looking fake ones that are indestructible – let me know.

  • Jacquie says:

    I love orchids, but have no control over my tendency to murderize them. I once heard a tip that I should put one ice cube in the pot each week and never directly water them. That worked once, for one orchid, until some a-hole decided to help me out and drowned the poor baby. Now I just treat them like cut flowers: enjoy them until one day you turn your appreciative glance their way only to find naked stalks staring back at you. You’ve got a gift, Aunt Becky. Flaunt it!

    Aww, thank you. What you call gift, Daver calls obsession. I’m okay with that, shockingly.

  • Krissa says:

    Well, there’s this… the television divorces are soooooo much cheaper than the real ones… ;-)

    EXACTLY! Free is always better than paying.

  • amy d says:

    I embrace my OCD gene. While you “nodded appreciatively” at Jack Nicholson’s soap fetish, I believe, wholeheartedly, I could have made that marriage between Julia Roberts & that creepy actor we never heard from again in sleeping with the enemy totally work.

    CAN GOODS SHOULD ALL FACE THE SAME WAY DAMMIT!! WHAT THE FUCK WAS WRONG WITH JULIA????

    (I kind of felt the same way)

  • Ms. Moon says:

    I would name my plants because I love them that much but I have to save all the names for my chickens. I’m sure you understand.
    Next thing on your list should be “build a greenhouse.” I’m serious.

    Dave is already looking into it.

  • honeywine says:

    I’ve always thought of orchids as too fussy. I like my plants to be near-unkillable. The mini-roses I can get down with! It’s like a fairy garden…emphasis on the fairy. lol

    Orchids are shockingly UN-fussy. I know, who knew?

  • Awww you’re making me want an orchid! Although, I’m pretty sure I’d kill it. Or somebody would! Which would suck, A LOT!

    I think you should TOTALLY name your orchids! How awesome would that be to call em by their names when you’re tending to them?! I haven’t named my peppers, but I do talk to em. Weird, yes. Fun, OH YEAH!
    *HUGS*

  • Mrs Soup says:

    I manage to kill plastic plants, so I’ll not come visit. I would probably breathe on your beautiful orchids and kill them.

    And yet, I’m going to try growing a garden come spring. We’ll see how it goes……

    There are lots of really easy things to grow. I swear.

  • Annie says:

    I share your addiction/love of houseplants! It is kinda ridiculous, we have all these grow lights, and yes I get the funny looks at the hydro store when I go in for a new light…
    I bring in all my potted plants from outside, I just cannot bear for my babies to die in the awful mid-western winter. Our house looks like a jungle.
    I haven’t named them yet, however I do play music for them and talk to them like they are my babies… LOL It does seem a little odd now that I actually admit this.

    I have yet to buy a grow light or talk to them, but we’re not far off from there. I physically HURT when I saw all of the really sick sad looking orchids at the greenhouse.

    I needs to gets a life.

  • Carol says:

    Atlanta has a great orchid center. We all–including my nephews–love going. It is all misty and beautiful and wonderful. Here is a link to someone else’s pictures that I found on the internets:

    http://travel.webshots.com/photo/1523226528059242420Gqmwkv

    I am SO coming to visit!

  • Amy says:

    That’s really cool that you’re learning about orchids. You must really be enjoying yourself. It’s nice to have something to take care of that you don’t absolutely have to. : )

    Orchids are actually pretty simple to take care of. I fuss around them more than I absolutely need to because I enjoy it.

  • Kyddryn says:

    I grow Christmas Cacti. I give them away and grow more. My one plat is freakin’ huge, and it’s an heirloom – came from my grandmother’s plant. I love them – they’re like Muppets, only in plant form!

    My aunt grew orchids…they were beautiful, and I envied her talent because I? Kill them. I don’t mean to…don’t want to…but they die.

    I won’t even address the OCD…the Internet isn’t big enough to hold all my weirdness.

    Shade and Sweetwater,
    K

    I think OCD can be quite charming, actually.

  • Jeni says:

    While orchids are my favorite flower… I cannot say they are my favorite plant. Plants and I do not get along… I am a murderous bitch when they arrive at my house. I don’t mean to, it just happens :( I have successfully killed African Violets in a self watering planter (what?!) and numerous other pretty things that end up looking sick and sad. I am currently scheming to kill some bamboo and it is putting up a rather good fight! Suggestions are welcome…
    Don’t they say get a plant before you ever get a dog? If you can keep it a live then get the dog. If you can keep the dog alive then have kids? Umm… if I listened to that I’d be in trouble and scarred for life!

    I think dogs and kids are easier because they whine at you when they want something. Plants just…sit there doing nothing.

  • Rebecca says:

    I know that Chicago totally rocks and probably has the best of the best of everything imaginable but St. Louis has this place called Missouri Botanical Garden. There is some guy who works there who you can send e-mail to and he knows just about everything. Their website is mobot.org . I’ve sent him questions and he’s given me pretty thorough answers and told me where I could purchase certain things. So your ‘special moss’ might be found by contacting this guy. chip.tynan@mobot.org Unless of course ‘special moss’ is code for weed, then just go to the local college campus, I’m sure it’s abundant.

    Bwahahahaha! No, I really wanted moss. Not Special Moss.

    But awesome tip. Thank you!

  • Liza says:

    Ah, don’t kill me, Aunt Becky… I live where orchids grow on trees. Many are confined to pots. . . but many just leap onto trees and stay there. Blooming. Madly. Seasonally.

    Also, I live under a ficus tree. It is 85 or so years old. It creeeeeeeeaks in the wind when it rains.

    There are many orchid growers nearby. The county fair is at the beginning of October, and the Orchid Society will have a fabulous booth. Visit their site here: http://www.mauiorchidsociety.org/

    Right now, my only potted plant is a gardenia. It is outside, on the deck. No centipedes in the house, plz.

    Thxkbai!

    Am trying not to seethe with jealousy while I remind myself that I will soon be freezing my ass off in negative degree weather. Wait…that’s not comforting me in the slightest.

    Gr.

    Can I move in with you?

  • care-uh says:

    Do you want to move in with me?

    My husband is a fantastic cook. I clean and can sew. You could keep the living things alive! The Daver can come to…I need someone to keep gadgets and the internet working. The kids will practically take care of themselves!

    Dude. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful life together.

  • Lisa says:

    One of the best childhood memories I have is of my mother’s geraniums and ORCHIDS :)! Help me – I would love to delve into this but SERIOUSLY, how do you keep the children out of the plants? All I can envision are plant body parts, wet sticky soil and a filthy toddler all over the living room. Ugh, I am off to take Motrin and wait for your answer…

    While I imagine Amelia will be my monkey (which I will be okay with), my boys leave them shockingly alone. I know. I don’t get it either.

  • Nel says:

    Oh, orchids….

    I didn’t even know what they were until I was buying my first house. I went to Target to get some things to decorate and saw 2 beautiful flowers. One was a white orchid and one was a purple orchid. I got to check out and do you know how much those fuckers were each? $50.00 each! I was too much of a chicken shit to admit that I didn’t know the cost when I put them in my basket and just paid for them. Then I got in the car and almost threw up.

    Needless to say, the orchids died in about 1.5 days…

  • Deb says:

    Oh, Aunt Becky, I’ve been having such fun reading these comments. I’ve had people look into my “Orchid Room”, and tell me “Oh, I could never grow orchids, they are too ‘fussy’.” To which I respond: “DUDES- there is NO plant that is less fussy than an orchid….just put it in an area with minimal sun exposure and forget about it for 2 weeks. Orchids do not want a lot of light or a lot of water!!”. I’ve recruited several new orchid followers with that advice.

  • Deb says:

    AND- my cats have no interest in chewing my orchids!

  • Liza says:

    You want to move here for the winter? Yes, there is a 2nd bedroom in this house. I think the cable internet can handle both of us being on line. There’s not much room for carpet creepers and can the Daver commute 8 hrs each way?

    Wait, do you have an allergy to mold? Coz everything here blooms with mold – even in the house. Can’t have leather shoes, gloves, etc.

    But you do not wear shoes in the house, ever… Japanese influence. My wardrobe is mainly shorts, even in winter, and there’s about 10 hours of sun every day. So at the height of winter there, I’ll happily email you a photo of the beach… or the torrential rains like we had on Christmas day last year. Life is …. diverse!

    Kbai!

  • Pete in Az says:
  • Pete in Az says:

    And be carful with the African Violets.

    If you break a leaf off and stick it in water, in a week or two it will root start a new plant. You could fill the house in no time.

  • Inna says:

    I love orchids and soap. I killed the last two I owned (the orchids, not the soap) but my mom seems to have a knack for keeping them alive. I blame it on the humidity and lovely weather of brazil. Right now I’m sticking to other plants, but I was reading about how to grow orchids from seeds. Did you know they actually need to grow in a sterile tube? So a lot of scientists (who naturally have the equipment for such experiments – not that I would know, hehe) grow them in their labs? When I have some down time from my thesis, maybe I’ll experiment.

    Oh, and I’d ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY love to go to the Orchid Show with you. I missed the one in NYC this summer (sniff) because I was at a conference.

  • Murgdan says:

    My entire house is over-run. Over 200 orchids…every room. Every window. Even a light cart. I finally put the brakes on the ‘purchasing’ last year…so glad to hear I’m not the only one who will likely end up a ‘crazy orchid lady’.

    :-)

  • I love plants, especially flowers. unfortunately I kill them. Seriously I can not keep them alive for a week, I think they commit suicide, or I have some strange thing in my skin that kills plants, like those people who make clocks stop. Either way I do not want to be the death of anymore innocent plants, so I get fake ones.

  • Lippy says:

    I’m not so much with the plants. I remember trying to grow some plant in my room in college. Overnight they grew 2 inches and freaked me the hell out! I figured they were mutants and would kill me in my sleep. So….. Istoppedwateringandtheydied.
    Bud is big into the plants and one of them started growing up the wall in the kitchen. It was actually sticking to the wall and climbing it. Bud thought it was cool, I wanted to hack it to bits so it wouldn’t smother us all at night. We compromised and he detached it from the wall. I am still suspicious.

  • RJ Flamingo says:

    I’m witcha! We can be crazy old cat ladies together – and I’ve got the cats! And the orchids! Except that the orchids have to live outside so the cats won’t eat them… small price to pay.

    I’ll move down by you and we can cultivate our orchids together.

  • Kendra says:

    I don’t get the plant thing, I have to admit. We have a beautiful backyard filled with the most gorgeous sunflowers, my favorite plant, which are growing–no joke–at least 15 feet tall. Several of them are seeds from last year’s plants, and I guess those suckers are smart, because they sure to come back bigger and better! But when people comment on the beautiful flowers, so huge and all kinds of fiery shades, all I can do is say it’s entirely thanks to my husband. While I hang laundry on the line (apparently my favoritest dorky pastime), he plants and weeds and hoes and rakes, and I just accept the compliments!

    But I had a huge laugh at the soap thing. Just last night, I was trying to stuff an admittedly oversized box of tampons (they were on sale at Sam’s Club!) under the bathroom sink, and I realized the reason there was no room was because there were 23 boxes of Irish Spring tucked in there. Thanks to my husband, I will never again be able to justify buying girly-smelling soap, not with 23 more bars to go through!

    Bwahahahaha! Irish Spring! Bwhahahaha!

  • Kristine says:

    Everything in a pot in my house dies. Everything. Unless it accidentally gets watered by someone else.

    I’m really kind of surprised my son had made it this long.

    Kids are pretty resilient buggers.

  • tracey says:

    my orchid is named Ophelia, because Ophelia just sounds like an orchid-y type name.

    so, um, if it’s weird to name your plants, then i’m weird. i’ve ALWAYS named my plants. in college, i had a plant named Herman. i painted his name on his pot and everything.

    I adore the name Ophelia and I think that’s a LOVELY name for an orchid.

  • Suniverse says:

    I will totally come to Orchid Fest. But I can’t actually touch the flowers or dirt because I get wretched hives. Is there a bar? Then I’ll be waiting there, painting orchids in the manner of Georgia O’Keefe. Or Andy Warhol.

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