On this lovely Sunday I paid one of my favorite places a visit – the plant and tree nursery where I held my first job at age 16. I’ve had this empty pot for some time now that needed to be filled with some delicate greenery so today I happily brought home a new addition to my indoor plant family. It’s a ZZ plant which I’ve named ZZ Top…oh yeah.
The greenhouse is not just a place of escape, but a place where I feel energized. I enjoy the steamy warmth, the smells, and the abundance of fresh green growth which in turn makes me flourish. I also enjoy people-watching amidst the foliage. Like today when this old man suddenly materialized by the African Violets. Hands-down he had to be the coolest old man I’d ever seen. I happened to be standing behind a bunch of ferns, when through the fragile fronds I noticed a pair of dark green cowboy boots with burgundy stars stitched in a line down the sides. Huh, those are some sweet boots, I thought. I adjusted my position so I could see this person in their entirety.
Out of the green boots grew some faded purple jeans topped by a crisp white button-up shirt. A simple black cord with a chunky turquoise bead circled this person’s neck, and a cascade of grey, curly hair that reached a little ways past the shoulders made him look somewhat angelic. He also sported some large, groovy sunglasses. This funky granddaddy slowly picked up the potted violets one by one, studying them intently while I admired his dynomite outfit and hoped that I could pull off something like that when I grew to be his age. I stood there lost in that thought until I realized that I was being watched, too.
I could just sense it. I reluctantly turned my head and saw a flash of pink and some little eyes peering at me through the ivy trailing off a table directly behind me. The little girl hiding behind the leaves put her hand in her mouth and continued staring. She wore a pink t-shirt and her other hand was fiddling with a hideous little tutu. I say hideous because it was the exact shade of that pea soup vomit from The Exorcist. Her mother, whose back was turned, was hunting for the best of the ivy on the table.
“Can I help you?” asked a greenhouse worker who appeared by my side.
“You can get that girl a new tutu that isn’t horrifying,” I wanted to say, but instead opted for, “I think I’ve made my decision, I just needed to walk around for a bit!” They nodded and moved on, while I made a beeline for the ZZ plants so I could find THE CHOSEN ONE and bring it back to its new home.
After 2 hours, (just kidding) – after 5 minutes, I had found a satisfactory specimen and we headed to the cash register where I paid and felt judged for my tattoos, as the sour-faced lemon of a woman who rang me up wasn’t quite as warm as she was with the previous customer. She would look me in the eyes and from time to time stare at my arms with repugnance. I was all too pleased to leave with my new green friend, and here we are. It’s time to get ZZ Top transferred to his new pot home.
Viva la Sunday!