I don’t have a dog … or a boyfriend. Once upon a time, I had both. This is not a country song by the way, I am going to take this in a different direction so stick with me. If I did have a dog, I might be writing about all the wonderful ways my imaginary dog, Sprinkles, enhances my life in the absence of a man. But Sprinkles is just a dog I met on the street while her real owner was walking her. And my landlord doesn’t allow pets in the building anyway. So that’s neither here nor there. For now, I’ll have to bestow all my loving praise upon my very cherished succulent, Curly (pictured left). A loyal plant can bring much joy to a single ladies’ life. Curly has been with me now for almost four years and I feel like we have a very solid relationship. After the jump, some reasons why having a plant is better than having a boyfriend.
- They are always available to listen. Curly is a plant of few words, specifically, none. But he is a really great listener and he’s available anytime of the day or night. He is never too busy with work or hanging out with his buddies to lend a leaf. And he never judges me or thinks I’m “overly emotional” when I cry. I know I can go to Curly with life’s joys and pains and he will listen without ever saying a word or trying to figure out how to “fix” things. If only more boyfriends could do the same.
- They need you, but not too much. My beloved plant needs me — mostly to water him — but still, he needs me and is not afraid to show it. When I’m away for a week, Curly’s tentacles droop slightly with the sadness of my absence. When I water him, he perks back up but I tell myself that it’s because he is very happy to see me. When I think of “what I have to come home to,” after a particularly annoying family weekend, I can count on Curly to be sitting placidly still on my windowsill waiting. But as thrilled as I am that Curly needs me, he is also totally self-sufficient on the days that he doesn’t need to be watered, pruned, or repotted, which isn’t very often. Men would be wise to take note of this delicate need/self-sufficiency balance.
- They never complain about anything. Plants turn excessive sunlight into photosynthesis and 10 days worth of rain into emergency food storage. Curly makes the best of every situation. You won’t hear him complaining about how his branches could be fuller if he only sat on a more sun-drenched ledge or got watered more often. If Curly’s arms are dropping or he sheds excessively, you won’t see him blaming me for making him that way or waiting for me to make him grow. Curly knows this too shall pass. What an inspiring outlook on life!
- They never quit you. It’s in a plant’s nature to keep thriving until the bitter end, to try to find ways to adapt to every obstacle thrown their way. I’m not gonna lie, Curly and I have gone through some rough patches in our relationship, but he never once dreamed of leaving me. He always found a way to work it out. He never broke up with me because he felt I was unable to understand his watering needs or because I was keeping him in too small of a pot. There was the time early in our relationship when I faultily repotted him causing one of his limbs to snap off. Did he get upset and walk out? No, because plants can’t walk. But that is besides the point. Curly simply adjusted his body position and embraced life with three tentacles instead of four. Recently, I accidentally dropped Curly on the floor while I was doing some spring cleaning. It was really bad. Many of his tentacles snapped leaving him looking like an old, bald man. But I have faith in him that he will make a full recovery in fall, when he’s had time to heal and grow. Because that’s the kind of plant he is … a keeper.
- They get along with everybody. Often boyfriends can come between you and those closest to you. Not Curly. Everyone who meets him likes him. Curly is not my only plant, but he is my favorite. There are other vegetable friends in my life and Curly never exhibits any jealous behavior. Whomever he is seated near on the windowsill — whether it be Prickly, Liberation, or Dewdrop — he shares the space with grace and never hogs the light or clamors for my attention. He is secure in our connection and knows that I will love him no matter how many tentacles he loses. And he will love me unconditionally, too.
Original by: Ami Angelowicz