"Let's pot some flowers," said my wife with the look that dared me to say no."
I tried to look like I had some say in the matter as she grabbed my sleeve and guided me into the local, all-purpose grocery store. From the look in her eyes, I knew that my mind had already been made up. C'est la vie. I still wanted to act like I was the man of the house and made all of the important decisions.
After mumbling and grumbling for less than a minute, I promptly agreed. The price was right. Our flowers cost very little, they look quite relaxing, and they don't take any space on the couch. They don't change channels when I'm watching TV and they never shed hair on the suit that I'm planning to wear next Sunday.
They say there are two outcomes to every family decision. I agree. Now, I'm both happy and sad about our "mutual" settlement. I confide to our flora-type pets when no one will listen, sing to them when my wife's not around, and treat them like friends when no one else gives me respect. However, they do cause a problem that I had never expected.
Confiding to flowers is great. They listen intently without interrupting, they nod their heads whenever I speak and they never reveal my secrets to anyone else. During our posy-and-I discussions, my eyes feast on their beauty and my nose takes in all of the wonderful fragrances that they create.
When I sing to my flowers, they never object to my being off key and they never complain that I'm singing too loud. Despite my being tone-deaf, they applaud my efforts by growing much faster. As my wife, Myrtice, says, "Who needs a cat or a dog when flowers give us more comfort at one-tenth the maintenance cost?"
What is their drawback? Well, I wouldn't bring it up to my wife for fear of spending a week in our now-empty doghouse, but flowers aren't perfect. I discovered that secret while waiting for dinner. I found that I was competing with them over who got fed first. Our flowers had an unquenchable thirst that demanded priority service. It seems that they had to be watered and fed before I got supper.
"Do they really need all that attention," I asked my wife trying to feign a touch of timidity.
Her answer came without malice or forethought. "Sorry Hon, but if they don't get watered before I cook dinner, we're apt to forget them." Those poor little darlings. You don't want them watching us from the porch with parched leaves drooping for lack of sustenance while we eat everything that the Lord hath provided?
She paused, studied my face, and then added a stern "Do you?"
As usual, Myrtice was right. Our flowers don't remind us when they're missing their afternoon drink. They just keel over and die. How inconsiderate! There are times when I think that our garden is full of horticultural tyrants. They always insist on having us adapt to their schedules.
Watering gets particularly bothersome during the summer. That's when the flowers get parched and complain to the neighbors that we are horrible parents. Only heartless ogres would force a family pet to fend for itself while they live off the fat of the land. Flowers are helpless. They can't even pick up a hose and water themselves. They have us trapped.
To keep from getting hauled into court on cruelty charges, we hire house sitters to take care of their needs whenever we leave town for more than a day. We might not be perfect but we do know when our family of flowers ought to come first.
Our flowers make wonderful pets but I am still trying to train them. Once I succeed, they will be able to feed and water themselves.