Friendship and Houseplants
by Jennifer LB Leese
Newly married, my husband and I had not yet filled out new apartment with many decorative items. We had a few things in each room and even less hanging on the walls. I have always loved the look, feel, and fragrance of houseplants and flowers in a garden. They set the mind at ease, and by adding them to one’s home, you are setting a peaceful, and inviting atmosphere for guests.
Therefore, I knew I wanted my house filled with plants. I could not wait to fill each and every room in our new home with plenty of fresh flowers, herbs and greenery.
Our first housewarming present and first plant was from my best friend, Angie. She carefully chose a Ficus rubber tree plant that stood about one foot in height at the most. I immediately cherished this rubber tree plant and I addressed it as "Ficus." Also when speaking about "Ficus" to others, I insinuated that the rubber tree plant had life beyond that of your typical houseplant or tree. It became an important part of our family, no matter how silly that may seem. Ficus brought me comfort and I showed that in the way I cared for it.
I had read somewhere that rubbing the rubber tree's big green leaves with mayonnaise would help keep the never-ending dust from smothering the plant. So every week, I rubbed every single leaf with mayonnaise, assuring its health. Occasionally, I’d leave on music when I left the house for the day, as well.
One reason I cared for it so deeply is that I had never owned a plant quite like this one. The main reason is that it was a thoughtful gift from my best friend.
As the years raced by the Ficus rubber tree plant grew rapidly and continues to reach towards the sky this very day.
Unfortunately, as those same years raced by, the plant grew healthier with each passing day but the special friendship I cherished with Angie ceased to grow. After awhile our friendship ended completely.
Now eleven years later the same Ficus rubber tree plant stands about ten feet tall and sprouts new fresh leaves accordingly.
Every time I give Ficus fresh water and gently rub the huge green leaves with mayonnaise, I think of Angie.
Happily, I remember the way our friendship used to be, and then sadly I am reminded of the unfortunate circumstances ended it.
However, I hope to have Ficus for many more years and I know that each time I take care of my plant friend I will sadly remember my befallen best friend.
If only she knew.