Monday, May 3, 2010

Why do my orchids always end up looking like this?

Sometimes I ask myself why I even bother. As much as I love them, orchids are my nemesis. It's cruelly ironic that, being someone who can't grow ANYTHING, they are in fact my favorite flower. So beautiful and delicate. Ahhh, yes, delicate. Hence the reason I've found myself to be quite the serial killer of orchids. The one above is my latest victim. It's really a very vicious cycle that I'm on. It goes something like this:

1. Buy an orchid.
2. Admire the orchid.
3. Forget to water the orchid.
4. Notice that the orchid looks droopy.
5. Over water the orchid.
6. Try to lift the orchid's spirits with words of encouragement. Apologize.
7. Watch the orchid's blooms drop.
8. Still dropping...
9. Over water again.
10. Incessantly remind the 2 remaining blooms how pretty they are.
11. Plead with the last lonely bloom and beg it not to drop.
12. Over water what is now actually just a flower-less stick.
13. Stop watering.
14. Throw away the pot containing the flower-less stick after tiring of it taunting me about my poor gardening skills.
15. Buy an orchid...

And the saga continues. Sad, I know. No, really. The orchid. It actually LOOKS sad to me! Well, at least mine does, anyway. I generally find flowers to be quite expressive. To me most of them look like they have faces, and I believe that I unknowingly assign personalities to them according to the expression that I perceive they are making. Take Gerbera daisies for instance (or for that matter any daisy).

They're bold, sunny, always have a positive outlook. Compared to this:

Doesn't that face just SCREAM Drama Queen!

They just look so high-maintenance! So needy and fickle. To me this capriciousness has become even more characteristic of orchids than their daintiness. I truly believe that they are spoiled, bratty, little prima donnas that know how beautiful they are and how much you want them to thrive. They'd just rather DIE than give you the satisfaction of having successfully grown them! In fact, the only way you can ever gain their favor is by existing solely to entertain their every whim. By caring for them on their own terms. By watering them precisely every 7 days:3 hours:47 minutes, by talking sweetly to them for hours on end, by misting their leaves every morning, by moving them from one sunny windowsill to another so that they might enjoy a different view, and by constantly providing them with whatever else their little hearts desire!
And I refuse. I won't concede that easily. And so the orchids and I continue our silent war. I suspect that, somewhere deep in my subconscious mind, despite my love and awe of orchids, I secretly despise them. And the feeling is mutual.

Q: Why do my orchids always end up looking like this?
A: Because we're both too stubborn to make the relationship work!