My thumbs are one of a kind. Well, two of a kind since I have a pair of them.
One? Two? Not that it matters within the context of this post but this is the kind of stuff that will keep me up at night. I still have trouble falling asleep for wondering why the plural of goose is geese but the plural of moose is moose.
Not only are my thumbs rendered useless whenever I laugh, losing anything remotely resembling a fine motor skill, but they also have an uncanny ability to spontaneously turn black and rot off whenever they get too close to a plant or a flower or any kind of vegetation, really.
They are the antithesis of those green thumbs you’re always hearing about.
I am a horticultural death wish, if you will, because of my thumbs. When it comes to the plant kingdom, I can single-handedly change the circle of life into a schizophrenic trapezoid simply by walking past a tulip.
For the good of all living things, I stay far far from nature, preferring instead to view it from the safety and comfort of a climate controlled environment such as my living room. That way, nature is protected from me and I from it. As well as from all the squishy bugs, worms and creepy crawly disgustings that come along with it.
Jebeers, why must the outdoors be so gross?
Nate, on the other hand, is an avid gardener. He loves to get messy and grimy and sweaty, even when there is no sex involved. To his credit, he does do his best to involve me by occasionally asking me for my input as to where stuff should be planted and I will use enthusiastic jazz hands to mime through the bay window directions such as “To the left” and “A little more” and “Go up a bit” and “Sorry, I meant down a bit” and “Stop getting huffy with me” and “No, you are not #1, I am simply flipping you the bird” and “I know you are, but what am I?” and “Perfect! now turn it at a 45 degree angle” and finally “WHERE THE HELL IS THAT PROTRACTOR I GAVE YOU FOR CHRISTMAS?”
In my defense, I do my part by running out there every so often and risking a botanical holocaust just so I can wave my arms around in a frenzy and fling my blackened, decaying thumbs off my hands into the soil for some cheap compost. I do this, even though it means that for days afterward, at least until they regenerate, I have no thumbs with which to text and have to resort to using my toes to communicate online. So if you occasionally see a few MMM MMMMMMM MM M MMMMM MMM status updates from me on Facebook, it’s all because I was helping Nate with the landscaping. That, and because keyboards and cell phones, especially those with touchscreens, are really hard to type on with stubby toes.
Why am I telling you all this?
Because this tree lives in my parents’ front yard.
It’s a Japanese Pagoda tree and it is gorgeous.
It’s the only one in their neighborhood.
It has hundreds of long, graceful branches that are adorned with hundreds of thousands of delicate white blooms.
It’s simply stunning.
Even a gardening ignoramus like me can appreciate its beauty.
Despite living in a moderate southern climate, this tree has weathered some pretty brutal weather and has withstood snow and ice and last month’s torrential storms and tornadoes.
But it hadn’t yet met my thumbs and my mom wasn’t going to take any chances. This was a woman who had already experienced the horror of coming *this* close to losing a beloved Japanese Maple at our first house because Dad drove over it with the lawn mower on two separate and distinct occasions known as June 3, 1982 and August YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE WHAT YOUR CRAZY FATHER JUST DID, JEEEEE-SUS CH-RRRRRRR-IST, I NEED TO SIT DOWN, GOD.DAMN.IT, 1988.
And, if our common willingness to spend forty-five hours finding $.03 so that a checkbook will balance is any indication, I am my father’s daughter. But instead of a John Deere, I have my thumbs.
So she glued my thumbs into my armpits, called a priest over to perform an exorcism and then made me wear a hazmat suit before she’d let me into her front yard, let alone anywhere near the pagoda tree.
I’m happy to report that both the tree and my thumbs, as well as all surrounding vegetation, survived the ordeal.
I now want a pagoda tree in our front yard and I will take all necessary precautions to make it happen.
Which means I may never venture outside of my house again.