Tuesday, March 29, 2005

My plant doesn't need me

When I started the program I am currently working on my officemate Shane bought me a office warming present.

A plant.

One of those plants that you get at the grocery store that is wrapped in silver and green cellophane with a big silver bow.

I love my little plant. She is pretty and tough and has survived everything from freezing winter winds (Shane left the window open one night) to life without water (I went on a trip and forgot to ask someone to water her) to drops from great heights (my mountain of reference books habitually knock her off the back of my desk). I used to love her independence and really looked to her as the embodiment of my own personality.

But.

I've been sick for 4 days and didn't come in to see her. No one was here to say hello to her in the morning. She didn't get water, natural light or her soil massage. Still she looks great. Better than ever.

It kind of makes me sad that she doesn't need me.

It makes me wonder if this is sometimes how I make/have made my boyfriends (past and present) feel.

I am independent and strong and don't really *need* anyone. I have my own goals and plans.

I'm sure it is attractive at first, but isn't a basic part of every relationship based (slightly at least) on needing the other person? Does my strong will turn people away and make them feel like their presence is ancillary to my existence when that really isn't how I feel.

Even though my plant is strong, if she goes forever without water she will shrivel up and die...even if she doesn't ever give that impression.

7 comments:

Anth said...

That's a pretty good analogy.

katezmom said...

Well, I prefer to think that two strong individuals come together in a mutually strong relationship. Plants can survive alone as long as vital nutrients are provided by nature, the enriching must come to them. People, on the other hand, can strive to find those things they need to enrich their lives. Doesn't make them weak, makes them stronger.

howlingman said...

This reminds me of my senior year of college, when I tried to class up my apartment with a plant.

He was a cactus named "Spike."

I put him on the windowsill that got all the afternoon sun, tucked behind a curtain. I watered him that first day, then didn't have to water him for another month or so.

I forgot about him, and eventually had to toss his dessicated carcass.

I agree with the previous comment, and will also suggest that there is a "need spectrum." Some people need to be spoon fed all their lives; some people need to take action, follow their curiosity and run with that power.

Both levels of activity qualify as "need," necessity, but the latter can't even be called "needy," in the colloquial sense, like the first.

Or, use a word besides "need." I saw "enrich" earlier - good word.

For me, I don't *need* to watch movies - I could live and breathe without them - but I know I flourish mentally and emotionally when I do. And I'm happier when I do.

Does that make it a need, or a want, or a distilled, overlapping combination of both?

girl from florida said...

aoih oidhofceaujapsc jf[e

Oh. That was my head hitting the keyboard after I fell asleep waiting for your comment box to load.

:)

Where can I get a magic plant like this? Because I tend to kill everything! Just think of it as you have wonderful, magic energy that makes your plant soooooo happy you can leave it for 4 days and it's fine :)

PS. I agree with your mom. Smart lady!

she falters to rise said...

I hurt a lot of people because of my independence. They either went crazy trying to make me need them (often leading to emotional abuse) or they just gave up. I was their plant. My husband and I have been together now for seven years (married for 5). He's proud of how I am and amazed everyday at what I do. I guess you could say I'm his tree--he keeps me growing straight and branching in the right directions, and I give him something to lean on and rest under. Much better than being a plant...for him and for me.

Elle said...

Man, you are making me want a plant for my little cube I live in most of my days. I think that would really brighten things up around here. Might do that this weekend!

Thanks chica! That's JUST what I need!

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