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I recently had a new friend come by my house to meet my son. She came with gifts for the baby in hand, and a gift for me. None of these niceties were expected, but certainly appreciated. The gifts for the baby were very nice, thoughtful and completely unexpected. My heart sank when I saw her gift for me was a potted houseplant.

Even though it was pretty, and I was thankful that she brought me a gift, I knew the poor thing was doomed. I’m terrible with plants to begin with. I can barely keep an office plant alive, and have only marginal luck with cut flowers. Some people have a green thumb or even a marginal section of their pinky fingernail that’s able to keep a plant alive. But there, I fail so hard, it hurts.

I had no hope of keeping it in my house. Giving a woman with cats a houseplant as a gift is essentially giving the gift of a month’s worth of surprise vomit. Every plant I’ve ever brought into the house has met the same unfortunate fate, being devoured slowly, secretly and regurgitated around my home. I’ve just given up at this point. If I’m given a plant, I don’t water it until it dies, and then I throw it out. It’s more humane that way. Maybe next time, I’ll follow the Modest Mouse lyric, and take the potted plant to the woods and set it free.