My mother’s birthday was last week. We celebrated today. We’re kind of slackers. But we’re not total slackers because we did get her what she wanted: A blue flowering hydrangea. Seems simple enough, right? Wrong. So wrong. The wrongest.
My sister took the first turn – she went to Lowe’s. No luck. She went to Pike’s. No luck. She then passed the baton to me as I was leaving work and had a little more time. I went to a different Lowe’s. No luck. I went to Wal-Mart. When I asked for a hydrangea the plant lady wandered around in a circle for a minute, looked at me, and shrugged. No luck.
Then I went to another Pike’s. My sister had called ahead so we knew there was potential here. But we’d been burned before, so I was cautious. I walked in and found myself surrounded by plants, trees, flowers, and various other unidentifiable foliage. Surely the hydrangea I sought must be nearby.
The only problem was that for all the items filling the room, people were not one of them. I am not what you would call a botanist. I’m more what you would call a plant killer. I know a hydrangea when I see one but I had no idea where to look. This place was like the Taj Mahal of plants. And there were categories:
“Outdoor Plants.” …as opposed to what?
“Flowering Plants.” Yes, there. That was the one I wanted.
“Flowering Hedge Bushes.” …or was THAT the one I wanted.
“Hanging Plants.” I did not want my plant to be suicidal.
“Trees.” DOES NO ONE WORK HERE.
It wasn’t going well. I was getting scared. Navigating that place was like running a 10k while blindfolded and being chased by drunken chihuahuas with cattle prods. But finally I saw the light – a man walking down the aisle, wearing – wait for it – a PIKE’S EMPLOYEE SHIRT. HALLELUJAH.
“Can you tell me where the hydrangeas are?”
The man just stared back at me. I started to worry. Was I saying it wrong? Had I actually asked about some sort of child cult by accident? He stared some more. I stared back. After a long time, he turned, looked over the whole plant room (nursery?), and said very quickly, “It’s down over there to the left,” pointed, and walked away.
I eventually did find the hydrangea. It was pretty and seemed small enough to carry. So I picked it up. Stay tuned for my next post: How To Walk To Your Car While Carrying Deceptively Heavy Plants.
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