My name is Connie, and I’m a gardener. I bought my first plant 25 years ago, and I can’t stop. Seriously. Only this year, I’m doing seeds instead of plants. Cheaper. Definitely not easier. I’ve done seeds before so I know what I’m talking about.
Here’s the thing. The only way it’s cheaper is if you don’t spend money on fancy seed starters like peat pots, etc. Yeah, I covet them, and they’re easier. But we’re doing cheaper. That means I need cups to plant the seeds in. And since I’m not buying them, it means I need to mooch them. Providentially, our church had a luncheon yesterday. After the luncheon, I went dumpster diving. Okay, not too literally, I only picked a few cups out of the trashcans. Most cups I grabbed just as people were throwing them into the trashcan. It went something like this.
Me: Can I have that cup, please?
Person 1: Uh, sure...
Me: I want to reuse the cup (scoring points for environmental consciousness) to plant my garden seeds.
Person 1 (realizing that I’m not a lunatic): Right, okay.
But not all my experiences were quite so straightforward.
Me: Can I have that cup, please? I want to reuse it. (I was trying to cut down on odd facial responses.)
Person 2: Oh. (He looks at the Styrofoam cup oddly.)
Me (wondering why I’m still getting odd looks): I’m going to plant seeds in it for my flower garden.
Person 2 (laughing): I thought you wanted to wash it in order to use it again for the next luncheon. I thought it was your Dutchness coming out.
Me (smiling, not offended at the reference to pecuniary Dutchness because said person’s wife is also Dutch): No, no. I don’t think I’d do that. (Maybe I would at home with my kids. But not with other people—they’d have non-family germs.)
So I brought my used Styrofoam cups home. And proceeded to say, “Ariel, let’s soak the seeds!” She gives me a languid look and says, “I don’t know why you think that I’m excited about this.” My shoulders droop. Ariel then remembers all the times that I’ve pretended to be interested in some obscure matrix theory and says, “Okay, fine.”
She watches while I label the cups, pour in the seeds, and add water. Her contribution to the process beyond watching is to say, “Euw! Those hollyhock seeds look like fleas!” Indignant, I say, “They do NOT look like fleas. Fleas are much smaller.” At that, Ariel gives me her triumphant look. I grumble. Then she announces that when she gets a home of her own, she’s going to hire me to do her gardening. I think that I’m going to be way too expensive for her to hire. She can pull her own weeds.