Have I ever mentioned that people just tell me things, utterly unbidden and frequently undesirably? Whether it’s my face, my aura or maybe I just wronged someone in another life, I really don’t know. Commonly this occurs when I am out and about, minding my own business while someone is experiencing crisis in my vicinity. This can run the gambit from their spouse has recently cheated on them to terminal diagnosis and anywhere in between. I don’t have to engage or even make eye contact… these people just home in my invisible “Ooh, pick me!!” magnet and amble on over. I cannot tell you the number of weeping strangers I have held in my arms, nor would I venture to guess the number of absolute lunatics that just need my attention. I am deeply empathetic to the folks who just need someone to hear them and feel their pain. The escapees from Bedlam, not so much.
Just for a little additional weird background, I don’t have a green thumb, I have ten gnarled black fingers of annihilation, hidden by a decent manicure. A couple of years ago, my little boy gave me seeds for Mother’s Day, which we planted. My daughter said, “What are you gonna do now, plant killer?” I like plants, but they don’t demand food in the same way as children and pets. For the last two years, I have planted outside gardens and have had a modicum of success. Miss Shannon can be taught new tricks, she likes flowers and has difficulty justifying the expense of buying cut flowers. I bought an aloe plant about a year and a half ago because I thought it would make good minion hair in the planter I made. Sadly, it was accidentally left out in a frost and hasn’t been happy since. I put it outside hoping the sun might revive it. Enter the Plant Advocate.
An unknown woman entered the daycare and said, “I want to talk to you about your plants.” Usually, I need to be visually available for the deranged to approach, so I was taken aback. So I hesitantly said, ok…. Then, the bowels of hell (from whence she came) opened up as she took me to task over the state of the aloe plant which is probably going to die. Die, I tell you. Now, at this point I’m edging towards the phone so I can call 911. Her face became very red and she sputtered, “I am an advocate for the plants!” Happily, she then exited the building and hopefully won’t be heard from again. Once again, I’d like to state for the record that I do not make this stuff up. Don’t believe me?? Just ask Dozer how many times some random person has approached us with deeply personal information that most of us wouldn’t tell our best friends. It’s the anonymity, of course and that beacon inside me that I can’t seem to find and eradicate. For the record, if you feel a burning urge to enter business establishments and yell about plant life, get your head checked.