SO, MARCIA LEFT left me with one thing to do while she was out of town for a few days: be sure to spritz the air plants with water from the appliance polish spray bottle with H2O marked in big black marker on the side. Not the other one still with its original, non-plant-friendly contents.
You may guess where this is going.
Unfortunately, I compounded the error. I was pretty sure where one of the plants to be spritzed was located, but not confident about the other’s place. So I decided to enthusiastically spray everything in the room that was green, just to be on the safe side. Or not, as it turned out.
Once I recognized my error, I tried to rub some of the stuff off, but decided that manhandling probably wasn’t going to help. So I sprayed them all again, this time with water. Next, having read once that talking to plants is beneficial, I apologized to them all. Then I begged them not to die. Then I asked them to please not tell Marcia.
I knew that I needed to do this myself. The plants seemed none the worse for their taste of stainless steel spray polish, and I kept a careful eye on them over the next few days. You’d never have known anything had gone wrong—other than for a slightly shiny aspect to some of the leaves. But I couldn’t just keep quiet about my fauxliage-pas, embarrassing as it was.
Marcia was her usual gracious, forgiving self, naturally. Once pardoned for my carelessness, I did embrace a little life lesson from The Great Air Plant Incident: the road to hell may not only be paved with good intentions, but also lined by rather-too-shiny greenery.
Close enough doesn’t really cut it. When something matters to someone else who matters to me—and even someone who doesn’t, for that matter—I need to be sure that it matters to me, too. Yes, we all make mistakes. But we are less likely to if we embrace whatever has been given us to do as a wish of our own, not just someone else’s.
Photo credit: Amy Loves Yah via Foter.com/CC BY