Today we attended the 3rd birthday party of a friend of my daughter’s. This little boy’s mother is a lovely woman, and very, very organized. Very creative. Very attentive to detail. Knowing all of this full well, I was still stunned at the enviable bash she had put together for her son. Holy Martha Stewart! Not one, but two bouncy houses, (one so large I was afraid to send MJ into it, for fear she would never emerge), a taco truck, an extensive craft table, a frozen margarita machine, peanut butter and jelly “lollipops” (complete with pretzel “sticks”) for the kids and gourmet cupcakes for the adults. She had handmade the tablecloths, custom designed the labels for the water bottles, placed a voluminous bowl of quarters near the entrance for those parked at meters. The giftbags for the kids burst with imaginative, delightful toys. Not a thing had been forgotten. Not a detail had been overlooked. The kids were in heaven, the adults gobsmacked.
I only mention any of this to say: I am so not her.
I’ll bet if this woman had a garden it would be impeccable in every way. (She probably does. It probably is.) I’ll also wager that if she had to remove a bunch of paperwhites and a poor specimen of a rose bush from her lower terrace she would not undertake to do so with hedge clippers, an IKEA serving spoon and a William Sonoma cake cutter.
But then again, she probably doesn’t have a sister who keeps forgetting to bring her the spade she bought for her at Home Depot last week. Or a husband who keeps saying he’ll buy her a shovel, then not doing it. Or a plague of paperwhites that is surprisingly difficult to eradicate (don’t let their genteel appearance fool you).
But even if she did, for example, succeed in bending her IKEA spoon into a most unnatural U shape by attempting to dig up said paperwhites (all the while muttering “Die! Die!”), she would not then decide to take out her frustrations on the larger rose bush one terrace up — a level she was not supposed to be working on at all today — and cutting it down to a size and shape that would win accolades only at the Whitney Biennial —
And even if she did ALL of that, she would at least have the decency to properly dispose of her cuttings (even after said cuttings — bastards! — had cut HER in several spots). She would never, on her worst day, throw them down on the terrace below in a fit of disgust, burying the paperwhites that had previously defeated her in the vain hope that they might smother to death, while simultaneously, in her zeal, littering the sidewalk with sorrowful trimmed-rose detritus.
Nor would she leave said mess to her husband, (just returning from a trip to Home Depot with a new shovel and gardening gloves for her) while she ran off to a birthday party with her daughter.
No, the mom of my daughter’s friend would never do this.
Me, on the other hand? Well, you be the judge.