After the morning’s daybed debacle, I thought the afternoon could only improve. And it did, sort of. If, by improving, you mean that the stupid situation I found myself in happened outside of my home and therefore couldn’t be blamed on the dog.
Checking my e-mail while MJ slept, I saw a post from a woman I know through friends. She said that, because she and her family were moving away, she had some gardening stuff to get rid of. “Pots and more…” is what she said. Yes! I’d been hoping for just such a posting! Images of cheap tools, gorgeous outdoor rugs, lush, tall potted plants, a garden’s worth of succulents, and more flitted through my mind. This is how you fill nine terraces plus a concrete area the size of Newark quickly, right? You go to the moving sale of a hipster, gardening mom! Who knows me, so she won’t charge me much. She is, after all, moving and I am doing her a favor by taking all of these (gorgeous) goods off her hands, right?
The mulching machine that is my mind went on as it made pulp, once again, out of reality.
I e-mailed the woman to tell her MJ and I would be up as soon as we could. She replied “Great! We’re in La Crescenta.” Ugh. What? I don’t even know where that is. I sort of assumed since I had met her in Silverlake…oh, well. For this great a deal we’ll drive to La Wherever.
MJ wakes up, and we go. It is a 20 minute drive. We find ourselves in a suburb much like any other. I drive to a sleepy, residential street, and a house that is modest, but pretty. There are pumpkins with sharpied faces on them sitting on the front steps. We find the woman in the back, going through kids’ toys in her garage. On the ground is a small cluster of potted plants. Two, to be precise. One is a spider plant, the other some kind of ficus. They are both in plastic pots.
“Do you have any succulents?” I ask, with false cheer. She tells me she does, and nods towards a large group of pots nearby. “But I want to hold on to them.” She then offers me some metal sticks with orange, plastic Home Depot flags on them.
“You’ll need stakes. Take these.” She says this last bit generously. I guess these are a freebie.
“Uh, what do I do with them?”
“They’re so you can map your garden. You know, like hardscaping and stuff? Believe me. You’ll need them.”
I take them, forlorn. Hardscaping? What the — ?
There is more: a vast network of tubing and tiny parts for a drip irrigation system. It reminds me of breast pump equipment. I regard it gloomily, half-listening as the woman tells me how much it would all be worth if purchased new. Then she names a price that seems steep — even if they WERE new. Whoa! Who knew watering could be so expensive? I tell her I will have to pass.
The woman says she understands. She urges me, though, to take some organic compost and fertilizer she has. She tells me it is “pricey” and excellent for “building your soil up” in your veggie garden. I don’t say that the soil in our “veggie garden” is so toxic that rather than being “built up” it should probably just be “razed.” I am defeated.
I end up with the 3 bags of compost, several cobwebby plastic pots, some baskets I don’t like and some tomato spray for blight. (Blight, you know, for the tomatoes I don’t have in the vegetable garden I don’t have because of the usable soil I don’t have). I also agree to take the ficus tree. There is seriously something wrong with me. Just the word “ficus” is dispiriting. So why am I taking it? Because I am disappointed. I wanted something to bring home. I can’t say no. And, mostly, because I am an idiot.
You disagree? You think I am being hard on myself? I paid $40 for these items. You have nothing to say now, do you?
Myra-Jean and I return home with our load of shed-filler. When we pull up I don’t even bother unloading. At some point, probably when I realize how much the extra weight is killing my mileage, I will pull it all out and leave it in a heap somewhere.
Because — did I mention? — we don’t have a shed.