Listen, if you are on the market for window coverings and you have small children NEVER BUY VENETIAN BLINDS. Why do you ask? Because children like to look out the window. And if the blinds happen to be closed when they look out the window, well then they will pull the blinds to the side, or stick their faces in between the slats and pull them as wide apart as they can. Or perform puppet shows with the blinds. Or sometimes, they just like to grab the cord and pull it up and down and up and down for hours of amusement. Our blinds are broken, bent, have missing pieces and completely torn off ends. I've seen abandoned buildings with nicer windows than ours.
To make matters worse, we have the most pathetic straggly bushes lining our driveway, droopy flowers that you can see were never planted correctly and a big dead spot in our teeny front lawn from where everyone pulling out of our driveway runs over the grass. The condo board has wanted to kick us out for years for our pathetic front yard. But neither of us are gardeners and in fact I happen to be a bona fide plant murderer. Yes, it is true, I admit it. These hands are covered in plant blood. My sister-in-law, who is a Virgo and a Kiwi, which means she is a nature loving extremely organized insane person, keeps buying me plants that she swears I can't kill. But there in lies the problem. If you swear it can't be killed, those words become the plant's death sentence. I have killed a cactus, a feat even Da Man is shocked by. But my sister-in-law is so sweet and so determined that I have a lovely flower presence, she makes me a few pots of artificial flowers to put out in lieu of the real things which I can't seem to grow. She even goes to the trouble of giving me seasonal pots to put out at different times of the year. (Told you she is insane!) But for some reason she doesn't like that I don't bring the pots in during the winter. I don't know what the big deal is. So I've got spring flowers with some snow on them. They still look pretty.
My parents have wonderful green thumbs. All my friends would admire the amazing plants that my mom and dad could grow in their NYC apartment. They have this money tree (I don't know why it is called a money tree, maybe wishful thinking on their part) that they have been growing since I was 12 years old. The thing is so tall it is curled over on the top where it hits the ceiling. Whenever my parents come to visit, they drag me to home depot where they spend lots of money on things called potting soil and fertilizer and then buy lots and lots of pretty flowers that will die the week after they leave me. My father doesn't approve of my black thumb of death.
"Aigo!" (a Korean term of disgust usually used by old people- in this case it means "WTF is wrong with you?") "How can you be my daughter?"
"Hey, don't blame me! You and Mom are the ones that failed to pass on the green gene. I say the blame lies completely with the both of you!"
My dad just shakes his head in disgust and points at a corner of our tiny rock garden and orders me to dig. After I dig out bricks and rocks and red clay until my arms shake uncontrollably, my dad orders me to stop and proceeds to continue with the planting, giving me a gardening lesson in the process. But my hearing is completely impaired.
"You have to blah blah blah and then blah blah blah every day," he says. "Don't forget! It is really important to blah blah blah, ok?" I just nod my head until he stops staring at me.
"Aigo," he says again, this time it means "you retard." He knows and I know that they will all die before the week is out. But perhaps this is all part of some greater lesson that he would like to impart on me. Perhaps he hopes by pushing me to work hard for something, part of the gardening gene may actually blossom within me.
Or maybe he just likes seeing me perform hard manual labor all the while sweating like a pig.