Talking to a Rose

            A rose was very mean to me today. You might say that roses can’t be mean because they are plants, but that is ridiculous.  Roses can be very mean.

            They call out for care. Their stalks can grow in the wrong directions and get tangled in their neighbors. They sit there helpless and waiting for me like a small child sticking out their unlaced shoe and silently imploring me to tie it. Their flowers fade and die. They hang there until I trim them, and yet the rose is still mean and ungrateful.

            “Ow,” I call out when a rose thorn sticks deep into my thumb.

            “I thought I told not to touch me,” the rose responds indignantly.

            “I’m trying to help dammit.”

            “Help? You see these gross dead flowers? If you want to help, then get them off of me.”

            “Ow, you pricked me again!”

            “I told you not to touch me! Now come on. These dead stalks are taking up too much space. I need my good sides to be visible. I need people seeing how beautiful I am.”

            “There are so many thorns on those stalks, and they’re all so sharp,” I mutter to myself.

            “Ugh, such a whiner. Just reach in there and clean me up.”

            “Ow, you pricked me again!”

            “I keep telling you not to touch me!”

            “Fine. It’s done. You look fine.”

The roses are beautiful, but a gardener has to be willing to struggle through a little discomfort in order to keep them that way.

The roses are beautiful, but a gardener has to be willing to struggle through a little discomfort in order to keep them that way.

            “Fine?! Look at these.”

             When I try to stand, my face bumps into particularly pink flower. The pedals tickle my nose and cause me to kneel again.

            “I do not look fine. I am beautiful," the rose says to me. "I’m the most beautiful flower there is. You see this pink? I’m like a sunrise you can touch. Seriously, think for a minute about how many ladies are named after me. I don’t quit either. These flowers are dead, but when you come back next week I’ll have more. Whine all you want. I’ll keep blooming, and you’ll love taking care of me.”

            “No I won’t. I don’t. You are such a pain.”

            As I inspect my work from a distance however, I can’t help but think that the rose is beautiful. It’s an ungrateful plant that leaves me with very irritating pricks and scratches, but at least it takes care of its flowers. The rose is right too. It won’t stop. It’ll keep caring for its flowers and blooming beautifully for anyone who can see. It will also keep being very mean to me when I actually have to touch it.