You know those plants you have in your living room, he asked, what do you call them?
Maud, Thelma, and Louise, I replied, wondering why he wanted to know.
I meant, what kind of plant are they?
Did you buy them?
Nope. I sort of adopted them from a mate who moved to Dubai and needed someone look after his girls. The one to the left, Maud… she’s had eight kids that I’ve pawned off on other friends.
I was wondering where this was going. The Feng Shui lady said they were bad news – I should get rid of them because of their pointy leaves. Granted, this was back when Maud looked like a small forest all on her own. Since she birthed all those babies, she doesn’t take up nearly as much room. But her leaves are still pointy. I’d resisted all entreaties to get rid of all three ladies so far, and wasn’t quite able for another onslaught of well-intentioned advice. And, I’d grown quite fond of my girls. The place would be very quiet without them to talk to.
That’s good – good that you didn’t buy them. You’re not supposed to buy them. In Australia, they’re known as the happy plant – plants that you give to people. When they get too big, you lop a bit off and pass it on.
Well, was I ever grateful that I hadn’t gotten rid of them altogether. And, better still, apparently yuccas flower – big white flowers. They haven’t show anything but green all the years I’ve had them, but it’s nice to know that one day they might surprise me.
At the end of what was a cantankerous week, where I wasn’t in the best of form, I’m grateful for random moments like this one that illustrate so beautifully that there’s always more than one side to any story. It also emphasised what I already know but all too often forget – I should trust my gut. Yes the experts might say one thing, and the books another, and friends and colleagues give different advice still, yet ultimately, that feeling in my gut won’t steer me wrong. The thing is to remember to listen to it and not to drown it the opinions and expectations of others. Note to self.