Thursday, September 13, 2007

At Least I'm Not Pulling Transmissions in the Front Yard

Note: Whenever one writes about a disorder such as autism and tries to be humorous, he is walking very close to a line which, if crossed, may give offense to people affected by it. Please know that is not my intention in this post.

I was reading an article about autism and was surprised to learn that sometimes people with certain high-functioning developmental disorders are not diagnosed until adulthood. I read one passage aloud to Teresa:

"Asperger Syndrome is marked by obsessive interests and impaired social interaction."

She looked at me over her magazine with raised eyebrows.

"What?" I asked.

"Do you know anybody like that?" she said.

"Not really."


"How about someone who makes up reasons to avoid dinner parties so that he can stay home and pull weeds in his garden? And writes a blog about it? And titles the blog, "Leave Me Alone, I'm Digging?"

"I'm not antisocial. I went with you to Mike and Rachel's for dinner, didn't I?"

"What do you remember about that evening?"

"Well, Rachel let me take some cuttings of her weigela so I could root them. They're doing well too. Even the one..."

"Exactly my point," Teresa said. You have limited social skills and are at least mildly obsessive when it comes to plants."

"I can interact with people socially. Remember last weekend, when we went to Jean and Frank's?"

"Where you and Frank started an argument with Jean about why a watering can is more effective than a hose."

"I talk to the neighbors."

"Let's see, the last time Shirley came over, you two got into an in-depth discussion of how big hellebore seedlings need to be before you can transplant them. And the only thing you and Amanda talk about is what plants you are going to trade with each other."

"I talked to Jackie the other day about the hawk in our yard."

"The hawk counts as part of the garden."

"I socialize with my parents."

"Yes, and your mother, the Hellebore Queen is just like you. They say these things are genetic , you know."

"Now the Hellebore Queen is peculiar. She won't grow anything red."

"Peculiar is as peculiar does."

"How about my barber, Mike? We talk about lots of things when I get my hair cut. Why, just last Friday we talked about Carolina football and basketball, not to mention the Appalachian State-Michigan game."

"Yeah, you two are regular Renaissance men. Did the subject of Asiatic lilies come up during the conversation?"

"Well, maybe once."

See, you have some kind of disorder. I would send you to a specialist, but you'd probably come home with a sackful of bulbs along with your diagnosis."

"You know a doctor who is getting rid of some bulbs?"

"And don't think I'm unaware of your stash of magazines."

"What magazines?"

"Don't play dumb. The ones in the paper bag in the back of your closet. Horticulture, Carolina Gardener...ring any bells?"

"I just look at the pictures. I swear I don't read the articles."

"Think about it. How many other people do you know who are so obsessed with plants?"

"Besides the ones we just talked about? Well, there's Carol, Gina, Carolyn Gail, Layanee, Blackswamp Girl, Colleen, Wrenna, Catherine, Lost Roses, Connie, Dirty Fingernails...and then there's Iris, who's really into birds, and Q--butterflies are her thing." So see, I've got lots of company!

Happy Gardening to all my obsessed blogger-friends!


KC MO Garden Guy said...

David, Thanks for visiting my blog. I was a little scared when I saw your last first partner was Daivd Whitehead, but I can tell by your picture you are that David, thank goodness. I am sure your wife is relieved also!
When I was reading your post I was laughing out loud so much the dog had to come make sure I was ok. It also didn't hurt that I was eating cheerios and spit a feel out laughing! Tell your wife my partner feels her pain and maybe they should start a support group?!
Oh and you know transmissions would make an interesting planter?!?!

Wrenna said...

Thanks for my first good laugh of the day! I'm still giggling.

No Rain said...

Great post. Sort of reminds me of myself!

Connie said...

I am happy to be counted in that number. :-)

Blackswamp_Girl said...

LOL!!! I just read your entire post out loud to my very patient boyfriend. He mumbled something about knowing where Teresa was coming from. I wonder what he meant by that? Hmm...

I must say, though, that I'm jealous that you know so many "real life" gardeners and plant obsessives. I am already missing my part-time job at the garden center, just because I actually got to talk to other plant geeks while I was there. (One of my favorites was the guy who grows pumpkin and squash vines in his front yard just for the foliage. He moves the vines off of his grass to mow it, and then rearranges the vines artfully after the mowing is finished. How cool is that?!!)

Hellebore Queen said...

Needless to say, I'm extremely honored that you socialize with me! I've already explained that red flowers scream at my hellebores. You are actually becoming very good at realizing my new flowers will be in some shade of white, off-white, or cream. By the way, do you want to include anything in my bulb order? I might get some Ice Follies and a few Snow Drops and would be happy to include you!I won't charge you if you will take away the rest of my sun-loving plants!

Carol said...

I hovered over the link to my name to make sure you were referring to me. I am pleased to be included in such fine company. I love the title of your post and agree there are far worse things than being a little obsessed about gardening. (Can one be "a little obsessed?")

I strike a balance in my life by going to Indiana Pacer basketball games from November - April (or later if they make the playoffs). How's that!

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

Carolyn gail said...

You know a lot of plant obsessed people like me and that 'a good thing' as Martha Stewart says.

You don't really have "asperger syndrome ", David. What you have is, what we say in the South : a bad case of the " epitozees.
" In other words, you don't know what's wrong, but it isn't fatal!

Gina said...

david - we have similar conversations at my house only they are much more abbreviated...

him: all you care about is that garden.
me: thats not true!
him: yes it is


LostRoses said...

Very funny, David, and I'm glad I wasn't eating cheerios when I read it! I'm honored to have my name on that list, and my condolences to your wife!

Iris said...

OMG, I read that same article and wondered mightily about myself. My feeling on these things is that I reserve judgment till someone else confirms it. Thanks for the confirmation! I'm honored to be in such fabulous company!

Just bought my first 4 perennials. I'm about to join your particular club, I fear.

healingmagichands said...

You know a doctor who gets rid of bulbs? I want to know that medico! Aside from the fact that I have spent the entire day either working in existing or planning the next garden, I wouldn't say I was obsessed. . .

Robin's Nesting Place said...

That is really funny. It can be an obsessive hobby.

Mary said...

Thanks for the laugh, David! My husband, Michael, makes the same sort of comments to me. He knows I'm social but rolls his eyes when he sees me bending over in the pond or standing motionless for long periods to get a photograph I've been wanting...

You are not alone! LOL!

David in Greensboro, NC said...

kc mo--I'll bet that did freak you out! A transmission planter??? I'll bet Carol would include that in her "Not in My Garden" list. Thanks for visiting, and come back!

Glad you enjoyed it Wrenna.

Thanks, Aiyana--you're PERFECTLY normal!

There are a lot worse thingsthat could be said about us, Connie.

Blackswamp Girl--There are never enough in "real life." That's what I like about garden blogging. Here, "plant-obsessives" are normal!

HQ--I might want to order some. Let me know when you're placing your order.

Carol--You own forty-million hoes and you WONDERED if I was referring to you??? Glad you enjoyed it!

Carolyn Gail--Epitoozies must be an Alabama affliction. I've never heard anyone but you use it. Now I have a name for my problems!

Gina-tell him that your time in the garden is what makes you the wonderful person that he fell in love with!

Thanks, lostroses--I'll tell her.

Yep, Iris, I think the diagnosis is confirmed. What did you buy?

healingmagichands--no, no, you're not obsessed. Just keep repeating that (preferably not in public!)

Thanks, Robin. I think by the time you hit the "blogging" phase of gardening, it's gone beyond a hobby. Yes, that means you!

Dang, Mary! I knew I would leave someone out! Maybe I'll write another "Stupid Garden Poem...hmmm...what rhymes with "View???"

Thanks for all the comments, everyone. I had fun writing it, and I'm glad it made you laugh. As I always say, "If you can't be informative, at least be entertaining." I'm always honored (and astonished) that you find my ramblings worth reading.

Catherine said...

Hi David,

We are back from the beach, you are right you do have some GREAT BEACHES in N.C. We stayed on Hatteras Island,& visited Ocarcoke, and hit some beaches on the way home in Nag's head, Duck, & Corolla, ALL BEAUTIFUL!! I envy you living where you do!!

GREAT POST!! As always~~& Thanks for including me in your list of people obsessed with plants...that is me for sure!!

I love visiting your blog! I thought about you while we were in you beautiful state! I envisioned you digging in your garden, :) & obsessing over your beautiful plants!!~~ While I obsessively worried about all my plants while I was gone!!

I'm honored to be included in such a wonderful group of obsessive gardeners!!

David in Greensboro, NC said...

Welcome back, Catherine. Glad you had a nice vacation. I was on vacation too, obsessing over how much rain we were getting.

Q said...

Yes, some of us do commune with the blooms and the birds and bugs!
Some of us are avid gardeners...
I plant for the butterflies and the Moths. I call myself a "Plant Person". Not strange at all!
I am honored to be in such great company.
My friends just shake their heads and enjoy all the yummy treats I send home with them. They also love the butterflies and will sit for hours with me in the winter watching the birds.
I am social. I talk with all the plants and the bugs and the birds.
I listen to them too.
Thanks so much for this delightful post.

Colleen said...


I can't believe I just saw this post---this is hilarious, and I'm thrilled to be in such obsessive company :-) And I totally agree with your comment from earlier: once you start blogging about gardening, it's gone far beyond "hobby" status!