The older I get, the more I’m becoming aware of a primal longing deep within that I fear can only be soothed by having the children I couldn’t afford to raise. Where should I hang my new houseplant?

A thing you can tell yourself is that in some ways, houseplants are even better than children! That’s because you can stick a houseplant just about anywhere, like the corner of a windowsill. Children take up much more space and, as they grow, will probably require the entire sill.

By the time he was my age, my dad was married with three kids and a promising career. Meanwhile, I have eight roommates and just got ghosted by a man holding a fish in his dating profile photo. Is caring for a houseplant too complicated for someone like me?

Remember that much like most men in your father’s generation, you only have one job: that’s to give your houseplant plenty of love. And then after that to go to each of your four jobs.

My apartment gets minimal sunlight. Will this irritate my new houseplant so much that it writes an op-ed insinuating that perhaps if I drank fewer specialty coffee drinks, I would somehow be able to save enough money to afford a $775,000 mortgage (the median home price in the city where I live)?

Your new houseplant would never do this because unlike most op-ed writers, your new houseplant has seen what happens when you plug “$775,000 / $4” into a calculator.

Will my new houseplant force me to confront the haunting existential reality that I may have brought a precious, innocent new life to Earth just for that precious, innocent life to watch the Earth burn?

No, your new houseplant will mostly do stuff like this (please note: at this point, I am sticking my arms out like branches and making my famous stoic but friendly “plant face”).

Has my new houseplant seen The Wire?

Your new houseplant will decline to say either way, which honestly is one of your new houseplant’s most saleable features.

The other day, I realized that when I was in elementary school, my first-grade teacher was five years younger than the age I am now, yet at the time she seemed so essentially and entirely grown-up, while I still feel like I’m completely faking it. Am I just a gigantic screwup, or is this how every adult in history has felt?

I think I know what you’re really asking here, and the answer is no, if you take good care of your houseplant you shouldn’t need to use a fertilizer.

I’m enjoying caring for my new houseplant. So much so that I’m thinking of starting to say things to my friends like, “I thought I knew what love was before, but that was before I got a houseplant.” How do you think that will play?

You know that nagging fear you have that all of your friends have a secret, separate group chat that they use just to talk about you?


If it didn’t exist before, it definitely does now.

Ever since I’ve sworn off the toxic world of dating apps, I find that I’m perpetually single. I’m mostly content in my independence, but secretly, I’m afraid of dying alone. Will my new houseplant care for me in my old age in the same way a partner would?

If you’re asking if your new houseplant will sit with you in companionable, sexless silence while you watch reruns of NCIS together, then yes.

Whenever I’m home visiting my parents, my dad finds a way to bring up how it’s “still not too late to look into law school.” If I’m able to keep my new houseplant alive, will this finally earn me my dad’s respect?

What your dad should know is that there’s one very important thing a houseplant can do that a brand new law diploma can’t. And that’s to have a bunch of water dumped on it.

What’s my new houseplant’s opinion on the series finale of How I Met Your Mother?

Houseplants can’t talk. But if yours could, it would say that it didn’t know what was more disappointing: the finale itself, or the fact that it expected anything better from a show made in 2010 that for some reason still used a laugh track.

Ever since leaving the religion of my childhood, I walk around every day burdened by the boundless ache of missing a god I can no longer believe in. Will putting two googly eyes on my new houseplant’s container help?

I’ll say what I always say when someone asks me about putting googly eyes on an inanimate object in a desperate attempt to replicate the deep, genuine comfort they once found in the idea of a benevolent, all-knowing creator: you should know not only that your grief is real, but also that drawing a funny mustache on the container will help, too.

My bedroom is small, drafty, and has no windows. Will a houseplant even be able to survive in such an unforgiving environment?

Sometimes, we need the harshest environments to remind ourselves of our grit — that we are strong enough that we can truly grow and thrive anywhere.

Wow. Thank you so much, you don’t know how much I needed to hear—

… provided you aren’t paying like $1000 a month in student loans on a minimum wage salary. Sorry, I paused back there for a second. What I meant to say was: You can truly grow and thrive anywhere … provided you aren’t paying $1000/month in student loans on a minimum wage salary.

… And what if I am?

Then you’re basically trapped! There’s just absolutely nothing to do about it now, so we recommend filling your life with distractions so you don’t think about it too much.

What do you recommend?

Have you considered buying a second houseplant?