What an exciting time for me: I’m finally ready to become the parent of an expensive houseplant. As you know, I turned 30 last weekend, and I cannot overstate how profound it feels to finally enter true adulthood. No more of that being in your late-20s bullshit. I now understand why so many thirtysomethings are marrying the person they happen to be currently dating and then sprinting to start a family. But I’m a newly minted 30 — not 36 — so getting an upscale houseplant seems like the perfect next step for my newfound affinity for responsibility and commitment.
Many of my friends and relatives have told me that the big 3-0 would be a real milestone and I honestly didn’t expect to feel any different. But I’ve been overcome by this inexplicable desire to nurture something, just as long as it doesn’t cost a quarter of my salary to raise. And lately, my apartment — and perhaps, even my life in general — both feel a little bit empty. I am certain that my decision to welcome a beautiful new plant into my life will resolve this sense of discontent, and simultaneously show everyone just how grown-up I have become.
While I can understand how mothers and fathers may think using the term parent in relation to a houseplant oversteps some sort of line, may I remind you that the internet is flooded with people referring to their “doggos” as their kids? I mean, a pet adoption fee is only like $75, but a top-of-the-line fiddle leaf plant can cost upwards of $300, and that isn’t even including the hand-thrown ceramic pot. So you tell me who is really more dedicated to their kin.
I’ve been told multiple times that a “plant parent” is not a real thing, and that it is borderline offensive to people with actual children. But to that, I ask: Is your kid really that special? You can propagate a variety of houseplants — that means my little plant baby will have the power to create its own offspring. I’d like to see your two-year-old do that!
I’m not trying to say that owning a really nice houseplant is exactly the same as raising a kid because it isn’t really one-to-one. Some people, like horticulturalists, might say it’s actually harder, though. (Again, not me.) They might mention the dust mites, nuanced watering schedules, and shifting seasonal light, and explain how plant care requires a nurturing spirit that not even the most bourgeoisie Mommy and Me class could prepare you for.
Some people (mainly my parents) have asked me: “Why a houseplant? Why not an actual human baby so we can finally have a grandchild?” To start: A well-groomed houseplant is infinitely more aesthetically pleasing than a child will ever be. It’s like comparing a Rothko painting on display in the MoMA to some snot-nosed doodle hung on a Frigidaire. (Another thing I won’t have to deal with.) Secondly, all my plant needs to grow up and thrive is water and sunlight; no fancy pre-kindergarten schooling, chic babysitters, or pressed juice boxes. But of course I’ll be using Black Gold Natural & Organic Potting Soil, only the best for my little sprout. Plus, I’ll never have to explain to my plant that I won’t be able to pay for their college because I’m still drowning in my own student debt at the age of 50.
Most importantly, though, you cannot place a kid in a beautiful mid-century planter in an artfully arranged corner of an apartment. Photos of my friend Jace’s Monstera deliciosa usually gets ten times more likes than pictures my co-worker Katie posts of her new son. (The new leaves on Jace’s plant are sooooo adorable, and the Gainey Ceramics pot he just bought for it is to die for.) Sorry if I’m getting carried away talking about my future little plant, I’m just really excited to bring life into this home. And God knows I need some new content for my Instagram.