Tuesday, May 10, 2011

(Wo)man vs. Nature

Many times, my friends who read this blog (love you love you love you) will mention that I’ve posted something to which they can really relate. Many moms I know go through some of the same struggles I go through, and when I can write about them I feel better, and when fellow moms can laugh about them they feel better. Win/win.

But today, I’m going to tell you something you can’t possibly understand. It’s just too stupid. But it’s a big deal to me.


I can’t grow tomatoes.

Literally. I have tried to grow tomatoes for six years and have never actually consumed anything more than a single cherry tomato in an entire season.

The problems are simple but seemingly insurmountable: shady yard. Hungry squirrels.

My neighbor planted a huge tomato garden that was wildly successful, and I think she did it just to taunt me. She probably doesn’t even like tomatoes. She probably shot the squirrels.

One would think that a logical, educated woman would say, “Okay, I’ll grow something else.”

Not me.

No. I am now on a mission.

FOR SIX YEARS I’ve tried to overcome the shady yard AND the hungry squirrels. The squirrels I can outsmart, thank God. The shady yard’s got me beat. I even had my trees aggressively trimmed just so I could grow a tomato, but it wasn’t enough. I should just admit defeat.

But sometimes I am like a stubborn, irrational tick on a dog. And I’m afraid my self-worth has gotten wrapped up in this. “Tomatoes are easier to grow than weeds!” announced one website. “So simple, a child can grow a bountiful crop!” Yeah, well, bite me.

So I have a two-pronged attack this year. One, Jack gave me a Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter for Mother’s Day. (Caroline gave me a cookie bouquet. Who loves me more, I ask?) That contraption is in the back yard, in the square foot of sunshine I get in the middle of my patio, in the morning.

And then…I have just returned from Home Depot, where I bought a gigantic raised planting bed and 5,000 cubic feet of soil. That sucker is going right on my driveway, even if it makes me look like a redneck. I don’t care. It's a sunny driveway, and sun is what I need.

I WILL grow one single stupid large edible tomato this year.

And I will eat it.

And then I will have won.

And next year I can try cucumbers.

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