Water Your Unicorns

Water Your Unicorns

A dear friend gifted me a plant.


A plant.

But it was in a very sweet “Let’s Just Be Unicorns” planter, so I forgave her. (You know who you are, Miss L., and you know I love you…)

You see, I take care of plants about as well as I cook.

As in, I don’t take care of plants.

I get the urge once a year for about a week to dig in the dirt. I may overspend on annuals like petunias or dahlias or impatiens.

I may even mulch and plot and plan out color-coordinating flower beds, refresh flower pots, and get everything looking cheery and happy right after the Indiana winter finally gives up. And I swear THIS will be the year that is different from all the other years previous. THIS will be the year that I become a gardener.


Just like that, I don’t care anymore. Like a switch is flipped in my brain. I had fun. I did the picking out things and the planting things, and now on to the next task.

Which has nothing to do with flowers. Or watering. Or keeping anything alive other than the cats and us humans.

If anything is still blooming by Independence Day, it’s because dear Hubs has watered and weeded and generally brought them from the brink of death after encountering my two black thumbs and lackadaisical attitude.

It got so bad in the last few years, that we literally purchased metallic sunflower sculptures, sprayed them with rust-proof sealant and planted those. They’re on year two and still blooming. So. There.

So when Miss L. gifted me the planter, I was filled with questions:

What is this plant?

How do I take care of it?

Will you still love me if I kill it?

Will you still love me if one of my cats kills it?

She thought I was kidding. I was not. “You just give it a little water once in a while.” This answer made my black-and-white logic brain hurt and spurred even more questions.

How much water, exactly?

How often is once in a while?

“You know, about once a week, and about a medicine bottle full of water.”

Like a bulk horse-pill vitamin bottle or a tightly controlled-substance-sized bottle?

Well, after that was all sorted, I found a place for my unicorn in the sunroom, in a glass curio where the cats can’t eat it and where I’ll surely remember to water it.

Because it’s a unicorn, after all. And how cool is that?


I have not remembered on my own to water my unicorn. Not even once.

I’ve set a reminder on my phone, complete with a little unicorn emoji. WATER YOUR UNICORN. In all caps. Because otherwise, it’s like the dinger on the oven—I don’t pay attention to it, either.

However, I’m proud to say that several weeks in, and I’ve not killed it. At least I don’t think it’s dead. It could be that Miss L. is trying to boost my confidence and planted a fake plant in real dirt, and I’ve been watering plastic this whole time. I’ll have to ask her next time I see her.

I was on my way to water my unicorn (a day late even though the reminder had screamed at me in all caps) and noticed I’d left a burner on the stove set to low. I was cooking the air above the burner. That was the second time in a week I’d left a burner on.

Then I remembered I forgot to switch the laundry around.

And then, and then, and then.

And then I sat down and made more reminders to ignore and more lists to lose. Because my mental capacity is shot. It seems I can do a good job at the day job or I can manage general living. Lately, I cannot seem to figure out how to do both.

And the day job is about to suck the life out of me…

So. As a public service announcement (and a lopsided personal to-do list) here are a few things you may find falling through the cracks of a fragile, worn-out mind:

  1. There are wet clothes in your washing machine. They’re done. They’re molding.
  2. Lint trap in the dryer.
  3. You’re about to run out of toilet paper. Or deodorant. Or both.
  4. That oil change decal reminder slid off your windshield a month ago. You’re overdue for a lube.
  5. The furnace filter is clogged with whatever floats around in your home. Here, it’s cat dander and Little Miss Muse’s glitter powder.
  6. There’s a banana turning black somewhere. In a cabinet. In a lunch box. Under the car seat.
  7. You didn’t send the attachment with that last email.
  8. Your phone has been on silent for three days.
  9. The library book is overdue, and Redbox wants their DVD back now.
  10. Don’t even smell that milk. And in one more day, your grape juice will be wine.
  11. You will not remember why you walked into that room. Going back and forth won’t help. Give it up.
  12. There’s a window open somewhere. It’s raining.
  13. The television remote may be in the refrigerator next to the wine… Uh, I mean grape juice.
  14. You still didn’t get that attachment onto the blasted email…
  15. Your glasses are on your head.
  16. Check the batteries in the smoke detectors.
  17. You do not have Band-Aids. Or Neosporin. Just put them on the grocery list.
  18. That doctor’s appointment is closer than you think. Put the ice cream away. Eat a salad.
  19. Never mind number 17. Put salad on the grocery list with the Neosporin and Band-Aids and toilet paper and deodorant and cancel the doctor’s appointment.
  20. Refill your blood pressure medication. Oh, wait. You need a doc appointment for that.
  21. Do you have all your little children with you? Or for us empty-nesters: Are you missing a cat?
  22. That bill is due now. And you don’t have any stamps. Or envelopes.
  23. Easter is next week. Or, if you’re reading this after April 2022, the next holiday is coming faster than you’d like.
  24. That email with the attachment went to the wrong recipient.
  25. Seriously, the blood pressure medication is a must. Rebook the doc appt.
  26. Are you cooking? Right now, like, are you cooking? It’s about to boil over, burn, scorch, burst into fiery flames. Your oven dinger has gone off twelve times and you’ve ignored it—

Oh, wait. That’s me. Right now. Dingers and alarms and worried cats. Oh my! Muses spinning out of control!

Gotta go… 

Enjoy your week.

And for goodness sakes, go water your unicorns!

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