We walked into Home Depot the other day to buy a section of fence to replace the one that was splintered by the felled tree the other day (totally off topic, but you never realize how large those fence sections are until you try to carry one and you never realize how sail-like they are until they are trying to lift your CRV into the air from their position on the roof.) While walking in, a large display of mums (the fall flower, not the British mother) caught my eye. The flowers were a welcome sight of fresh color at a time when all the hue seems to drain from the other perennials as they succumb to the heat and decide to Rip Van Winkle for several months. I was admiring the diverse colors and full, healthy plants, when out of nowhere a voice in my head declared,
“I hate mums.”
It was a familiar sentiment; I remembered feeling that way and uttering those words. But I was confused. If I hated mums, why was I drawn to them? If I disliked their blooms, why did I have to resist the urge to gather some pots up along with the section of fence?
Perhaps my tastes have changed. After all, I now gravitate towards spicy foods when I used to prefer bland. I am more apt to don color now than the all dark tones that used to dominate my closet. Maybe I somehow developed a fondness for mums with my advancing age.
But I don’t think that’s it.
In fact, I have a very specific memory about mums.
My ex and I were walking into a house about twenty years ago. The front stoop was framed by two large pots of mums, their orange, yellow and copper blooms echoing the colors of autumn. They provided a welcoming, homey image and seemed to freshen the air with their presence.
Upon spying the flowers, my ex announced,
“I hate mums.”
“Me too,” I replied. But did I really have a distaste for the flowers? Or was I trying to show my allegiance to my mum-hating boyfriend? It’s scary to contemplate the latter. That I may have suppressed the urge to disagree with him on something so trivial. It makes me wonder what else I let him decide for me?
Maybe I never really hated mums.
I just let myself believe I did.
And now I’ve added them to list of plants to buy for the front of the house next spring. Because I’ve decided that I like mums after all. And, if I’m lucky, maybe they’ll have special ex-repellent properties:)