Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Charity, Wisdom, and Snooty Gardener-Husbands

Someone said it ages past; "Charity begins at home."  "Charity" in this reference means either its second definition in the free online Webster dictionary, "generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering", or in its fourth definition, "lenient judgment of others."

I'm referring in this instance to charity extended to poor, misguided Mrs. ProfessorRoush.  We were out for a meal the other evening and leaving the fairly new Olive Garden's restaurant together, when she looked down near the sidewalk and stunned me momentarily speechless with the words, "Oh, those are pretty, are those geraniums?" 

She was referring, of course, to the heat-damaged Knock Out roses lining the sidewalk of this new commercial development.  Faded and sun-burnt, but Knock Outs nonetheless.  My regular readers know full well my opinions of Knock Out, but for those who don't, I'd refer you to my earlier blog titled Anti-Knock Out Cultivarist

I was only mildly surprised that she called them geraniums (to give her the benefit of the doubt, they were quite misshapen and discoloured from 10 days of plus-100 temperatures), but I was highly offended that she called them "pretty." Various retorts tumbled around in my brain for awhile, ranging from those which were merely pitying of her tastelessness to the beginnings of a profane rant, but my husbandly instincts thankfully kicked in and slowed my tongue from answers that would have resulted in a myriad of possible spousal sentences ranging from silent pouting to banishment to the couch for upwards of a week.  After all, Mrs. ProfessorRoush and I have been married nigh on 29 years and even a slow-witted, opinionated and socially-untrainable husband will develop some rudimentary survival instincts in that lengthy time period.

I choked back any offending thoughts from coming to the forefront and said only "No Dear, those are Knock Out Roses."  And I resolved, after a little reflection, to maybe give Knock Out a little more credit.  After all, I now have personal proof that there may be a significant portion of the population who thinks that Knock Outs are "pretty."  And for me it is a portion of the population who is both pretty, and pretty nice to have around, so keeping my mouth shut is a tiny price to pay.

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