Meet Deb. She’s My Plant and I Love Her.

This is not deb the plant.

Last Saturday, I did something I’ve never done before. I turned 24. The great wheel of time, to which I am strapped, completed a rotation and left me all of the sudden an entire year older. My 24th birthday was on my mind constantly as a 23-year old. I was always thinking out loud to my friends about how I wanted to celebrate, debating between redwall-themed singing picnics to contra dancing to singing sea chanties in the Maritime National Park near Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.

This is partly because my last birthday kind of sucked. I had just moved to San Francisco, had 3 friends, and worked until 10 pm at a restaurant where I felt as valued as an empty toilet paper roll one does not care enough about to throw away. In hindsight, it wasn’t all that bad, but I sure did like to complain about it to myself throughout the year.

I also thought about my birthday constantly partly because I am a ham and couldn’t wait for the next spotlight. So I wanted to make sure my next birthday party was awesome. AND. It was. I had new friends, we went to karaoke after eating family style Italian food and I wore a Scottish skirt with a peasant shirt and felt like the belle of the ball, and I think I was. My friends confirm that I was.*

But something was missing. There was a gap somewhere, even though my belly was full and I was surrounded by my dearest friends whose cheeks I want to pinch and whose backs I occasionally massage.


This is deb.

After contemplating this issue deeply and inhaling some of the second hand smoke from the KLM flight attendants sitting in the courtyard where I sit writing this blog post, I believe I’ve come to the conclusion I seek. My birthday was missing Deb. Deb is a plant. She is a succulent. Her full name is Deb Echevaria Elegans Drevets, and she is wonderful.

She is my little darling and I want to tell the world about her. The way she sits so patiently and silently, the sly way she grows, the way her leaves sometimes die and I have to pluck them off – it’s all too magical to put into words and sometimes, when I look at her, I just want to hug her and tell her that she’s all mine. I can’t, of course, because the oils on my skin can stain her leaves, so I just look at her and beam. It’s nice to care about something aside from myself, to move the focus of my life from me to Deb.

So when I say that I’m so over my birthday – aside from the literal way that my birthday has passed and that I’m metaphysically done turning 24 – I’m also done with the party being about me. I’m not that great. I’m only great in relation to other plants and in relationship with them. I’m great in my capacity to care for Deb and give her everything she needs, whether that be a new pot every 4 years, a good watering every 2 weeks or putting her outside for some socializing with the neighborhood flora. I’m gearing up for act two of the play, featuring not me, but Deb and me and starting with a musical number in a style known as deb step. I know I’m ready for this next phase in my life, but is the world?

Send your thoughts to [is] [the] [world] [ready] [4] [deb] [and] [emily] [at] [gmail] [dot] [com].

For more posts about my birthday, check out What My Birthday Means for You and Birthdays Mean Facebook Notification Overdose.

*They did not, in fact, confirm that I was the bell of the ball. I just assume they would agree with me.

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19 thoughts on “Meet Deb. She’s My Plant and I Love Her.

  1. […] August 14th, 2013, I wrote about Deb, my little succulent, and how much I love her and was glad to have something in my life that I could celebrate instead of […]

  2. Your not-Deb looks a lot like mine:

  3. haha love this. Welcome to the world, Deb! Many happy returns to both of you!

  4. List of X says:

    Happy birthday! I’m sure Deb celebrated with you in her own succulent way.

  5. Doug says:

    From the looks of Deb I don’t think she’ll be able to fill the gap created by the next empty toilet paper roll you encounter. Glad you could once again be the star of your birthday.

  6. tomwisk says:

    Em, Happy 24th. I had mine a while ago. Cherish Deb. She will always be waiting for you when you get home and won’t sass.

  7. jensine says:

    maybe deb would like a bow

  8. Jocelyn says:

    “Deb step” 😀

  9. Michael says:

    I think for my next birthday I should do a Redwall-themed singing picnic. Those sound fun.

  10. Your compositions are consistently amazing. Can Deb read? If so, she is blessed.

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