Love is a Potted Plant

Love is a Potted Plant

Valentine’s Day is steaming towards me like a runaway rhinoceros late for happy hour at the local watering hole. I’m not just saying that because it’s a few days away, even if it was a year away, I would still be as charged up as a particle accelerator focused on making February 14th special. That’s how much it matters. I’m lucky because I can usually coast through the other gift giving holidays relatively unscathed, but not on the day named for an early Christian martyr.

I could blame the media for milking a yearly, feel good, soft news story. I could find fault with our hyper-consumption society that has to find a calendar related excuse to eat copious amounts of chocolate every two months or so. Unfortunately, identifying the causes won’t get me out of the doghouse. I have accept things the way they are and try to live up to at least some of the expectations that have become part of our collective culture.

I thought a potted plant was a good idea…

By now, anybody reading this is realizing that you’re not going to be getting those last minute ideas to sweep your sweetie off his or her feet from me.

I bought my tropical treat, not from a shelf at some sorry supermarket, but rather from a fancy florist with a fleet-footed messenger decal in the window. I thought I had it all figured out, cut carnations die, but a plant can live forever! It was all very romantic; a testament to lasting love. I might have even used those very words, but I’ll never admit it. Alas, neither the plant nor my waxing poetic had the desired effect of expressing how I really felt.

MJ was NOT impressed. Much like the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva in Switzerland, my Valentine’s Day plan had a serious fault. A plant, though bought with the best of intentions, was too predictable and pedestrian to counteract the juggernaut of all holidays.

To be honest, I had come up with my pathetic plan on the streetcar ride home. I really hadn’t prepared properly. In my defence, I’d like to quote a couple of phrases my kids have popularized in recent years “I didn’t know” and “I didn’t do it on purpose”. My sorry excuse of a love offering could hardly compare to the time when I had ordered a dozen red roses and had them shipped to MJ’s Sainte-Foy front door while I was still living in Toronto. That was class.

Luckily, living in Québec City affords ample opportunity for you to impress your honey. There are many “getaways” available, though that sounds somewhat like an oxymoron. You might want to be more creative with expressing how you feel about your significant other than I was that fateful February day. It’s never too soon to start planning, but if you’re not careful, it could be too late.

This plant is still alive in 2014!

Disclaimer: Don’t try using that oxymoron joke on your significant other or you might fare worse than I did with the plant, which by the way, is still alive.

Categories: Opinion

About Author

Jason Enlow

Jason Enlow is a Special Education Technician at an English elementary school. He was born in Montreal, Quebec and grew up in Burlington, Ontario. Jason studied Radio and Television at Ryerson University in Toronto. His previous employers include CityTV, CBC, The Weather Network, and Global Television. He’s worked as a DJ, camera operator, musician, teacher, translator and video game content designer. Jason moved to Quebec City in 1997 where he still lives today with his wife and three sons.


  1. Sharleen
    Sharleen 10 February, 2011, 12:49

    Too funny! Practicality has no place on Valentine’s Day; perhaps a plant blooming with flowers might have gone over better? Myself, I never turn down the little navy blue box with the white swan above the name Swarovski. Great story and happy shopping Jason!

  2. ken
    ken 12 February, 2011, 16:46

    I dunno. . .
    A potted plant is looking pretty good right now. . . Problem is, I don’t have time to get one. So I’ll go one better, or one less. (it’s a matter of perspective) Maybe I’ll make a hand written gift certificate which states, “Good for one potted plant of your choice”. (Time limited offer/valued at no more than $20)

  3. Jason Enlow
    Jason Enlow 13 February, 2011, 17:44

    Good advice and good ideas, much more romantic than Homer was in the episode “Marge Gets a Job”…

    Burns: I want you to show this woman the time of her life.
    Homer: Gotcha…Marge, we’re getting some drive-thru, then we’re doing it twice!
    I found this quote on The Simpsons Archive at

  4. Jason Enlow
    Jason Enlow 15 February, 2011, 23:38

    Carolyn, a former co-worker, wrote to remind me of the time I asked her to pick up some flowers from Costco for me to give to MJ…I had forgotten about that one…
    ”T’as pas parlé de la fois ou tu es allé acheter des fleurs au club Price pour te faire pardonner tes péchés…C’est un anglais très imagé pour moi! Bravo, il y a un ton!!!!! On te reconnais.
    Hasta la vista

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