So there’s this tall, spiky, sassy-ass house plant on my balcony—the thing looks like a punk rocker troll, or maybe a pile of swords, planted upright. (Scratch that, it’s definitely a pile of middle fingers. Oh, how apropos! THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING.)
Anywauurrrrryyyyy, if I don’t water this motherfucker for just one day. Just ONE day. All of the leaves lose their erection. Talk about needy, am I right? It's as if someone Chernobyl’d the whole thing. I swear I get death stares from passersby, as if I have just left a puppy locked inside a gold 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme.
Alas, there is a most excellent silver lining I’ve gleefully discovered every time this happens, and that’s the delight I get when pointing out to C, matter-of-factly, that
this is his brain on drugs this is his body on dehydration. This guy never drinks enough water. Do men ever drink enough water? Am I the only one jabbing a straw into his mouth? UGH. And so he tells me he drank water in the morning, and I tell him he is lying, and then I buy him a special water glass with a built in monitoring app, and then he laughs good-naturedly and hands me a beer.
“But the plant! But the plant!” I yell. To which he responds: “I’m not experiencing erectile disfunction.” And so goes the gloriousness that is our life.
But as I sit here staring at the Mariah Carey of diva plants through the window (after watering it this morning so all of my obligations are over with and now I can officially CONCENTRATE), I can’t help but think about, yes, how important water is, but also about how much I wish we had such an obvious indicator that revealed when we humans were:
-low on morale
-low on gratitude
-low on inspiration
-low on confidence
-low on love
-low on patience
-low on excitement
-low on resolve
-low on fucks given
Imagine a world in which you could legitimately excuse yourself from any commitment by showing a print-out that says, “Mmmhmmm, yeah no, spirit tank’s on E—urgently need to refuel.” Wouldn’t that be amazing?! How could all of those pushy, domineering, can’t-take-no-for-an-answer people refute that? Maybe once you get to zero your head explodes. Is it weird I am wishing for a mechanism that DECAPITATES A PERSON just to ensure self-care? But sometimes that’s the only way those peace burglars accept your no, am I right? When you are on your deathbed, in the hospital, hooked up to life support. Okay, fine, I guess I’ll find somebody elseeeee.
This is why I rather enjoy the creepy and sort of overboard but also awesome method I propose here, where you lay out twelve random objects onto your desk, every day, and every time you say “yes,” you take one of the objects away. It tangiblizes your energy. It basically DOES give you a meter to go by. Once the last object is gone, there can be no more energy spent on other people. No more favors, no more phone calls, no more giving. All of the fucks have been given. Fucks are now on backorder. We’ll alert you when this item is back in stock.
They'll think you're crazy but that's okay: it comes down to respecting your own fuck tank. You do not get mad at your car, when your oil is low, and you don’t get mad at a plant when it shrivels from a lack of water. You don’t tell the plant, “Wow, well you’re a real huge disappointment,” or, “If you were really a good plant, you would be able to push through.”
You respect the plant's need for water because it seems obvious—and necessary. But just because something isn’t obvious, doesn’t mean it isn’t necessary.
It means you need to recognize when you’re on E, even when there isn’t a gauge.
TOTAL ASIDE: I have gone into blissful hibernation mode because I am finishing up my very first book manuscript, due to Penguin Random House (yes, I have to say that in full every time) on March 1st, which makes me the giddiest human, but it also takes up a lot of my happy little fuck tank, so please pardon the more frequent-than-normal awkward silence while Ash deep dives into her brain and hopes this shit makes sense on paper. THANKS LOVE YOUUUUUU.
…No, but really, you’re going to pre-order it when it comes out, right? RIGHT???? DON’T LEAVE ME STRANDED ON AN ISLAND OF SELF-DOUBT, YOU GUYS. RIGHT???????????????????