Monday, January 7, 2013

When the bloom is off the rose


Given nothing grows in my yard during the winter months, and, ok, admittedly, to save a little money, I asked Max, my gardener, if we could switch to an every-other-week schedule until spring.

He nodded and smiled and said something to his assistant in Spanish which I'm sure translated to, "This cheap fucking bitch only wants us twice a month."

"Of course I'll tidy the place up on the off weeks," I said, and got into my car and pulled away.

Two blocks down Lake Street, I realized I'd left something behind and drove back home. Max's truck was gone.

Like most relationships, this one started with such promise. A courtship period in the fall filled with halcyon hours of mutual admiration. "Oh, I love the way you trim my hedge." "And I love to trim your hedge." Under Max's care, the grass was tamed and flowers bloomed, all was right with the world.

I guess things started going south in early winter. Just little things at first, you know, but significant, had I been paying attention. He seemed less interested, disenchanted, almost, with my hedge. Worse, after blowing leaves from the patio furniture, he forgot to put the seats down.

We should have talked. Why didn't we talk? Too busy narrating our own personal dramas, I guess. So when I said it was better if we didn't see one another so frequently -- took a little me-vacation -- it probably caught him off guard. Then again, he could have been more understanding.

Instead, now we're at a crossroads -- that all too familiar stage -- angry, confused, and wondering what the hell we ever saw in each other.

29 comments:

  1. I am so there with you, as something similar happened to me. Guess you may not see Max again. Back to searching for a new "gardener.' Not very professional, are they?

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  2. Hey, this sounds familiar... I met a gal at a farmer's market.. fell in love w/her plants, she and her crew did work for me... then, the economy (for her) went south... well, I still had a request for another part of my yard to be done, well, I kept getting blown off, excuses, excuses... btw, she is now a gopher for someone who is well off and has probably one foot in the grave... need i say more???

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  3. You have a gardener in winter? Como ch**gas!

    Are you certain it's over?! From the narrative, I didn't detect that subtle, undercurrent of tension you allude to. . . such a strange and contradictory land you live in, where gardeners come and go, as sure as the fickle, Sierra Madre winds.

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  4. For you it's gardeners, for me it's handymen. They promise they call, and they never do.

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  5. No homeowner around here has a lawnmower, Bandit. It's illegal or something.

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  6. Cold in La CrescentaJanuary 7, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    Gardeners? Handymen? They eat out of my hand and thank me. But the only man who can repair my 1910 gravity heater, that's another story.

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  7. I'm with Margaret -- it's the handyman or appliance repair guy.

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  8. Is he taking a breather, or is there someone new in his life?

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  9. Relationships can be so challenging...

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  10. I didn't know you had a gardener. Only posh people over here have gardeners.

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  11. Cold:
    Lord, I LOVE gravity heaters.
    AH: This is why I hate setting people up--too much responsibility.
    Is it the teensiest bit possible he thought, every other week, as of right now?
    I wish I could pay my neighbors to have their gardeners every other week. What are people thinking? LIVE with the leaves--they're lovely

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  12. DB, Maybe absence will make the heart grow fonder. Lord, just don't let me drunk dial him some lonely night.

    Des, I'ts not you, it's me.

    MS M, Margaret, let's take some lessons from La Crescenta.

    Bellis, and the joke was on me, because we got the horrible winds this week.

    KBF, I don't think you can compete with that.

    Bandit and Tony, like Petrea said, there's a county ordinance that says we can't do our own yard work. Guns don't kill people, weed whackers do.

    Chieftess, yup, that's it in a unraked nutshell.

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  13. I never watched "thirty something" very often but I do remember one scene where Hope is telling Michael that the plumber wants 9 big ones because he's going to Florence in the fall. Where exactly is Max off to again, Biarritz? Fiji? The Maldives? An extended stay at Esalen?

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  14. @Karin: What happened to honesty and consideration? All she had to do was be honest... she came off like she really could care less and that it was all about her? Guess I'm a bigger person because I wouldn't of treated a client like that.

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  15. He's probably just upset that your yard didn't turn into the picture at the top of this post, and maybe Albert's antics are to blame. We change lawn services almost as often as socks; they love my 10 acres until it actually comes to doing something with it.

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  16. Swallow your pride. There is nothing better than make-up hedge trimming.

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  17. Ditto Pierre. Go on, beg a little. I dare you . . .

    The broken or seriously damaged affair is a very clever way to frame this whole thing. Very enjoyable but also some serious undercurrent here.

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  18. BEG? No way, gardeners are a dime a dozen...just talk to your neighbors and find out who they use.

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  19. They're like streetcars, aren't they, KBF?

    Paula, Max might be a free spirit. That's why I never picked out a china rose pattern.

    But you get respect, Marjie, I know you do.

    Pierre, you chien, you. That's what we're all thinking.

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  20. Ah, the familiar frost of winter. I'm sure love will bloom vigorously again in the Spring.

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  21. I think that's where I went wrong - trying to get people to remove their hedges, because they were getting in the way.

    Why aren't you famous, already?

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  23. I think you went wrong when you hired him...oh wait, back to the illegal thing. So, he knows you MUST have him, guess he's got you by the proverbial hedges.

    Good luck in finding the next guy to play in your garden.

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  24. I'm with Margaret, for me it's the handyman too.
    About garden, I need to have a gardener (I don't have one) because in my garden not many flowers grows, many hungry ants around...

    Beautiful lawn in the picture.

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  25. I have wanted to dump my gardener the last couple of months, but I've been afraid to do it. I'll take this as a cautionary tale.

    Hey, maybe instead of firing him and I can transfer him over to you?

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