Crassula dubia / by Jamie Young

Consider this your warning: This is where I blather on about something that has nothing to do with technology; this is where I talk about something I don't always talk about. Maybe you've heard of it.

 It's called nature.

But let's back up for a moment here. Back to where it all began. Back to the beginning of May.

My best friend, Erika, had been planning her wedding for a while. She had already figured out her theme, too: succulents. If you don't know what succulents are, they're a certain type of plant that can survive more arid climates because they store water in their "fatty" leaves. Like cacti. Basically, they're perfect for people like me who don't have time to keep real plants alive...or...can't. Hell, I typically forget to eat throughout the day if I don't set an alarm. Do you think I'd remember to feed something else too?

Oh. God. My cat!


Anyway, Erika became obsessed. Nearly every day she would send me photos of succulents. I didn't understand it. Now, I don't do the whole Pinterest thing, but I'm sure she had pins all over her terest of random succulent plants too. Then, the wedding favors were delivered to her house. 

What were the wedding favors, you ask? Shut up. You know they were succulents. 

So, of course Erika sent me a photo of the wedding favors, of all of the succulents. 

The conversation went something like this:


ERIKA:  These are the wedding favors aren't they amazing?!?!

ME:  Oh. Oh! What does that one have sticking out of it? It's's like an umbilical cord. Gross.

ERIKA:  Yeah? Well, now that one's yours.

(This is why we're best friends.) 

The wedding was in Florida, so I had flown down for the week. Then I ended up cozying up to that umbilical cord succulent as we were preparing the favors for the reception the next day.

It was growing on me. I guess it was mine. 

So, I traveled with this living thing back to Cleveland. I even got stopped by TSA at the airport...but they only wanted to ask me what the hell it was. 

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I felt like WALL-E carrying this tiny plant with me into the airport. To lunch. To the bathroom. To my gate. 

It's as if I could hear it calling to me, "Feed me, Seymour!" 

But as I finally made it home with this thing, after watching over it, making sure no one stepped on it, making sure it didn't get lost at the airport, or squashed on the plane...I realized I was somehow attached. 


When I got home, I started researching how to better care for it. I found out its name is "crassula dubia." Leave it to me to pick the crass one.

I decided it needed a better home. So, I went out and bought potting soil, and a pot, and — what do you know? — fell in love with some cacti at the store too, so I brought those home with me.  

How did this happen?

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I took all of these new things home, spread them out outside, and went to work. It made me really happy to sit outside and play in the dirt and replant these tiny living things. I don't know why, but it did. Sure, I played in the dirt when I was a kid; but it's different when you're an adult. 

I don't want to have children and I've never tried my hand at gardening before. I just can't keep things alive; I can't have things depending on me. 

But so far I've kept these alive. I think there's hope for the hopeless yet.