Saturday, May 19, 2007
The Mating Rituals of Squash
This spring, my vegetable gardening instincts kicked in. I haven't planted any kind of veggies in years, but when we got back from London I went for it. I made a raised bed in my yard - my back doesn't need any help falling apart, so I didn't try to dig through the rock - and planted tomatoes, bell peppers, yellow squash, basil, onions and eggplant. My plan was to enlarge the garden a little every year. Then the dog came, ate my basil, chewed on my eggplant and squashed a pepper plant. So, the Best Friend and I spent a lovely Friday moving everything - the dirt, the plants, the cute stone boundary I had to hold in everything - to the side of my house. The plants - reduced in number and a little worse for wear - took a time out for a couple of weeks while they decided what they thought about the move. And then they decided they were happy and started flowering. But because of the move, I'm a little behind the curve on vegetables this year. And the squash is the trickiest - you have to get male AND female flowers, and...basically be a squash pimp. You have to convince the males that yes, the females pretty much will do it with any of the other male parts in the plants around them, but THAT ONE is the lucky one. Today at least. And bees are the glue hold entire relationship together. The male and female plant parts, are necessary...but no one can deny that bees are important. Maybe squash are just super kinky plants and like the idea of a threesome. Whatever. I don't question the sexual practices of people OR squash. The plants need the bees. Every morning, I check my squash because the flowers are only open for a day. Are there any females advertising their stunning ovaries this morning? Are there any males preening and showing off the yellow-ness of their stamens? And damn it, where are the bees? I found a bee on my morning rounds today. Just as I stepped up to the horny little plants that were begging for attention, I found him - because he was between my toes. And since bees - like most other creatures - don't care to be stepped on when in the middle of a very risqué act with a yellow squash, it stuck it's little stinger directly between two of my toes. At this point, I can hear both of my parents patiently telling me - for the 845,340,927th time - that if I go outside without shoes on, something's going to happen. They're almost triumphant, because finally, FINALLY, something happened. After I stopped screaming and ran into the house to yell to my husband to come and kiss me because I was surely going to die any moment, and my last will and testament is in the brown box with the marriage certificate, and please tell StepSon I love him...I realized that I wasn't dying. But I don't think I over-reacted. After all, I haven't been stung by a bee since I was about 5, so there was no way of telling what kind of reactions I've been storing up in my body just waiting for a bee sting to happen. For now, the benadryl + empty stomach equation is equaling a loss of equilibrium in my brain. I'm going to go pamper myself with HGTV. I can't be expected to clean the litter box in my current state, now can I?