A Plant by Any Other Name

“What do you think of our new succulent? I asked my husband as I presented the small plant resting on our family room coffee table. I had decided to take the leap from plastic plants to live ones and figured this would be one I couldn’t kill too easily.

He looked at it and scrunched up his face.

“It’s okay… but can you get something else?” He asked.

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“Why?” I wondered. “You don’t like it?”

“I don’t like the name.”’

“What? Succulent?”

“Yeah. It bothers me,” he replied.

I narrowed my eyes at him. “And so therefore you don’t want it in the house?”


“Thank goodness you don’t mind my name,” I said irritably.

I was quite dumbfounded. Who the heck rejects an item because they don’t like what it’s called? I guess I really shouldn’t have been surprised, though. My husband is a wonderful guy but he has always been a little word-intolerant. He has passed on desserts at restaurants that were described as “moist” or “tasty,” refuses to eat anything with a “spork,” and won’t have anything to do with a product that comes as an “ointment.” He avoids at all costs, using our outdoor “spigot,” or associating with anyone with a lot of “spunk.”

“If it really bothers you, we don’t have to call it a succulent,” I said. “We can just refer to it as, ‘The Plant That Dare Not be Named.’”

“Ugh. Don’t say that name.”


“I can never unhear that,” he complained.

I sighed. I decided that if this was going to be an issue, I really should go ahead and make it a huge issue.

“Do you know what a synonym for succulent is?” I asked him.

“No, what?” he wondered.


He glared at me.

“Also, tasty.”

“I see what you’re trying to do here,” he said.

“And did you know that aloe comes from a succulent?” I continued. “And aloe is an ointment.”

He sighed.

“See honey, you can’t escape it,” I said. “But they’re just words. They don’t bite.”

“But I don’t like them.”

“OK. I get it,” I finally replied. “I don’t want to make you miserable. I’ll replace it with something else. Do you have a problem with the word ‘cactus’?”

“No, cactus is fine.”

“OK, it’s a cactus then.”

“I can work with that,” he replied.

“Great. By the way, a cactus is a succulent.”

Become a fan of Lost in Suburbia on Facebook at facebook.com/LostinSuburbiaFanPage and on twitter at twitter.com/tracybeckerman.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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