It's like an unwritten rule that when you move out of the house and into your first place, your brand new (to you - likely very, very old and crappy to everyone else) home includes the following:
- A futon - preferably one that is nice and lumpy;
- Unfinished wood shelving that may or may not include cinder blocks as spacers;
- Something wicker;
- An Ansel Adams poster (framed if you were really fancy);
- A mexican blanket;
- Mismatched cutlery; and last but not least
- A ficus plant - or to the layperson - a fig tree
It's like a uniform of sorts, but for your house. I am sure that every single one of my friends had a fig tree during my time in university, and likely for years after. Like me. And this tree.
This tree is not even my original fig tree - this was the second in my collection. For many years I had two - how did I get so lucky? The first one died about ten years ago, after spontaneously losing all its leaves. But this one, I inherited from a roommate who suddenly got a job transfer out of town and didn't want to bring this bad boy with her. That was 1998. I wish I was joking that I have had this tree for 16 years.
This tree has lived in - wait, let me count - eight homes with me since then. It has moved up at least two pot sizes. It has been trimmed, pruned, watered, ignored, and likely used as a toilet by Kevin (in fact I'm almost positive poor Kev had to pee in it once when he was an indoor cat and got accidentally locked out of the room his litter box was in when we went away).
For no real reason other than I was getting tired of cleaning up the leaves the boys pull off, I decided it was time to go. So out it went to the end of our driveway with a free sign, and it wasn't long before it was picked up.
My ties to my early days of living on my own are likely now completely severed. And you know what, it feels good. Because twenty years later, I have much, much better taste in plants and house furnishings in general. No offense fig, it was me, not you - I matured and you didn't.