Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Worst College Gifts for Students - The Death of a Cactus

About two weeks ago I was talking with my daughters. They are both in college. I had just written an article for Associated Content called: The Top Worst Christmas Gifts for College Students (access it through the link at the top of the page). They were telling me what they thought of the list. Pretty much, the list is right on target (at least according to them).

But, my youngest daughter objected to one item. In the article I said to steer away from anything that has to be fed or watered. She was adamant that this is wrong. "College students love plants!" she said. According to her giving a college student a plant is NOT a bad idea. It's a great idea. She says they brighten up the room and make it a home. She, herself had a cactus and for my information it made the room more like a home and less like a dorm. Eighteen years of indignation went into that statement.

I told her my line of thinking is that the plant could be knocked over. I told her the water in the plant could cause a problem for any electronics that were in the way and that the dirt could make quite the mess. This is, of course, assuming that the plant did not die a slow death from thirst. I used every argument in the book but she would not be budged from her position.

Then a couple of days ago it hit me. When we brought her home from college for the holiday break she didn't bring her plant. When I asked her about it she mumbled something under her breath. Then, she quickly went into the other room. I asked again and got the same reaction. When pressed I got an answer.

"It was a nice plant. " She started saying. "It made my room nicer." But, tragically, the plant met its demise. In getting ready for finals it was hit and buried by a tumbling avalanche of textbooks and other items. She said she tried hard to save it with TLC, water and kind words. The experience proved to be too much for the cactus to recover from.

And so, now, there is no plant. Not anymore. Not for her. She just couldn't bring herself to tell me about the death of her cactus. It was terrible. The pain was just too great. It's awful to be a college student and find out that mom was right. But to admit it is even worse.

View The Top Worst Gifts for College Students by clicking the Associated Content link to the right or the link in the header at the top of the page.