I love asparagus and I become frustrated at the grocery when all I can find are tiny bundles of expensive yellow spears with soggy tips. So I ordered twenty little plants and carefully planted each one, making sure those little bumpy, wiry stalks had plenty of space around them to grow and flourish. All winter, whenever there wasn’t snow on the ground, I would weed around the gray fingers that were promises of great things to come. But, strangely, one by one, they dried up and disappeared! Each time I went out to check, another one was missing! Where, Oh, where had my little Asparagus gone? Oh, where, Oh where could they be: with their stalks so long and their roots so short? Where…Oh where…could they be?!

I blamed the long, harsh winter for killing my asparagus and took the nursery up on their one-year guarantee, sending back the packing slip and requesting more asparagus plants. They wrote back to clarify: “ALL twenty plants died?” I felt a little defensive writing back, “Yes. Yes, they did.  It was a hard winter, I tell you!”

This weekend I received my fresh bundle of asparagus plants and began to garden. After carefully planting five of them–crumbling the dirt, making sure each hole had a worm, delicately watering–I took a closer look at those plants and noticed something odd. On the side of the “short roots” there were little sticks. And then it dawned on me:  I had planted them upside down.  The roots were long and gray….the new shoots were short and new.  As Oprah would say, I had an “A-hah!” moment 🙂

I considered not telling a soul but then I remembered something. I remembered how seventeen years ago when I was newly married, I invited one of my messy friends over to see my cute, immaculate apartment. As she walked deeper into my home, she became more and more edgy and snappy.  The next time she visited I left the house a bit cluttered and she relaxed in it…enjoying me and enjoying her surroundings.  That was when it dawned on me that people don’t like perfection. People want to feel at ease with me, and, thus, with themselves. And so I learned my lesson on human relations–I don’t try to be perfect and I share my faults. My mistakes are part of my authentic self and people would much rather know the authentic Kirsten than the glossy, fake one.

World! I want you to know! I planted the asparagus upside down! I bet you love that, don’t you?

Now…what can you tell me to make me like you? Be brave! Share your blunders here!

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