Take away all the funny moments, routine sex, power struggles, and petty arguments from a marriage and add weekly pruning and a shit ton of squirrels and what do you have? A dendro-lationship, that’s what. It seems nice at first, because participants receive hefty payouts, but who knew that trees were so goddamned bossy!
“Honey, go fetch some fertilizer from the store for me.”
I turned to my wife, a beautiful red maple, who stood in the middle of the living room. She needed a replanting, but I don’t dare mention that. She’s got weight insecurity issues among other things, and last time I observed how large and heavy she was getting; she wept for a week. “Fertilizer? Since when do you need that?”
She giggled. “For the saplings, baby. Why else would I need it?” She repositioned her branches. “You have been collecting the seeds haven’t you?”
I froze, flashing back to the times I neglected to fetch the seeds out of the vacuum bag. “So soon? Maple, we’ve only been together for three months,” I stammered. “I really don’t believe I’m prepared, or mature enough to expand our little family just yet.”
Her thunderous howl brought me to my knees. “I need this, Byron! You don’t know how lonesome I get being stuck in this awful house all day! The only entertainment I get is playing tic-tac-toe with the squirrels, and they always win!” The teenaged tree sobbed thick, amber tears. “I always lose, Byron! Always!”
“Okay! You win this time, okay? I’ll go get some fertilizer and some starter pots, and you’ll have some friends in no time.” I scribbled some notes on my palm with the fancy pen my dad gave me as a graduation present.
The sobbing immediately stopped. “Don’t forget to reread what you’ve written a few times before you leave, so you won’t forget! I know how easily sidetracked you are! You’ve got the brain of goldfish, dear.”
I scowled. “You bet I will.”
“You’re the best husband, ever – you know that?” The stench of sarcasm made me want to puke.
“Watch it; you’ll spoil me,” I muttered before exiting the house.
In the driveway, I glanced down at the reminder on my hand: buy an axe and chop the bitch down. Then I reread it a few times so I wouldn’t forget.