Don’t Bring Me Narcissus

Over the years, well-meaning clients of mine have occasionally brought me pots and rockdishes of forced narcissus, usually in the dire black-and-white months before spring gets a grip, perhaps in an effort to share the wish that life rebound.

I don’t know who thought up this custom and I wish it would stop, because these are nice people and I hate to think one of them might find out that their gift ended up on my back porch or on top of the cellar refrigerator (which was a safe place until my latest aerialist cat came along).

Narcissus (like most bulb plants) are bad for cats to eat, and they exude a cloying, asphyxiating scent somewhere between ripening corpse and provincial whorehouse. The little blossoms are pretty but I have no idea who ever imagined that anyone could stand that smell in a confined space.

And they always come from people I love so dearly that I could throw them over my shoulder and burp them. What gives?