The Gardener and the Rose

Watched Maggie’s Plan with Fiona last night. John tells Maggie about his wife,

“Every relationship has a rose and a gardener. [Georgette]’s the rose. I’m the gardener, and I don’t have a green thumb.”

John leaves Georgette to become the rose. Maggie herself strains under the burden of being the gardener in her relationship with John.

Apparently people normally come across this from a Will and Grace episode?

I was recently watching an episode of Will & Grace and Will made a comment, which really stuck with me. His comment was that in every relationship there is a gardener and rose. The gardener tends to the rose and ensures that it has everything it needs to survive and flourish. The gardener’s main purpose in life is to tend to that one particular rose. The rose on the other hand simply is. The rose does not assist the gardener in any of its duties. The rose viewed to be a thing of beauty is firmly planted in the ground and is happy to be admired in this one-sided “relationship.”

The problem with archetypes is they are like Cinderella’s stepsister and cutting off toes fit the foot into a glass slipper. Archetypes are caricatures of stereotypes. They do not fit individuals, but they make us feel better about knowing how to categorize others.

I did call Fiona the Gardener of our relationship. But, I made the statement out of feeling that I do not try to nurture the relationship as I ought. Having never been in a relationship prior to this, my standard for ought is probably too heavily mired in fantasy from movies and books. Even in-person role-model relationships I know of are based on signalling, so they mimic the fantasies than realities. All that is to say, my thinking of the ideal is probably skewed away from reality and only in time will I be able to figure out if I am doing well at it or not.

But, also I probably am more of a Gardener than I give myself credit. I send her articles on things I know she will find interesting or useful. I try to help her where I can. She is constantly on my mind.


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