I guess I really don't hate roses. But I'm beginning to dislike them.

I can't totally hate them. After all, it still makes me melt when my husband brings me home a single red rose. That was the first gift he ever gave me, before we ever even started dating, an anonymous Valentine gift from a secret admirer. So, cliche as it is, it still makes me blush and smile.

But that's about all the use I have for roses, proper.

For all the praise they get, they're still just overglorified brambles. Other members of the family are more useful. Raspberries and blackberries are very close relatives, and with their leggy vines, thorns, and small flowers are more representative of the Rosaceae family than "true" roses. Even apples, plums and peaches are related, although more distantly. Apples are damn near a stable fruit, and you don't get skewered getting them.

But, look at me! Aren't I an artsy one? What with trying to make a play on Shakespeare's line of "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet". Isn't that clever and unique? I blame my subconscious, for it presented me with the thought while I was rage gardening.

My day was atrocious, so I did what I prefer when angry and went for the garden.

However, politely pruning tomatoes and mulching the beds wasn't cutting it, so I started chopping things up. First the passionflower vines that had gotten hideously overgrown. Then the rose bed.

A friend of mine has commented that she loves the rose bed in our yard, after all, we have a gorgeous stand of bright red and pink roses right out our bedroom window and it must be SO lovely to lie in bed on a lazy afternoon with flowers outside.

Romanticism aside, I'm beginning to really dislike that rose bed.

It was particularly hot today, for the second day straight--over 100. Strangely, by the time we got home after work it was cooler outside than inside. So I was out in the garden to "cool off" in more ways than one. Consequently, I was wearing, shall I say, minimal attire while I was working. I'm not suicidal enough to prune roses naked, but there was more exposed skin than I realized.

SNIP! Stupid fucking landlord. SNIP! Stupid goddamn art and wine festival tomorrow. SNIP! Stupid idiot parents who'll expect us to be free babysitting for their hellspawn while they go get drunk. SNIP! OW, STUPID FUCKING ROSES!

Yep, I'm covered in scratches and bleeding from several holes in my fingers. Brilliant.

I didn't plant those roses. I didn't want those roses. The owners of the place put them in, and they've been nothing but a headache. They get overgrown incredibly easily, reaching out into the small back yard to grab you as you go by. They either block the window entirely and block the breeze, or when cleared away let all the sun and heat back in the place. And like most roses, they're always, always covered in rust. I can't keep the goddamn things healthy for trying.

My rasberries in the next bed over, that I did plant, that I did put there are healthy, rust-free, tall, strong, and thriving.

Yet the landlord yells and complains when the yard's not perfect, and that includes the roses.

I don't know why it matters so much. I don't know why they care, or why I care.

I'm cooling off and calming down and beginning to perhaps figure everything out after all. Then I step, bare-footed, on a thorn.

I swear, hop around until I pull it out, then abandon my efforts and go inside, musings scattered like so many fallen rose petals.

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