What’s with Madonna? I never really asked myself that question because I’ve always been a bit of fan, enjoying her music, relishing the controversy, and admiring her skill at always reinventing herself. She was my generation’s Lady Gaga.
But now? Now, she has gone entirely too far – much further than writhing on the floor in a wedding gown at one of the earliest MTV Video Music Awards, much further than the “Sex” book fiasco, much further than her
mediocre acting career. Wait, that last one probably wasn’t much of a stretch.
In case you haven’t seen the video, here is a brief summary. Madonna was holding court at the Venice Film Festival, sitting behind a table and a live microphone. A man approached the table and presented her with a giant purple Hydrangea bloom and said, “You are my princess.” She politely accepted the flower. As the
man walked away, however, she turned to her left (at a person off-camera), and made big, exasperated eyes. Then she turned right and said, “I absolutely loathe Hydrangeas.”
Really? Loathe? I mean who can loathe a plant? You can certainly loathe, I don’t know, a serial killer, a dictator, maybe even Brussells Sprouts if you had to choose a plant (although, personally, I love them). I might be tempted to say that I loathe weeds and weeding. The truth is I enjoy weeding. And as for the weeds, they can be annoying and tiresome – but I would never say that I loathe them. In fact, I actually like some of them – but that’s a whole other post.
To add insult to injury, she then released a video, “Madonna’s Love Letter to Hydrangeas,” in which she appears to be apologizing to a Hydrangea bouquet. “You have no idea how many nights I have lost thinking how I hurt you. Words cannot express how sorry I am. To think I may have caused you pain.” But faster than a ray of light, she throws the bouquet onto the ground, and says, “I’m left with the fact that I still hate Hydrangeas! And I will always hate them!” Then there is an expletive and a statement that she likes roses.
Let’s review, shall we? This is a 53-year-old megastar, mother of three, children’s author – and she’s on a Hydrangea rant? I know her children’s book is named The English Roses, but what have Hydrangeas ever done to Madonna? She lives in England, but has she never gone to an English tea with vases of freshly cut or dried Hydrangeas? Has she never toured an English garden to see the interest that Hydrangeas can create? If you don’t believe me, just watch the bloom, as it goes from a tightly packed cluster of chartreuse to white or pink or blue, and then to a muted, antique tone at the end of the season. And we haven’t even scratched the surface: shrub hydrangeas, climbing hydrangeas, oak-leaf hydrangeas, lace cap, old wood, new wood. They change so readily that you might even say that Hydrangeas are the Madonna’s of the plant world. And, I find them much easier to care for than roses — and that is said without an ounce of loathing.
If I sound like I have taken Madonna’s maligning personally, well, I have. Not only are Hydrangeas one of my favorites in the garden, but I have been a supporter of Madonna since before she was MADONNA. I was about 18-years-old when I saw her first video (for a song called “Everybody”) in a club and I was mesmerized. Since then, I have purchased vinyl, CDs, and iTunes music. Some of her stuff is great for the treadmill.
But now, I have a bitter taste. The music may be playing “Frozen” or “Like A Prayer” or “4 Minutes,” but all I hear is, “I aboslutely loathe Hydrangeas” – and that can trip up a person on the treadmill.
Her publicist, of course, was quick to issue a statement. “She’s entitled to like any flower she wants and she didn’t want to hurt the feelings of the hydrangeas of the world.” (How about the feelings of the fan who presented her with the gift?)
So, Madonna, I offer you an open invitation. You are welcome to come to my home, so I can share some Hydrangea love. I will even introduce you to my friend Lorraine, who will charm you with her tales of the non-stop blooms of “Blushing Bride” Hydrangea.
Until then, England called. She would to take back your accent.