Motivational posters were a big deal in the late 70s. There were three I loathed more than others, but for different reasons.

“Hang in There, Baby” was everywhere; everywhere, that pitiful kitten dangled in space with a look on her face that suggested she wasn’t inspired, either. I got my first cat at the age of four and was a Crazy Cat Lady from then on. This poster was nothing but sanctioned torture.

Then there was the embarrassment from Another Mother for Peace, some hippie group of peace-loving, Anti-Vietnam moms. Since my mother was a big supporter, they sent her sheets of those yellow-jacket stickers. She had a poster in the breakfast nook, too. The typeface, the death-star flower, the message; all of it made me anxious. Plus, this poster wasn’t hanging over the breakfast table at any of my friends’ houses.

But “Bloom where you are planted” was the worst. To this day, I loathe it. I wasted a good hour looking for the image I remember; others may have hated it too because I can’t find it anywhere. This one is close. An anemic looking flower in a sad pot. It was in the Sunday school room of Lakeview Presbyterian, a dank semi-underground bunker where I didn’t want to be in the first place.

“Bloom where you are planted.” You don’t like your life? Tough. Think you can change it? Ha! “Hang in there” by your fingernails. Accept your fate. And by the way, “war is not healthy for children and other living things.”