"Oh, there you are," Jim grinned as he pulled up beside Pam with the now full grocery cart. "I got the last jar of those pickles you like."
"Thanks," Pam smiled over at Jim then looked back at the array of houseplants and flowers in front of her. "Do you think we should get a cactus?"
Jim pulled his classic half-smile. "A cactus? Nothing with flowers?"
"Yeah, they're a bit easier to keep alive."
"I dunno, they're kinda prickly, Beesly... is that safe for such a klutz? You remember you struggled with the thorns on those roses, right?"
"Ha, ha," Pam rolled her eyes. "I was buying like, a houseplant a week when I had my own apartment."
"Yikes. Expensive addiction. Where did you keep them all?"
"In the trash! Do you know how fast they die?!"
"Judging by the plants at work... fast?"
"Yup," Pam nodded, popping the ‘p' and folding her arms.
Jim leaned down slightly to peer at the label on one of the cacti in front of them. "Imagine all the gross jokes Michael would make if we had a cactus at work."
"Oh... no, God," Pam grimaced. "Why did you have to bring Michael into this moment?"
"This is a moment?" Jim raised a brow as he turned away from the cactus label he'd been reading to look at Pam.
"Well... yeah. We're like, getting our first houseplant together," Pam shrugged, a slight blush on her cheeks as she avoided making eye contact with Jim. She suddenly was feeling a mild bout of nerves course through her.
"Oof," Jim tilted his head. "Then I should go get the good wine instead of this six dollar bottle," he began rummaging through the grocery cart to pull out the bottle.
"I love you," Pam grinned up at Jim, her tongue poking slightly between her teeth. He had a way of soothing her nerves with the utmost ease.
"Love you too," Jim gave Pam a quick kiss to her forehead, holding the bottle to his chest before starting to walk back to the wine aisle with a quick "be right back!" thrown behind him.
Pam watched Jim hurry off for a moment, biting her lip with a small smile. She loved that he accepted that this felt like a moment for her in their relationship without making a joke out of it. She could still remember when she'd gotten her first houseplant with Roy and he'd laughed at her because it's just a plant, babe and although she knew Jim wouldn't have that response, she did have a brief moment where she feared that might be what she got from him. She could also remember buying her first houseplant when she'd moved into her own apartment after leaving Roy, and how it had felt so significant. Sure, she hadn't been the best at taking care of the plants - it was tough enough taking care of herself when dealing with a failed engagement and the sudden absence of her best friend/love of her life - but it always felt like investing in hope and the future.
Once Jim was no longer in her sightline, Pam turned back to the assortment of houseplants in front of her. A cactus felt like a good idea. They lived longer and didn't need too much work, just like her relationship with Jim. A little prickly? So was their history. Don't need too much watering to prosper? She needed very little from Jim to keep thriving, just his existence and knowing he'd take care of her the way she needed.
Deciding on a small cactus in a deep blue glazed pot with gold stars painted on, Pam picked it up and read the label out to herself quietly. "Echinocactus... something new to paint too."
Jim returned to Pam and their grocery cart with a smile, watching for a moment as she turned the plant in her hands to inspect it. "That the one?"
"It's the one," Pam confirmed, carefully placing it into the cart.
When they got home, they placed their new houseplant on the side of their TV stand so they would always remember to water it on time. When Cece was born, they moved it to a higher shelf. By the time Phillip was born, it had been moved even higher as Cece kept trying to climb up and poke it.
When they moved to Austin, it was the first item Pam brought into the house.