No Such Thing as the Produce Police
"Did you cancel your blog?"
Well, first of all, this is the internet. You can't just "cancel" anything. It's forever. So when you post things like a story about the time you pulled a shoestring out of your dog's hind quarters, you can't make it go away.
But to answer the question I was asked recently: No, the blog isn't over. I came down with a bad case of writer's block over the last couple of months and just couldn't come up with much to share. I have had some things on my mind, but after posting about some heavier topics (no pun intended), I wanted to lighten things up a little. Unfortunately, I don't have many recent fun stories to share. I've had no entertaining online dating adventures, and my convenience store visits have been relatively uneventful. Quite frankly, life has been pretty boring lately. So if you've missed it, thank you, but just know you haven't actually missed anything.
Needing to break out of my rut, I did what any experienced writer would do---I consulted Google. (Note: If you're an actual experienced writer and care to share what you *really* do when you're stuck, I'm all ears!) I searched for blog post ideas and found list after list of writing prompts, and I dismissed them all pretty quickly. However, one idea caught my eye: Write about the best trick/hack your mom taught you. That's the one, I thought. The world needs to know this.
If you know my mom, you know we're a lot alike, so clearly she has taught me a few things over the years. She taught me how to love others. She taught me that it's not what you say, it's how you say it. (Ugh.) She taught me that the glass ceiling isn't shatterproof. And she taught me to never throw anything away. She even gives me back my old stuff that she hasn't thrown away so that I can also not throw it away--lifelong learning over here!
In the midst of all those important life lessons, she taught me something else that I will carry with me forever, and I remember the exact moment I learned it. My mom and I were in the grocery store together, and we made our way to the produce section. That's when it happened. My mom---the successful, upstanding, law-abiding woman that she is---did the unthinkable. She reached for a bunch of bananas, broke it in two, and set the unwanted bananas back on the pile.
I. WAS. MORTIFIED. I honestly thought she was going to be arrested by the produce manager, and I absolutely did not have bail money. Who does that?!? Who, in broad daylight, just boldly mutilates banana bunches like that? Well, it turns out, everyone does. My mom explained that this is a completely normal practice, and apparently I was the only one who thought it was illegal to separate bananas. My mind was blown, and I couldn't believe that no one had told me. I was at least in college at the time, and maybe even older. Either way, I was way too old to just be learning this. Better late than never, I guess.
I buy a lot of bananas, and this little hack has truly changed my life. Gone are the days of having to choose to between buying an 8-banana bunch that looked perfect but had too many bananas or a 4-banana bunch that was too green but had just the right number. Now I can find bananas that are the perfect "doneness" (I think you fancy people refer to it as "ripeness"), break off the four I need for the week, and go on about my business while feeling super empowered. And if you think I don't giggle every time I do it, you've grossly overestimated my maturity.
I've even hacked the banana hack over the years. Sometimes, I'll grab two bananas that are perfectly yellow with a few barely brown spots for early in the week and two greenish ones that will be ready in a few days so that I have perfect bananas all week long. Mix and match, y'all. Mix. And. Match. And the produce police have never been called. Not one single time. Life changing, I tell ya!
Mama, thank you for sharing this important life lesson with me. I wish you'd told me sooner, but I can respect that you assumed your adult daughter knew how to purchase fruit. Other mamas out there, I know you are busy teaching your littles so many important lessons for life, like how to use a toilet. But please, make sure you tell them about the bananas too. If you don't, someone else will, and I'd hate for them to be getting their banana knowledge from the streets.