Monday, May 30, 2005

Fruits and Vegetables. As one embraces middle age, one is rewarded by insights that surprise, ideas that one never had before, ideas that clarify. Suddenly the fog lifts, and there is truth. As I was putting a tomato back into the fridge after slicing off a piece for a Memorial Day sandwich, I realized that I was placing it into the vegetable drawer from which I had removed it to do the surgery.

The vegetable drawer.

It popped into my head that the tomato is not a vegetable, it is a fruit. I had always known that intellectually, but never in my heart. We have a fruit drawer in the fridge and have had one since the beginning of our marriage. "Carol! Do you realize that we have been putting our tomatoes in the vegetable drawer when a tomato is a fruit? We have a fruit drawer."

Carol immediately grasped this epiphany-like insight. And she said what daughters always say when they are confronted with an uncomfortable truth about their behavior. "Well, my mother always put the tomatoes in the vegetable drawer."

"And we always treat tomatoes like vegetables, " she continued, defensively.

How do you treat a tomato like a vegetable?

You put it in the vegetable drawer.

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