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The Meaning of Fruit Salad

By Kay Frazier

One of the many self-growth courses I took spoke repeatedly of us humans as being meaning-making machines. A glance from someone else-disdain, interest, a possible romantic partner? This meaning-making idea was substantiated by a recent experience I had with fruit salad.

Pineapple, apricots, apples, a touch of plums, cinnamon, agave syrup and cloves – that’s the fruit salad I brought as my contribution to the potluck. A strange combination, to be sure, but all – except the pineapple – something I had plenty of at home. I loaded my plate with a sampling of the potluck goodies, sat down for a chitchat and went back for a second round at the food.

There was still ample food left – including most of the fruit salad I’d brought. Now, since the only other fruit was a small bowl of cherries, I had been congratulating myself on filling the “fruit hole”.  And yet, there sat my fruit salad, seemingly rejected by my fellow potluckers. I took a little more of the fruit salad, hoping to encourage others by the vision of the increased popularity of the fruit salad.

Later, one more final round for a couple bites of this and that and a check on the fruit salad. Ah, there’s just enough left for me for lunch tomorrow. Great!

Oops! Time for the water balloons!

Potluck over; it’s time to go collect my fruit salad and go home. Doggone it, all that’s left is a little juice on the bottom. Drat! No leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Hey, wait a minute, what’s that little pile of fruit over in someone else’s cobbler dish? Those are my leftovers!

Just then, Cobbler Man walks over and says “If you want some of your fruit back, that’s okay.” I am assailed by a bout of Midwestern niceness and my taking care of others syndrome – and unspoken resentment.

“No,” I mumble, “That’s okay.”

I pack up, drive home, cut up another apple and apricot and swirl them in the juice, which is mostly pineapple juice, cinnamon and cloves. I will have leftover fruit salad tomorrow, after all.

And then I start laughing at the unfolding drama I built around fruit salad. Hey, have you made any fruit salad drama lately?

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