Fruit Cocktail: A Lesson In Life

When I was young and canned fruit cocktail was served as my dessert (barbaric, I know) I would eat my fruit cocktail with enormous precision and I would never, ever, vary my personal style. First, I ate up all the chopped peach pieces. After that came the pears. If there was a random pineapple that came next. Grapes were the next to eat, one at a time, each squishy piece exploding (a slight exaggeration) in my mouth and after that, well, what can I say, the ultimate reward, the fake bright red cherries. The cherries were the charm, the gift, the prize. They were ALWAYS left for last.

Last night, after years of not having fruit cocktail at all, I decided to have some. It looked so comforting and soothing. I opened the can (by the way, I noticed that all the good stuff is at the bottom of the can) and poured the “lite” mixture in to a shining, blue bowl.  As I looked at it I stopped to think, and then question.  Why should I leave the grapes and cherries for last?

Life is short, enjoy the fruit whichever way you want. So, I started eating grapes with peach pieces or pears with peach or cherries with grapes. It didn’t matter, I ate with no strategy. I just ate. I mixed it up.

What I found out is that a) I am now a bona fide old person and b) the fruit pieces really all taste exactly the same. It was a little sobering, a tad bit shocking and definitely disappointing. Also, not having that luscious, heavy, thick, high fructose syrup that we used to always drink when I was a child was like replacing fruit nectar with slightly sweet water.  I think the world was a better place way back when.

So, do your thing. There’s no use saving the best for the last. The last could be now. Eat what you want (yeah, yeah, in moderation)  and try to enjoy the little things in life. Dwell on the good things, not on the bad. If you want to eat the cherries first, you can. Do what makes you happy and more importantly, try to make other people happy. Carpe Diem.