Thursday, May 28, 2009


When you've lived in the North, you learn to hoard food and other household products as though there will be an impending disaster. Each trip out, you would bring an empty suitcase, and fill it with assorted snack foods, juice-boxes, boxes of Kleenex, all tucked around precious fresh fruits and veggies. Once that mindset has entered your consciousness, it never fully leaves. Even as you move on in your life, you will still eye the aisles of a large supermarket with a frenzied, crazed look, pulling box after box of sale-priced cereal off the shelves and into your cart. Even when you now live in a town that has road access year-round. Even if you realize that you've thrown out huge amounts of food from the fridge because you somehow never manage to eat everything you buy, not even remotely close.

One day, you see a small package of cherries at your local grocery store for $12. You grab it without even batting an eyelash. You fork out that exorbitant amount of cash for those measly not-yet-ripe fruits, just because something in you compelled you to. There's a small part of you that would not live if you didn't buy those cherries. You get them home, and you tuck them into the crisper in the fridge ever so gingerly. You sleep well that night, knowing that there are cherries in your fridge.

Come morning, you contemplate having those cherries, but in your mad rush to get ready for work, you hold off. There's always tonight, you tell yourself.

Work is done, night falls. You're parked in front of the television, and your mind wanders to those cherries in the fridge. You take them out; you rinse them under the tap. You hold the stem of your first cherry this season between your thumb and index finger, feeling as though you're royalty. You tilt your head back, and with an exaggerated grand gesture, slowly lower the fruit into your mouth. As your lips gather around the small sphere, you pull the stem away. The first tastes settles over you. You think to yourself, Boy am I glad to have these tonight. What would I do without cherries?

Something, a flicker, a glimmer, a speck in the back of your mind taints this experience. They're $12 cherries, it says. Count the pits you've spit out: Twenty-four. That means each cherry is 50 cents. 50 cents per cherry! You muster up your Northern mindset, bat aside that speck of rationality, and take a deep breath. But oh, they're worth it!

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