A theory about men. Am I wrong?
A pattern is emerging as I regard the habits of men. Granted, I don’t peek in windows and I’ve not done a scientific study, but I believe that most men seem to have an uneasy relationship with fruit.
Wouldn’t you think that picking up a piece of fruit and chowing down on it would be a likely thing for a man to do when roaming the kitchen, looking for something good?
Often I will ask, want some cherries? They’re really good.
How about a peach? They’re perfect.
Nope. Maybe on my cereal in the morning. Thanks, though.
Clementine? Bosch pear? Fresh fig?
Leave me alone. Wait. Got any Fig Newtons?
Men should be dipping into the centerpiece, the bowl on the counter, the drawer in the fridge. But they don’t.
Here is why men should be more fruit aggressive
- Nothing to cook, no pans to clean up
- Some fruits make wonderful loud crunching noises.
- No need for utensils
- Fruit is portable.
- You can knock back a whole pile of grapes, like popcorn or Cheetos, without getting butter or weird orange powder on your hands.
Men will stand in front of the fridge looking doleful for long minutes. Should they make a sandwich? Is there any pizza left over? Maybe just reach in and grab a slice of ham. Then reach in again and grab a slice of cheese. Maybe just try to sneak a slug of juice from the bottle without getting caught. Are they hungry? Trying to cool off? Hoping someone will bound in from another room and say, “Why, you poor thing. Let me make you an omelet with onions and peppers and cheese and mushrooms. I could whip up a hollandaise to go over it.” That never happens.
Meanwhile, the fruit is giving up and sagging in the bowl and in the drawer, getting spotty, bruised, and soft. Neglected.
At which point, the female person, who is eating some fruit but not all the fruit, takes the rest and makes a smoothie out of it, or Banana Apple Betty, or Rotten Fruit Kuchen (which always drips in the oven and makes a very bad mess.)
Here’s the mystery. Men don’t hate fruit. But they will only eat it under certain circumstances.
Despite the cave pictures drawn of men hunkered on their haunches gnawing on other haunches...when snacking, modern men like small things. Small things, that won’t surprise them with seeds or cores or pits or internal critters, hiding deep in the pulp.
A friend of mine who always has cut up fruit in a bowl in her fridge mentioned one time that she takes the seeds out of the watermelon, before she adds it to the bowl.
Why? Why would she bother?
Michael doesn’t like the seeds.
What? (I believe I screamed.)
She is a very busy woman with a demanding career. She takes guff from no one. She seeds the watermelon? Because her husband won’t work around a seed? How could this be?
When we visit them, I notice my non-fruit eating husband always happily has a bowl of fruit.
Finally, I said, “All this fruit going to waste. Why will you eat fruit at Arlene’s house?”
Oh, she cuts it up all so nicely. I’d eat fruit all the time, if you did that.
Hmn. If I core and cut the cantaloupe, peel the kiwi, buy seedless grapes, cut up the tangelos into chunks and toss them all together in a bowl, I’ll have a customer? Well, OK. But I’m not seeding any watermelon.
THE LAST CUT IS THE DEEPEST
Mystery solved. It was seed anxiety. What to do with the peach pit. Sticky stuff running down a sleeve. Big empty boat of a cantaloupe laying around like the garbage it was, instead of a little ramekin emptied of cut up fruit, which can sit for awhile on the coffee table until the next craving.
I’m glad that my husband will now eat fresh fruit. Still, you can’t get me to seed the watermelon. I’ve got limits. I’ve got dignity.
Arlene was delighted to know that she’d caused a fuss in my house. She seemed quite happy to be blamed for spoiling my perfectly good husband.
I got her back though, last time. I was in charge of making the fruit bowl for the evening. I asked for a melon baller.
Arlene stopped, thought, and remembered where it was, still in its package from her wedding shower twenty years ago.
As I was serving, I insisted that it was critical to use a melon baller because fruit, you see, was soft and lush. It wasn’t meant to be knifed into chunks with harsh edges. It should be rounded and sensual, and, and, and, I was making it up as I went along.
Arlene’s husband demands rounded fruit now or he won’t eat it. Not without a fond reminder of how much better melons are when served in the proper small shape, the way Beverly does it.
And, I buy seedless watermelon.
This article will be printed in an upcoming edition of Kay Allenbaugh's Chocolate for Women Series