Once upon a time, not so very long ago, I made a fruit smoothie for the Professor and myself, since I nearly always have one for breakfast. Creatures of habit, we are.
I assembled my ingredients: Frozen berries. Banana. Fruit juice. Coconut oil. Yogurt -- one of the kid's leftovers, apparently, from a Tupperware-wannabe in the fridge.
Blend at high decibel level in geriatric Vita-Mix that probably blended when the Berlin Wall still stood. Serve to self and husband.
Take long, refreshing sip -- and wrinkle nose in disgust.
Guess what? That "yogurt" I was so thriftily using up? Not yogurt. Homemade garlic cream sauce. Never meant to be used in a fruit smoothie. Not even close.
It reminded me of a salient incident from my youth. Once upon a time, much longer ago, we five kids crowded around the breakfast table eating golden brown flapjacks the way only my mom can make them. I grabbed a dish of margarine (remember that stuff?) from the fridge -- at least what looked like margarine. I slathered it over my stack, drizzled on the syrup took a hearty bite -- and spewed it out onto my plate. The "margarine" I had grabbed? Not margarine. Garlic butter from the night before that someone had unwisely thought to store .... in a margarine container. Garlic butter and maple syrup? Some things were just never meant to be.
At this point my father intervened with one of this signature phrases: "Enough of this nonsense!" which meant that I was being a prima donna who didn't appreciate my blessings and consider the starving children in Africa. Just to show me how frivolous I was being, he slathered the stuff on his *own* pancakes and took his *own* hearty bite.
Realization dawned quickly.
"Oh. That IS disgusting."
I got a new stack of pancakes.
When I related the smoothie story to my father-in-law over lunch at The Good Luck Grill, he challenged me to find a deep inner meaning before writing about it. So here we go.
Plenty of things in life look tasty and tempting to me. If I just had _____, I may think. Then what? Well, then I suppose I'd be refreshed. Satisfied. Happy. Secure. Sometimes these things are as tangible as a fruit smoothie. Sometimes they're more abstract, like financial independence or impeccable taste/talent or soaring popularity or tons of blog comments that made it really fun to keep writing or children who always cooperated.
But I do wonder how many of those things, if I had them to drink from, might taste a bit different -- a bit less sweet -- than expected.
So far, I've run across only one taste that never fails to satisfy.
(Above photo by D. Sharon Pruitt)