24 September, 2009

A Treatise on Three Topics that Never Happened

All the things that didn't happen to me today:

1. I did NOT come down with the mumps.
2. I did NOT finish painting our hallway. Or any other room in the house, for that matter.
3. I did NOT eat anything worth mentioning.
4. I did NOT see, talk to, or hold hands with Christopher Walken. His loss.
5. I did NOT become fluent in French overnight.
6. I did NOT receive a mysterious package that may or may not have contained a bomb.
7. I did NOT buy contact solution even though I am out. And currently wearing contacts.

All the Foods I have Never Tried:

1. Blood pudding.
2. Haggis.
3. Homemade blue cheese.
4. Milk straight from a cow.
5. Count Chocula breakfast cereal.
6. Snails.
7. Goose liver.
8. Deep fried tootsie roll on a stick.
9. Deep fried anything on a stick.

All the Boys I Never Dated:

This is something I have been thinking about lately. Generally I try to operate under the assumption that it's better to take risks and know for sure about something than to live forever wondering if something would have worked out. And I'm not just talking about boys here, either. I am a much happier person knowing as I do that pig feet are gross, whereas if I had never tried them I may have lived my whole life wondering if pig feet were the tastiest delicacy on the planet. Probably not, but who wants to live with that kind of possibility? It's better to try one and know for sure that they are disgusting.

Another example is persimmons. Possibly the most delicious food on the planet. If Satan himself were to come and offer me one in exchange for something major, like leaving my home and experiencing hardship and agency and childbirth, I would seriously consider it. That's a lie. I would go for it without looking back. Persimmons are that good.

I was introduced to persimmons on my mission. Not because anyone offered them to me. I discovered them on my own. When I was serving with Ashley, every P-day I picked out a fruit or vegetable in the produce section that I didn't recognize, than sometime during the week I ate it. Sometimes whatever I bought was gross, but at least I knew for sure that none of the items available were poisonous. They don't sell poisonous produce in grocery stores in Hungary. A wise policy.

Anyway, so one week I go to the exotic fruit basket in the back corner of the produce section and start rifling through it. I find what looks like an orange tomato, and buy it figuring it will taste like one. Then one Sunday morning while my companion was in the shower and I had very little food left from the week, I reluctantly cut it up and tried it.

It was like a symphony on my tongue. It was so sweet and juicy and magical. The following P-day I bought like seven even though they were like three hundred forint each. Man, they were delicious. I regretted every month of my life that had not been spent eating more and more persimmons. I seem to recall that on that morning I actually went into the bathroom where Ashley was showering and demanded that she come out and taste this delight in my hands. She was so good to put up with me.

I should also add that I didn't know they were called persimmons until I returned home from my mission over a year later. I don't remember the Hungarian word for them, but I think it was something unhelpful like "Jerusalem apples" or something like that.

Some men are like pig feet. They appear to be a bad choice but you (well, I) try them just to make sure they aren't actually a whole lot of greatness in a lousy package. Always a disappointment, but never a surprise.

Some men are like persimmons. They appear ordinary, but once you try them you regret every minute of your life that was not spent enjoying everything that person has to offer. That kind of experience never wears off. I have never met a human persimmon.

Some men are pomelos. They look fulfilling and delicious but then turn out to be sour and gross. Consistently. A pomelo betrayed me once. And here I am talking about the actual fruit, not a person.

Most men, unfortunately, are like oatmeal. They sustain you through life but don't do much for you besides that. And sometimes some jerk puts shredded glass in your oatmeal, just to be spiteful, and almost die from your breakfast. It's true. I read about it once.*

Frequently, I assume someone is a persimmon, take a bite and find it filled with rolled oats, with or without the glass. It never ceases to disappoint me, though. Rest assured though, that someday I will be banging down your figurative bathroom door insisting that you try this persimmon. Meet this person.

And you will say to me, "Sister Koler, shouldn't you be getting ready for Church?"

"Let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry...have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere-be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost."
- Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Ch. 48

*Well, in a novel.


Brooke said...

Elisa, I love you.
Someday you will find your persimmon. I know it.

I have never tried a persimmon. I must. eat. a. persimmon.

Or maybe it's better not to know what I am missing? Then I won't have to feel sad about not eating persimmons every day of my life. I can remain blissfully unaware.

This is also a metaphor for my love life.

Cammie said...


Okay, so your confessing to reading my blog made me curious as to whether you had a blog, and here I am. And I found your most recent entry so fun to read, that I actually read previous blogs...and I've been quite entertained. You're such a good writer. And I love the fruit/oatmeal analogy. I can relate.

Ashley said...

I honestly don't remember whether or not you pulled me out of the shower...but it sounds like something that would have happened between us.

And that pomelo was VERY disappointing. Boo for all the pomelos of life!

What was the name of that other fruit that Iboya first showed us and then we bought some...? They were small with a hard pink shell we peeled off and the fruit was translucent underneath around a large, dark see? Those, though not as delicious as a persimmon, were tasty and surprising and pleasant. I think they'd go well in this post.

Elisa said...

I don't remember Ibolya feeding us anything but bananas (BANAN! Remember that?) but the fruit you are describing sounds like leechee. Mmm... Fruit.

Gheybin said...

This post is stunning. My favorite ever. And I love my persimmon.

Austin said...

this is excellent. i seriously love it.

eden said...

i can't tell you how much i LOVE persimmons! that's one thing about fall that i've been looking forward to.

i found this great recipe for persimmon bread last year. though i love, love, love the fruit alone, persimmon bread was a good way to use up the (far too many, i'm afraid) persimmons that i had optimistically planned to consume on my own. (i don't know if that made sense. maybe after you twist your mind around it it will come out in a sensible order.)

back where i began, i LOVE persimmons. and i can imagine that i would very much love finding a person who's like a persimmon.

(ps - orange tomato - that's exactly what i thought when i first saw them) (: