Monday, March 30, 2015


It wasn’t like it was calling my name. No neon sign was pointing at the neat stack of fruit. There was no hot summer sun to put them in mind. The fact is that a tasty, ripe melon was the furthest thing from my mind as I entered the corner store to pick up lettuce and a few other salad fixings.
Yet as soon as I spied them I really wanted one. 

I had escaped their siren call and was checking out when somehow the owner and I struck up a conversation about how crazy it was that melons were nestled there among the oranges and celery roots at this time of year just barely past winter.
Then he said, “I had one for breakfast and they are dee-li-cious!” 

That was it. I cracked. I scurried back to the melons to sniff. They did indeed have a lovely, just ripe smell. Without even looking at the price I put that little temptress on the counter and paid up.

Back home I placed that jewel on the kitchen counter to keep it in mind for my afternoon snack.

Later in the morning a friend stopped by to chat. She too was attune to the siren call of the melon. But this time there was no lust in spying that taste of summer. My friend looked at me incredulously and asked, “What are you doing with a melon at this time of year? If you are having that treat now what will be your great pleasure in the month of August!?”

This is a quintessential, composed, French response.  One of prudent self denial, versus the impulsive American approach: immediate gratification.

Let me just tell you that, sitting on a garden bench under a timid spring sun,  immediate gratification-- with a dash of salt-- was oh so tasty. 

1 comment:

Mary Jo said...

Love this post. Especially the comment by your French friend about indulging now and thus diminishing the wonderful, seasonal pleasure of a melon in August. She articulated well why out-of-season fruit feels like a little like "cheating" and why we kind of pay the price for it later. This is not to take anything away from the pure pleasure I derived from your story and the cheerful sight of that empty shell next to that bounty of spring flowers.