When I was 16, I fell madly, deeply, cuckoo-for-cocoa-puffs in love with a guy who had been one of my best friends for some time, and I made a complete and total irreparable mess of the relationship within about four months. A couple years later I fell hard for a guy who was still ridiculously preoccupied with his last girlfriend. In college, I dated the same guy for four years who was more of a best friend than anything. When I was 23, I met and eventually married a man who – I hope you are sitting down for this – didn’t really think I was all that funny. It’s no surprise we are not still together – clearly he had issues. I say all of this so as to point out that I have had some complicated relationships in my day. But none has been more complicated than my relationship with the ordinary yellow banana.
The thing about bananas is, I want to like them. Really, I do. And sometimes, for maybe a day at a time, I find them tolerable. The problem is, I have a very small window of opportunity with bananas. I can look at a banana sitting in my fruit bowl and think to myself, “I am going to eat that banana for breakfast. But first, let me shower.” I am telling you, by the time I get out of that shower things might have changed. The window of opportunity may have slammed shut, as a few brown spots may have appeared. In the time it took me to lather, rinse and repeat the banana lost its appeal. Get it – appeal? Because bananas have peels? Damn, I am funny. Told ya.
Bananas, to me, are the fruit equivalent of whiny little bitches. “Oh, hi. I’m a banana. Please don’t touch me or look at me or even think about me, because if you do I might bruise.” My friend Colleen said it best – bananas do not travel well. You can take a banana from your house, gently place it on the cushion of your car seat, and by the time you get to work it will be all battered and bruised like Mike Tyson just had his way with it. Whatever, bananas! You know what I think? I think you need to shut your pie hole. Get it? Pie hole. Somebody stop me, please.
My sister revealed to me that her solution to this nonsense is a banana carrying case. Really? This is what it has come to? We have to buy luggage for our bananas? The banana by design has its own carrying case, but I guess that’s not good enough. A banana carrying case may be the ultimate response to a first world problem. What is next? The banana is going to give me a list of his or her demands before agreeing to come to my house? I mean really, come on. This has gone too far.
Even in light of all of these petty annoyances, I still try to convince myself each and every week at the grocery store that I like bananas. My inner turmoil sounds something like this: “Bananas are good for you, Jen. On paper, they meet a lot of your needs. Everybody else likes bananas – you should too. Even if you don’t like bananas, you know your parents would approve of them. Just give the poor banana a chance. You can do this.” Eventually, I acquiesce to the chatter in my head. Every. Damn. Time.
Week after week there is the same result. I buy two or three very green bananas and take them home. I manage to eat one of them in the 12 minute window of opportunity I have to enjoy a perfect banana. Then I have to find a way to discard the remaining one or two bananas, which, in the blink of an eye, have become spotted, brown, rotten, sugary, mushy, repositories for ready-to-hatch-fruit flies.
Since there is only so much banana bread you can make, I had to find a new solution. I actually hired someone who would take my “past the Jen Wittwer expiration date” bananas. Now granted, this person has a lot of skills to add to the team, but one of her most important functions is to take any banana from me, any time, no questions asked. While I might make it seem like I am doing her a favor by giving her bananas on a weekly basis, the truth is she has become my banana savior. And – wait for it, wait for it – I am so relieved I don’t have to monkey around with those rotten bananas anymore. Get it? I said monkey.
I’m here all week, folks.