a day in the life of an orange
My mother-in-law decided one day to let my son play with some mandarin oranges as if they were some sort of toy or ball. He was sitting on the kitchen counter enjoying himself, throwing the mandarin oranges with all his might down on to the counter, giggling and smiling. Although it was fun watching this creative exploration of the various things a person can do with a spherical piece of fruit, besides the obvious purpose of eating it, I also felt a little uneasy about what kind of impact this particular play session with grandma may have on his future perception of what oranges and by extension, other fruits and foods in general are actually for and what the “appropriate” use or behavior when handling food in the future. It turns out, the experience was as memorable and pleasurable as I thought he would find it, since it seems he still remembers it to this day: every time we are at the checkout stand at Trader Joe’s, he always tries to grab the oranges that are often ensconced in a basket at the end of the register, beckoning him to play.
In addition to thinking about my son’s emotional responses to varied stimuli, I imagined that day, what it be like to be in the orange’s shoes. I’m being picked up out of the bowl I was content sitting in by tiny, unsteady little hands. What is going to happen to me? Ouch. That hurt. I’m pretty sure that caused some internal bruising. Oh no! Now the small human is biting into my skin, Ow! Ok, internal bruising and now external skin abrasions: today is certainly not my day. When I was a little unripe citrus being still attached to the tree, I remember hearing stories about my forefathers meeting their demise in blenders at juice bars/smoothie shops or just picked off the tree, immediately skinned before being devoured whole. In both cases our forefathers’ deaths were quick and over before they knew it. So, what is this slow abusive torture that I’m enduring at the hands of the small human? Will someone please put me out of my misery and eat me or make me into a smoothie?