There was a time when I despised the grapefruit. The smell alone made me imagine its juice a noxious chemical not intended for human consumption.
But oh, how I wanted to love the grapefruit. Just look at it.
The color can only be described as grapefruit. Not really coral, not really peach, and certainly not pink or even ruby red. Just grapefruit. Or pamplemousse, as one says in French.
The word is, incidentally, my favorite French word. Say it.
Not that I know more than ten or so French words anyway. But I still imagine pamplemousse is probably the most fun of them all. And it can be used as a term of endearment too, which makes it even more appealing. Mon pamplemousse, mon petit pamplemousse!
So yes, I wanted to love the grapefruit. For many years, I watched others take its succulent halves from hotel breakfast bars and devour them lustily, the fine colored chunks of citrus sprinkled with sugar and scooped spoonful by spoonful. I wanted to be one of those people. And for years, I occasionally bought them two or three at a time, with great hopefulness, but came home from the supermarket only to let them sink into slush mold in a bowl on the counter.
After 26 years on this earth and never a grapefruit enjoyed, I had resolved that it was just a lost cause. That I should just stop trying. That I'd never be the girl with the spiky spoon and the singing fruit at the breakfast table.
I suddenly experienced a moment of curious desire at the market last week.
I was at the store and happened upon a gorgeous pile of them. I smelled them, and they called to me. Mon petit, mon petit pamplemousse! Wait, wait. Could it...be happening? Could I...actually want some of that bitter taste? After all this time with no luck??
Why, yes! Wow, yes indeed! I'd even call it a craving! I threw a few into my bag, raced home, and chopped one in two. I dug out a nice, big, drippy chunk and stared it down: ALRIGHT, YOU! YOU'VE GOT ONE MORE CHANCE!
I took a bite, and that was that. Call me a changed woman. I ate the whole thing in a matter of minutes.
WHY oh why could I enjoy it now, and never before? Well they say one's tastebuds change every seven years, so maybe that's an explanation...but who knows. I certainly don't. I do know, however, that I get to be the person with the pretty fruit at breakfast now.
I even bought my own spiky spoon,
giddy with anticipation of future grapefruit mornings.