Saturday, May 5, 2012

Fruit Salad Confession

Sending lemons for your kid's fruit salad contribution at girl scouts just isn't funny to anyone. It happened to me and the scout leader was nasty to me about it, like I was allowed to *choose* a fruit to take with me. Are you kidding? I wasn't allowed to request items in the grocery shopping. It was rare that I was allowed to go.

I suppose the theme for that week's girl scout meeting had something to do with each person making a small contribution to a wonderful whole... Uh, fruit salad. Each girl was to bring a fruit -- apple, orange, bunch of grapes, banana, raisins. I asked my stepmother for an appropriate fruit and I was given... A lemon. And told to shut up about it, because those snotty women would take it or nothing at all. (True, our meetings were in the poshest part of town in the troop leader's mega-wealthy home. I always felt like either Oliver Twist or maybe the country mouse when I had to go there. It was a lovely mansion... And it was scary. The leader was a snobby society lady who wouldn't have been involved if her daughter wasn't in girl scouts. )

I was set up and already scared about it. Told to take my lemon and go away, I hid, humiliated, with my stupid fruit while we were watching movies of the girl scout camp they all were going to and I wasn't going to ever be allowed to attend. I decided to just suck the juice out of it, rather than catch hell for bringing it back home, scorned.

Side note: as a adult and a good cook now, I understand the usefulness of a lemon in a fruit salad. I wouldn't cut it up and add it to the rest of the fruit as I was told to do, but I do know when you squeeze lemon juice over the fruit salad and mix it up, the fruit won't turn brown before serving time.

So sitting in front of the projector screen in the dark, I took out my pocket knife (even then I liked carving things) and sunk it into the lemon. Without looking. The knife went through the lemon and into the side of my thumb. Now add copious amounts of fresh lemon juice to the equation !

I wanted to scream, but I didn't want even more ridicule and consternation from the scout leader over stupid 8 year olds with knives, so I calmly closed the knife, tucked my gashed thumb into my palm, and went upstairs to the bathroom. Heck no, I wasn't going to lower myself to ask for a band-aid. It took a lot of guts for me to put my thumb under the running water and wash the lemon juice out, but I did it and then squeezed it with toilet paper wrapped around it for a few minutes until the bleeding slowed.

I went home with my thumb wrapped in toilet paper, hidden and squeezed into my palm, and no one was the wiser. I still have the scar and a grudge against all the adults who either humiliated me or made me afraid to ask for help that day too, darn it. It really needed stitches, but I used the band-aid-and-hide-your-thumb-until-it-heals method of first aid.

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