Sunday, July 27, 2008

Center of the Watermelon

Nothing says “Summertime” like a good watermelon. But not just any ol’ melon, it has to be ripe, red and sweet. I’m sorry, but no matter how much training I get (mainly from the produce guy or any other Wal-Mart employee who happens to be walking through the produce section at the wrong time) I just can’t hear the “thunk” that lets me know it is a good watermelon.

When I get home from the store with groceries and watermelon buying was part of the process, I immediately cut into the melon to see what I got. Ripe? Rotten? Pale pink? Mushy? All of these thoughts are racing through my brain as my ginsu knife is making its way through the rind. Anticipation while I’m holding my breath. Nothing is worse (ok, maybe it is not the end of the world) than opening up the watermelon and, darn it! Another bad watermelon.

But oh, get a good one, and that is the absolute best. And yes, I have been known to eat the center of the watermelon and leave the rest for later. And I have never had to share. John and Casey don’t care for it. Well, that was true until I heard bad news from Spain earlier this week. Casey is finishing up her Spanish minor while abroad. When we were talking about the foods to get, I was rattling off the list:

Apples (check)

Bread (check)

Jello (sugar-free, check)

Redi Whip (no-fat, check)

Chicken to be grilled (check)

And then she said, (gasp!)
"I want some watermelon, too." “You do?” I questioned weakly. “Yes,” she replied, “I have been eating it over here.” Darn!! What happened? How did my watermelon monopoly suddenly collapse? I should have seen the signs.

When I was pregnant with Casey (born in September) I ate watermelon everyday. You know how they say, “You are what you eat.” Well, that had to be true, because my stomach was growing like a watermelon. I can even remember very vividly a dream that I had while pregnant. I dreamed that watermelon became scarce and was being sold for $50 a pound. Further, the only way it was being sold was by the slice and and it was displayed under glass (like the kind that covers cakes.) My husband says I dream in amazing detail and that there is usually a storyline.

After Casey was a baby, I took her to the grocery store. After I finished shopping, I strapped her in her seat first and then surrounded her with the paper bags full of groceries. On the way home, I could hear scraping sounds against the sides of the bags, and I asked, “Casey, what are you doing back there?” I didn’t get an answer. In fact, I asked her three times with the same results. She wasn’t being stubborn, she just hadn’t learned how to talk yet, That, of course, didn’t keep me from talking to her because I had a captive audience and I wanted to take full advantage of the time in which I didn’t have to worry about her talking back.

When we got home, I opened the back door of the car. Lo and behold, there was Casey, sitting in her seat with red juice dribbling down her mouth. There was the watermelon half covered in plastic. The little stinker had poked a hole in it and had been scraping out watermelon with her fingers. That was the last time I remember her eating watermelon because she has always turned up her nose anytime I offered. I didn’t care, more for me. Until now. Darn.

PS: When Casey scraped out the watermelon, wouldn’t you know it was the center? Like mother, like daughter.

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