Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Colonoscopies and Cantaloupe

Yeah. I know. You are like dude...did you have to just write those words together?

Why yes. I did have to. And no I am not having a colonoscopy anytime soon.

I did, however, eat some cantaloupe today. And in the process of attempting to mindfully eat it at my table with no distractions (no television, music, or reading material) I almost sort of choked on a piece. Let's not even attempt to analyze the fact that I was supposed to be paying attention to my food and ended up inhaling it in a frenzy that rivaled David's Bridal during the annual wedding dress sale. That's a whole other story.

But while almost choking at my quiet table I also realized that no one was there to help me. I could have choked and no one would even know. And for the second time this week I had a sort of epiphany involving my realization that people choose to marry or live together not just for the obvious reasons of love and desire....but also out of the need to have someone next to them in case they choke on their cantaloupe. Or say drive them to and from their colonoscopy. Or help them get dressed after having minor surgery done. Or pick them up at the airport at midnight. Perhaps a life partner is not what I thought it was, a haze of love struck fantasy, a once in a lifetime chance, a fated union, a tour de force of passion. Maybe a loving union is more about mundane stuff that you cannot do alone. And maybe I need to start considering eating my cantaloupe in the presence of another person.


  1. "Once when I visited Buddy I found Mrs. Willard braiding a rug out of strips of wool from Mr. Willard's old suits. She'd spent weeks on that rug, and I had admired the tweedy browns and greens and blues patterning the braid, but after Mrs. Willard was through, instead of hanging it the rug on the wall the way I would have done, she put it down in place of her kitchen mat, and in a few days it was soiled and dull and indistinguishable from any mat you could buy for under a dollar in the five and ten.

    "And I knew that in spite of all the roses and kisses and restaurant dinners a man showered on a woman before he married her, what he secretly wanted when the wedding service ended was for her to flatten out underneath his feet like Mrs. Willard's kitchen mat."

    [Sylvia Plath; The Bell Jar]

    Living alone, I've so often thought about choking on a piece of cantaloupe and dying alone. But I've also read so many books like The Bell Jar, that I think it evens things out in my head.

    Obviously, the portrait Plath paints of marriage is a pretty grim one and that's not always the reality of things, but it's hard not to admire how stubbornly independent she is throughout the book. I would love to hear your thoughts on it, especially in relation to the cantaloupe-theory, if you've read it!

  2. Yes. I have read it. I happen to love Plath. I read this book in 8th grade riding on the bus. My bus ride was long. And Plath really resonated with me in 8th grade. I felt like I was in a Bell Jar too.

    I used to think that love was so strong that you didn't care if you got long as you could have it. Now I think I understand the beauty that could come from not flattening each other. It is what I think a strong and satisfying partnership is about. The ability to give each other support so that no one has to be walked on. And I think I would like to find that. The cantaloupe and colonoscopy are just leading me to understand that it's okay to want someone to support me. It's okay to want to have someone that is there for me in a reliable and loving way. I don't have to be walked on to prove that the relationship is real.

  3. Well I really liked your anecdote because I felt like it's something that draws attention to those other, "little" things that we don't typically think about in regards to love/marriage.

    I am also THRILLED that you love Plath. :-)