Saturday, July 7, 2012

Nature's Least Malevolent Fruit

It has to be said that I do love my husband, Maarten, dearly. But . . . (yes, there’s always a but…) he has this vehement antipathy that is secretly threatening to blow our marriage wide apart. He harbors a suspiciously strong aversion to one thing in particular while, conversely, I actually love it. Not love as in the “I want to marry you and be the mother of your saffron-hued children” sense, but enough of a feeling of fondness that I’m not opposed to resorting to my occasional secret stash, scouring the internet for different ways to use it to my advantage (please don’t get this misconstrued; it doesn’t say “ways to take advantage of it…”) and quietly coveting it when I see someone else in possession of it.

My husband, bless his heart, hates bananas. He loathes them. He abhors bananas so totally, greatly and completely and regards them with such contempt and disdain that once, when he spotted a squished banana in the middle of the street, he actually took time out of his day to take a picture of it, posted the pitiful specimen on Facebook and declared “The only good banana is a dead one.”

May that poor, innocent banana rest in peace.

I love my husband, really, I do . . . but that’s just not normal behavior.

Why such disrespect for a fruit that never meant anyone any harm? Well, first and foremost, Maarten—the man that I took to be my lawfully wedded husband; the man that I lay next to every night (when he’s not gallivanting around the globe on business); the man with whom I entrust my very life—claims that bananas are evil. He even went so far as to create a page on Facebook titled “Bananas are Evil.” Luckily, his hate-mongering page never survived the Facebook transformation that took place a short while back. But evil. Really? Really?!? I’m sorry; I must have missed the trailer for that summer blockbuster movie, “Wild Bunch: The Bananas That Ate New York.”

His second gripe I can understand . . . sort of. It’s a texture thing. For him, it’s just all wrong. I get that way with mushrooms (just weird), bread soaked in gravy (too soggy), kettle chips (too crunchy) and Jamie Oliver (just too damn grating).

Strike number three is, in my opinion, a displaced show of solidarity. I believe in one for all and all for one, but this is ridiculous. His grandfather hated bananas and so he, in turn, must devote his life to a bracing distrust and abhorrence of bananas. Let’s see: my grandmother hated purple, but it just so happens to be my favorite color; my father cannot tolerate asparagus, whereas I could eat the nutty, stalky beauties every day. My eldest sister holds scallops in the highest disregard while I, on the other hand, have an affinity for the mollusk with the muscle.

You get where I’m going with this?

What is so evil about this?
To denigrate an entire, uh, race of fruit merely because you once ate a soggy, mushy, smelly distant relative of the starchier, less sweet plantain is totally beyond me. Bananas are far from evil. Although high in calories (and, unfortunately, many of those calories come from sugars), they’re a good source of fiber, Vitamins C and B6, manganese and potassium. They’re also low in sodium, cholesterol and saturated fat.

Yet still, he hates them.

There’s absolutely nothing I can do to change my husband’s mind about the viability of bananas. No amount of banana-infused bread pudding, milkshakes, cookies or crème pies that I toss at him will change that. And I’m fine with that. And I, as such, will never ever in life as long as I am a black woman develop a fondness for sushi, which he has tried and failed on many occasions to coax me into eating. Been there . . . done that . . . can write the horror story to end all horror stories on that.

However, his dislike for bananas will not rob me of the pleasure of indulging in the lusciously delectable fruit that can be prepared in so many ways.

For instance,

The possibilities are endless.

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