Somebody once said, “one can never have too many friends,” and generally speaking, I suppose that’s a pretty true sentiment. However, if you are like me, I tend to throw the word “friend” around rather loosely. After one brief encounter with someone, I tend to say ..”oh, ya I know Pam, she’s a friend of mine.” Most likely I bestow that label on mere acquaintances simply because I am a people person.
After a recent brush-off from someone I had spent considerable amount of time with (and I considered a close friend), I had a weird epiphany while introspectively having a stare down with the fruit bowl. It occurred to me that friends, like fruits, come in many shapes and sizes each possessing unique flavorful characteristics and diversity of appeal. Some are thick-skinned and can take anything you have to say, while others, like the banana, bruise at the mere touching of their sensitive egos. Some lose their initial attraction after a few days and other’s have a shelf life which will endure throughout a lifetime. Thus, the assigning of Friend Fruit Avatars began.
Fuzzy and warm, too kind for words, the peach is just soooooo sweet. Everyone knows a peach. Peaches never call you by your name, you are “sweetie” or “honey” or maybe even “sugar.” Conversation might center around such earth-shaking issues as which laundry detergent leaves your underwear smelling the freshest or a new fangled way to make chocolate chip cookies freshly torn from the most recent issue of Woman’s Day magazine. Try telling a peach about a problem you are experiencing with your job, husband or kids and you’ll find the subject quickly changed to something with lighter appeal. In fact, mid-sentence about your woes, be prepared to see a glazed eye response like . . .”uh huh…I see..well then…guess what, I just heard on Dr. Oz that hydrogen peroxide makes the greatest astringent!” Peaches are awesome when you are in a happy-go-lucky mood, but don’t call on them when you are seeking deep soul-to-soul interaction. That superficial fuzz may leave you in the “pits.”
Next there is the beautiful orange. These friends are packed with juicy information about who is doing what with whom – and where and why – the doing has been done. Who cares if this unsolicited information is based on facts, oranges were born to make juice and they will invent it when there is no pulp left to squeeze. So, be careful how much time you spend sharing your intimate thoughts with this friend, unless of course, you don’t mind your secrets being poured out over brunch tomorrow. Oranges are certainly delicious once in a while, but remember — their content is the main ingredient for a screwdriver!
Persimmons pack a punch. These are the ones that are so tempting to be around – they are fun and vivacious, constantly on the go, kinetic social party animals. However, if you wish to enjoy the persimmon’s company anytime in the near future, you will have to call way ahead so you can be pencilled in between the extremely important pedicure and the ‘no way I can miss it’ neighborhood game of Bunco. Somewhere down the road, after excitement wears off and you have gotten underneath the thin- skinnned pleasantries, you may come across a predictable “my time is more important than anything else” attitude that will probably leave an extremely bitter taste in your mouth. Several times puckered, you’ll most likely decide to leave these little dandies for less discerning taste buds.
One of the nicest surprises in fruitful bonding is that prickly looking fellow…the pineapple. At first glance, it is hard to believe that you and the pineapple could have anything in common. But, don’t be too quick to judge. I have found that those sharp edges or politically incorrect social tendencies, are merely a rough covering for something truly wonderful. Forget about first impressions (pineapples certainly do) and take the time to develop a deeper relationship. I love pineapples because they are loyal, and honest, willing to tell you the harsh truth in a sweet, sensitive way. Once you have acquired a taste for this tropical treat..you’ll be pals forever.
Lastly, I give you the red shiny apple. You’ve heard “an apple a day helps keep the doctor away,” well that doesn’t just apply to your family doctor. If you are so lucky as to have an apple friend, you probably won’t have to spend too much time in a therapist’s office. Apples are long on love, short on judgementalism, avid listeners, lifelong “solid to the core” friends. With an apple, what you see on the outside is just as palatable and delicious as the inside. Without apples in our lives, we might never know the true meaning of unconditional love. Just think, the All American saying would go ..”baseball, hot dogs, and lemon meringue pie?” Stevie Wonder would sing, “you are the grapefruit of my eye…yeah…” See what I mean? Apples just seem to make rhyme and reason out of everything!