February 10, 2003
Seven Pounds of Frozen Fruit

Itís Saturday. Iím in line at the grocery store. The top of my basket is covered with bags of frozen fruit, mostly strawberries. The woman in front of me is looking cheerfully at my basket, and at me. I smile back, because Iím not feeling as hey-lady-mind-yer-own-business as usual. Which means conversation is just seconds away. Three...two...one...

HER: You must be making pie!
ME: Uh, no. Nothing that wholesome.

I donít know what makes me tell the truth to total strangers. I could have said, "Yes, pie! Iím making pie." That would have been easiest. Or I could have recovered after the initial, "Uh, no" by quickly claiming the intention to make tarts. I could have been making tarts for an imaginary tart-loviní boyfriend called Sven. "Sven canít get enough of my tarts," I could have said, "and you know Valentineís Day is just around the corner!" But do I? No. I reflexively tell just enough truth to get her interested.

Okay, not so much interested as worried. She looks downright concerned for the strawberries, as if they must be destined for use in something truly unseemly. Clearly by "nothing that wholesome" I am referring to an underground fruit-intensive sex ritual.

Maybe itís not too late to say "Valentineís Day is just around the corner!" after all. But Iím not in the mood to be that wicked, so instead I confess.

ME: Daiquiris. Iím making daiquiris. For a party.
HER: Oh.

She is disappointed. She was obviously expecting something more depraved. I briefly consider adding, "Iím sorry, did I say Ďpartyí? I meant Ďorgyí. Iím making daiquiris for an orgy. Thirsty work, orgies, and strawberry daiquiris are so refreshing, donít you think?", but by now she is having cheerful conversation with the checker, who is much better at it than I am.