May 15, 2011

When Life Throws Grapefruit

I'd like to begin this entry with a disclaimer: I have nothing against eating grapefruit. I actually rather enjoy it, as long as it's sweet or I have some sugar handy. But awkward to eat? Definitely.

Normally it's said that life throws lemons. I think of life's "lemons" as the small icky things that happen just to sour up your day. Maybe it was raining and you forgot your umbrella. Maybe you got a bad mark on an important test. Maybe you discovered you missed the deadline for switching your faculty and major and couldn't get into the program you wanted, and now course sign up next year will be a nightmare. (Yep that's me now, the "Sociology" student who wants to take Psychology courses.)

But lemons are nice and small. Like this one! It might be sour, but it wouldn't actually hurt much if someone tossed it at you. I think I would feel sorrier for the lemon.

Getting lemons in the mailbox of life can be annoying. They do kind of suck. But usually you can shrug them off or do something about them; there's a lot of advice out there for victims of lemon-lobbing:

When life gives you lemons...
...make lemonade!
...make a battery and harness electricity.
...make orange juice and let the world wonder how you did it.
...keep them, because hey! Free lemons!
...throw them back and see if life makes the same mistake twice.
...turn around and squirt juice in the eye of your nemesis!

If lemonade isn't your thing, you can try lemon cookies, lemon squares, lemon meringue pie, or lemon poppyseed loaf. Even lemon juice and water can be healthy and refreshing; it doesn't always need sugar. The point is, usually the lemons that we come across in life are relatively small and useful for something. Even if it's just to see the funny side of things.

I'm a flipping SOCIOLOGY student! BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Sometimes life throws you grapefruit. Grapefruit are much bigger, heavier and harder to ignore than lemons. They're also rather useless, with nowhere near as many recipes to use them in. So when life's grapefruit hit you, they hurt and often leave bruises.

Grapefruit are the ugly older cousins of life's lemons. When they first hit you you just stare at them, thinking "what am i supposed to do with THIS?" You can't really comprehend them. You can't think of any recipes to use them in and (thanks to all those lemons you got pelted with) you're out of sugar.

Once I convinced my roommate (who HATES grapefruit) that we should add some to our morning smoothie. I figured that the apple, pear, raspberries and orange juice would hide the grapefruit flavour enough for her to appreciate it. 

No such luck. That stupid grapefruit penetrated the entire smoothie and left a quirky grapefruit aftertaste behind each swallow. Even I wasn't fond of it and I like grapefruit.

I think most people can handle one or two grapefruit in their lives — big issues we don't know how to address or solve and just hope will go away. But lately I've been feeling a little more like this.

This image came to me and I HAD to create it. Sorry, Mr. Incredible.
What do you do when you are covered in so many grapefruit that lemons are bouncing off of them instead of you? One thing that happens is that each and every grapefruit that does disappear becomes a miracle. A miracle of relief... and suddenly your other grapefruit shrink, just a little bit. It's nice.

But you know, by comparison  with fewer, smaller grapefruit to worry about  lemons seem a lot more intimidating.


  1. Hey Ellen-

    Three things:

    1) I've realized that the bitter/ aftertaste-inducing part of the grapefruit tends to be the white membrane surrounding the membrane. If you pull that off (time consuming though it may be), it tastes a lot better.
    2) Your blog is very Hyperbole-and-a-half-esque. But I like it :)
    3) How do you create separate tabs on blogspot? I've never been able to figure it out.

    I hope your summer's going well.

    -Emily (from med.sci./gauntlet)

  2. Hey Emily!

    Three answers for your three things!

    1. I completely agree! I try to avoid eating those bits as much as possible. Alas, even separating them out didn't save our smoothie.
    2. YAY! Assuming you aren't accusing me of trying too hard, I take that as a very high compliment indeed. Allie Brosh is 61% of the inspiration behind this blog. (I might go into the other 39% in a post sometime.)
    3. Make what are called pages! They will show up in tabs automatically. =)


  3. Ellen-

    2. Definitely not accusing you of that.
    3. Thanks for the instruction.



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