Sometimes life broadsides us. We’re going along, minding our own business, and out of nowhere something hits us…hard. The effects may be out of our control, but we get to decide how we respond.

Last week was decision time for this guy.

Nicole and I have been married for six and a half years. Prior to that, we were together for a year and a half. I’d say our relationship has been “strong to quite strong”, just like Gaylord Focker’s portfolio in Meet the Parents. Needless to say, we know each other pretty well…or so I thought.

It was late evening, and I had just taken my shower and the kids were in bed. It had been a rough day of work for me, and I don’t think Nicole had worked at all, because she had just been taking care of the kids…you know, like Romney’s wife. I went to the fridge to grab a nice cold Corona, then proceeded to reach into the fruit drawer for a lime. We were down to one, which Nicole had picked up at the grocery store the previous day.

I immediately noticed that the lime seemed, well…dense. I dismissed it and focused on the task at hand. First, I grabbed a bottle opener and um, opened the bottle. Then I grabbed a knife, because you need a knife to cut a slice of lime, so you can squeeze the delicious drops of green citrus magic into the ice cold Corona. Then you proceed to shove the lime slice into the bottle, and if it’s a really good lime, you’ll squirt some juice all the way up to your face and end up with some pieces of lime pulp on your finger that you can lick off before the first swig.

It really is my vacation beer of choice. And when I’m not on vacation, it makes me think of vacation. Whether the millions they have spent on marketing has worked like a charm on me, or it’s the ten trips to all-inclusive resorts all over the Mediterranean where the Corona flows like wine, I don’t really care. I just know that I associate an ice cold Corona with a plump juicy lime with the beach. I like the beach. I like it a lot.

I held the lime down firmly on the kitchen counter and started to cut into it. The rind felt like leather and seemed to go on for an eternity. I don’t think I hit the pulp until I got to the inner quarter inch of the lime. I proceeded to make the second cut and noticed the veins popping out of the back of my cutting hand. This was hard work!

I then grabbed the lime slice between my thumb and index finger, held it aloft over the mouth of the bottle and began to squeeze. I do believe it was the first time in my entire life that I have tried to squeeze lime juice out of a slice of lime and failed completely. Thinking it might perhaps be me, (I am getting older, I suppose) I squeezed harder. Absolutely nothing came out. Visions of grabbing the nutcracker to try to extract even a drop came to mind. I gave up and disappointedly shoved the lime slice into the beer, fearing for a brief moment that it might actually start absorbing the Corona.

I then set the bottle down and turned my attention toward the rest of the lime. I picked it up and gave it a good squeeze. It didn’t budge! This lime was hard as a rock! “Who in the world would purchase a lime like this?!” I asked myself.

I looked over and Nicole was sitting at the bar. “Honey,” I said, no doubt with a look of consternation on my face. “Do you know how to pick out a good lime?” I waited for her response.

“No, I don’t,” she replied, as if it were of no importance.

“You…pardon?” I was not quite sure what to say in response. “You do realize that this lime is inedi.., um, it has no juice at all!”

“How do you do it?” was apparently the best response she could think of.

“You squeeze it! If it’s soft, it’s good. If it’s hard as a frickin’ golf ball, you put it back! Oh, and if it has a lot of brown on it, it’s no good either.”

(I’m sure there’s an “i” before “e” except after “c” type way to remember how to purchase a ripe lime, but if there is, I don’t know it.)

I walked out of the kitchen, Corona sans hint of citrus in hand, and nothing more was said of the matter that evening.

The next day, I had plenty of time to think about what had transpired. Maybe I was being too hard on Nicole. I mean, everybody has to learn how to pick out a proper lime at some point. I guess her time was yesterday. The load was feeling lighter.

On my way home that evening, I pulled into Food 4 Less and grabbed 2 supple, juicy limes. It’s not often in marriage that 66 cents can more than remedy an issue. I guess we’re pretty fortunate. Just please keep us in your prayers as we work through this. I think we will, and that we’ll be stronger as a result. It just takes time. You know.


One thought on “The Citrus Broadside

  1. That is a great metaphor to the struggles of marriage!! After 15 years with Greg, he still can amaze me with the things he doesn’t know as I am sure I amaze him!!! Loved it!

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