The Tomato: An Unnecessary Evil

Today was the day I had decided to eat my first tomato. When I say my first tomato, I mean my first tomato. First one ever. You’ll see why here in a minute. Tomatoes are awful, awful foods if you try them raw. In their raw form they are pervasive and soggy and slimy and juicy with deadly toxins and terribly smelly and full of deadly carcinogenic seeds (do your research!) and from the devil. Notice that I prefaced that trail of descriptives with “In their raw form.” Do not argue with me and tell me why you like tomatoes,because number one, you’re wrong and number two, I don’t care what you think about them.

I hate them.

There are some good things come from tomatoes and I am glad to offer up the mad propers where they are due. Let’s take a moment together to consider.

  1. Salsa. I love you. Besides your awful jar shapes from commercial failures like Chi Chi, you are, as a food category, beautiful and incredible. You are the pregnant woman of food. (Don’t think too hard about that. Just go with it.)
  2. Tomato/marinara sauce. Without you, there would be no pizza and no spaghetti. This makes me tear up at even the thought.
  3. Ketchup. I can live without you, but I still have some affection and appreciation. You don’t get your own holiday, like salsa does, but you rock in your own understated way.  You are Linus in the Peanuts gang. Helper to everyone, but rarely center stage.

And there are occasionally some tomatoes found in the wild that are fascinating to behold, such as this little fella.

It's what he deserves for tasting so bad.

But mostly – MOSTLY – the tomato is bad. But today was my day to eat one, so I forged ahead. I spoke to Becky the Cheerleader (by this I mean, she was cheering me on to my task,  not that she is akin to a pom-pom-bearing girl named Gigi) as I was driving toward the grocery store. In three minutes or less, she told me many things: Get salt (didn’t have any). Stop expecting it not to be slimy. Think of it as a FRUIT. Fruits continue to ripen after you pick them. Vegetables immediately start to die once picked. Don’t wash them down with the ‘nasty aftertaste’ of Diet Mtn. Dew, because they are so juicy and good. If she’d said this line first I wouldn’t have heard another word she said. As it was, I screamed and hung up on her. Not really, but I should have. The LIES! I got other advice as well, mostly about how to choose the tomato once I found myself in the unfortunate location of standing directly in the tomato section of the Produce Department. Pick a ripe one. Wait till they’re in season.

I’ll tell you what season they are in: Foul and Disgusting. Nothing else matters.

And then I went to the park, the most logical location for a tomato tasting. My son begged me not to eat one. He is like me: easily disgusted and quick to gag. Also awesome.

Here is the conclusion of the matter, for your viewing pleasure. I ain’t puttin’ on here.

So, not to spoil it for you, but this is my first–and last–tomato.



Portrait of the Blogger as an Old Hag

Is there any unfortunate soul reading this who was subjected to James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man? I do very much hope that you weren’t. I hope you love English and that you were never sitting on the floor of your bedroom pressed against your dresser while you openly wept, knowing you were going to have to stay up half the night reading about the artist, as a young man, and his portraits. Oh, the portraits.

In case you missed this little literary nugget, I’m pasting in the opening lines from the book. And then we shall discuss.


Really, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, “What’s so toxic about a little moocow coming along down the road and a nicens boy named baby tuckoo? And what’s so bad about dancing to sailor’s hornpipe, whatever that is, and tralaladdy?” Well, let me tell you. That’s the last time there’s any moocows or dancing sailors. James Joyce put his best words into the book trailer and then he leads you down the road to a slow and painful coma. 400 pages later, you are rocking back and forth and can no longer chew solids.

And now I have to be completely honest. I have not the first idea why I started talking about this. What made me think of James Joyce? Or moocows? Am I in pain? Am I trying to lull you into the same painful trance I once wrenched myself out of?

No clue. So I guess I’ll just move on. Call this Advanced Placement English with Sarah Lamar, once removed. I did love Sarah Lamar, even at 1:30 in the morning when I was crying through one of her assignments. She called me Bubbles. I don’t remember why.

This morning I was dusting. That sounds domestic and healthy. And clean. Some really thick stuff was sticking to my brand new swiffer duster, but before I could cast my mind back to the last time I dusted, I picked up the little decorative clock that has never had a battery in it and saw a card ensconced in fancy little dust bunnies.

“Oh! My Panther Perks card!” I exclaimed. I have been missing out on some serious PTA bargains since this went missing. In September. I guess that was the last time I dusted. Who knew? Oh, wait. Everyone. Because dust is visible.

Oh well.

It looks good now, but it’ll look bad again in another week. And then I can say it’s only been a week since I dusted. As I type these words, my triceps are extremely sore. I pulled them mopping. Someone else’s house. I wish I had pulled these muscles cleaning my own house.

I will dust until the moocows come home singing tralaladdy.

I wonder if I should get out more. I did get out yesterday. And in a trainwreck of a photoshoot (I use that term so terribly liberally that it is almost a lie), I caught a bunch of junk and two gems. These are worth the world. A friend of mine entitled them, “Smitten.” That’s about right.

Oh that fat baby wrist...