Thursday, October 23, 2008
I was just standing there, minding my own business....kind of
You know how it is. You're standing there, innocently looking for that next item on your grocery list, and the conversation of the people next to you leaks over into your unsuspecting ears. You know you know how it is, so don't try to pretend. Anyway, there I was, in that scenario. I was looking for some creamed corn (ick, I know, but you should try baking into your next batch of corn muffins!) when the following conversation ensued:
"Well, I have to make sure it's the one that's just pumpkin, and not the pumpkin pie mix."
Okay, if you know me, you know that it is nigh unto impossible for me to ignore such bait as this. The Good Samaritan in me bubbles right to the surface and I am on red-alert for ways to save, uplift, and instruct the flounderer. So, I snappped to full attention and realized that I could indeed render aid.
The woman standing next to me was with her daughter, who, interestingly enough, had hair the identical color of the can of pumpkin that she was holding in her hand. She had a can of pumpkin, and she had a can of pumpkin pie mix, and she was looking back and forth between them, saying what I just quoted above. Hm. This was going to be an easy rescue for sure. I was a little taken aback because I thought I must be missing something, since unless she was blind and was trying to detect which was which by simply the difference a little nutmeg and cinnamon would make in the weight of each can, I didn't actually see how she could be confused. So I offered the following:
"Uhm, the one that just says PUMPKIN is just pumpkin, and the one that says PUMPKIN PIE MIX is the pumpkin pie mix."
I was trying to keep the superiority out of my voice and everything.
She then said, "Well, I have to be sure because the vet said that it has to for sure just be plain pumpkin."
Dummy me, "The vet?"
Dummy her, "Yes, our dog has diarrhea and you should just see the mess he has made EVERYWHERE in our house! Honestly, you cannot believe.............." and then I was assaulted from all sides with graphic pictures that I will need years of serious therapy to overcome. You just don't talk about that stuff. Not ever. Especially not in front of strangers who were only trying to save you from....well, from buying clearly marked pumpkin pie mix instead of clearly marked pumpkin. All I could do was stare at that can of pumpkin, plain 'ol pumpkin, and picture it NOT WORKING. And picturing it in ways that should be illegal and even immoral in all 50 states AND the District of Columbia. I was ashamed for and of the pumpkin and its looming, overwhelming job. The mental images of diarrhea and pumpkin should never nuzzle in one's head. It hit me then that I would not be making my delicious pumpkin cake this year at Thanksgiving. It hit me that I no longer felt a kinship with that cheerful orange can. I felt the little ticklings of a dry heave starting at the base of my throat and I knew that my friendly relationship with pumpkin was over. Both kinds--the regular AND the pumpkin pie mix--just in case.