So today marks twenty years that I have been married to my beloved Jason. We have been doing some serious celebrating of this milestone anniversary. We’ve also been pretty reflective of our relationship: what makes it tick, what makes it last, what got it started.
We both agree we thought of each other as marriage material pretty much upon first meeting, certainly upon our first date. A lot of things went right on that date, but none so funny as what has become known in our common lore as the “Fruit Cocktail” story. In a time when much on the internet raises our blood pressure, I hope this story makes you laugh and smile.
On my Anniversary, here is my gift to you:
Once upon a time there was a boy. A nineteen year old boy who was bright and mischievous on the outside but true and kind on the inside. One day the boy met one of his besties for lunch at Chick-fil-A, which made sense as they both were enrolled at a Baptist school together and strongly believed true love waits. The true love waits crowd has always loved Chick-fil-A.
To the boy’s surprise that day the bestie brought a tag-a-long. Another true love waits girl though she did not go to the Baptist school and was a stranger to the boy. The tag-a-long girl made the boy’s heart race and mouth talk fast. But the boy was a good boy inside so instead he just asked for the tag-a-long girl’s phone number a respectable number of days later.
A date was made between the good but mischievous boy and the new heart racy girl. The boy promised a picnic. The girl thought, “how romantic.” What the new girl didn’t know was that the boy was joking with his bestie every day that he was going to have “Fruit Cocktail” with the girl on the first date.
A word about “Fruit Cocktail.” The bestie was very shy and sweet and she blushed every time the word “sex” was spoken out loud. Because the boy was so mischievous he took to saying the word sex in her presence regularly just to make her ears go red. Then one day the bestie’s ex boyfriend walks by and asked, “What is so funny?”
Though the boy was mischievous he was too kind and good to ever really hurt his friend so he said the first thing that came into his mind, “We were just talking about the cafeteria’s fruit cocktail.” This worked out well in the end as now the boy could even just say “fruit cocktail,” and the bestie would blush.
So the boy teased the bestie relentlessly the week before the big date that he was going to have “fruit cocktail” with her friend. What the boy didn’t know is though bestie was his good good friend, girls always stick together. So bestie told tag along/heart race girl the fruit cocktail stories. Heart race girl was bright and a little mischievous too so she just laughed and said, “We’ll see about that.”
The date between the boy and heart race girl was lovely. The picnic was lovely. There were flowers and candles and you guessed it . . . .little cans of fruit cocktail for dessert. Actual fruit cocktail with grapes and pieces of pears and the occasional red cherry. When the boy offered heart race girl a can of fruit cocktail to his surprise she perked up and said, “Oh, I love fruit cocktail. It’s my favorite.” He snickered to himself. Wait until he told bestie what her friend had said.
But then heart race girl went on. She kept talking about how very good the fruit cocktail was and how she only wished she could have had more. It had been so long since the girl had eaten fruit cocktail that was this good.
Now it was the boy’s turn to have red ears and the girl’s turn to snicker to herself as she tucked away the can once filled with grapes and pears and the bright red cherries and wiped her mouth neatly with a napkin.
I will not pretend to know what the boy thought on his way home that night, but what I do know is he never suspected that heart race girl was a prankster too. After all, aren’t all girls just sugar and spice, heavy on the sugar side?
It was a great surprise to the boy when he went back to bestie to tell her all the funny things heart race girl had said, only to see bestie not blush but fall on the floor laughing. “Man, she really got you good,” bestie proclaimed. The boy tried to process this new information. The girl knew what she was doing all along going on and on about fruit cocktail and how much she loved it and how good the boy’s fruit cocktail was.
At first the boy was embarrassed. But then he called the girl to make another date. Because there is nothing this particular prankster liked more than a sweet looking girl who could beat him at his own game.
Actually, it was just the beginning.