I was shopping in the Supermarket yesterday when something strange happened to me.

Perhaps I should preface the story by saying that I come from California– a land of freedom where grocery store ethics are almost nil. That said, I was browsing the fruit section on a Thursday night shopping trip.

I was shopping for myself and thus – trying to pick the best and smallest grape bunch from an assortment of monstrous bunches that I knew would go bad before I got the chance to eat them all. Now speaking as a single person from the land of supermarket freedom – I would say that I was within my bounds and those of common decency. And perhaps I was.

Until, that is, I tried to separate a beautiful portion off one large bunch of grapes. “Scusi!” “Excuse me miss!” The supermarket man said in Italian. “Non puoi fare cosi.” “You can’t do that,” he said “because if you pick off only the good parts, you’ll leave the parts no body wants.” That’s right I thought. Exactly. “The over-ripe ones,” he continued, “you can put in a torte.” Hmmm. I thought to myself. “That’s right mister, of course I should have thought of that.A torte.

Have you seen my kitchen?” I shouted in my head. “My oven is broken and my kitchen is always invaded by poor students driven from their even more pitiful kitchens to cook in mine. Plus my grandmother never taught me how to bake, she was nasty and she had arthritis. I can’t make a torte.” But on the outside, I coyly smiled and accepted his reprimand. Because really, I see his point.
Now I don’t seek bad fruit any more than the next girl. I want what I want when I want it. It’s my money, my life, my dinner. The one problem though with discarding the over-ripe grapes is that they’re still a part of life and passing them over means missing something.

I don’t like staying home when I’d rather be out dancing – perhaps meeting some tall dark Italian hunk… but I digress – anymore than the next girl. But – life can play tricks on you. What you think you want might not be what you need.

You inevitably learn from those bad hair/men/friend/work/weather/food/exercise/sex experiences as much as you do from the good ones.

So, if you want to have your fruit and your dessert, to be well rounded and unmolested by Italian supermarket attendants; for God’s sake – grab the whole bunch and be done with it. “La vita e’ cosi.” Life is like that.

Go home and repair your god dam oven and make peace with the fact that sometimes you may have to submit to nature. And when the bad things happen – learn and turn them into something.

Sometimes the worst problems have the sweetest solutions.

Written by Breena Kerr