Saturday, August 6, 2016

Would You Like to Feel My Peaches?

Hello. Pleased to meet you. It's nice that you at least made eye contact before attempting to feel my peaches. You don't know how rare it is that someone looks me in the eyes. I know my peaches have a certain allure. Yet don't forget about the person behind the stand.

How do my peaches feel? Are they simply firm, or are they hard as rocks? Why do I bring them to the market that way? Well, you see, you can't bring soft peaches to the market. They just don't make the trip. Softening your peaches is an experience that I, the orchardist, do not want to deny you, the customer. Softening one's peaches should be a memorable, intimate experience. Take those peaches home. Place those peaches on the counter. If they are particularly hard, place them in a brown paper bag. Ripening fruit releases ethylene gas, which aids the softening process. I believe, however, that my peaches will ripen just fine without any help from anything other than your eyes.

Yet I sense some reluctance on your part. Years of purchasing grocery store peaches have biased you to peaches in general. You distrust me, the peach producer, when I say that my peaches will ripen. That's why you give my peaches a good squeeze and shake your head and walk away silently. You don't know how that behavior affects me, hypothetical person. Rejection hurts, even when it is undeserved. All I wish to do is educate you, the customer. All I wish is for you to share in the glory of my peaches.

Peach groupers and their kin, peach sniffers, are not bad people. They are just people who have made mistakes in life, like you and me. Perhaps they were raised differently. Perhaps they didn't get the education they should have. Sure, there are probably a few bad apples. But most just don't know what they do.

Maybe some day we'll live in a world where nobody will grope or sniff my peaches without asking first. Maybe some day people will realize that a fragrant piece of fruit is often rotting, and that a lack of smell probably means nothing. Perhaps some day I will receive a nickel for all of the peaches that have been groped without their permission. Sure, it doesn't take away the hurt, but it's something.

People, I have a dream.

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