by Madeline Laughs
With strawberry picking season upon us here in the South it brings to mind a memorable first date I spent picking these beauties with a very cute guy. He was so handsome! When he asked me out, I could not believe how lucky I was.
It was my idea to pick strawberries on our first date together. What better way to spend time getting to know someone than doing something fun like this together?
I love picking strawberries too. Hunting under the leaves for the perfectly shaped, brilliantly red and ripe berry. I would pick one and eat one, all up and down the row I was assigned. It wasn’t often, but sometimes you’d pick what you believed to be the perfect berry and bite into it, only to pucker up from the sourness of not being quite ready to be eaten yet.
By the time I finally had my belly and my bucket full of berries and made my way over to the lady with the scales to weigh my booty, I never wanted to see another strawberry again.
Well, until I got home and washed them off. Then I’d eat more.
We had our buckets and the lady pointed us to our row. We both squatted close to the strawberry plants, him on one side, me on the other so we were facing each other and proceeded to move the green leaves aside to hunt for those lovely fruits.
I was deeply immersed in the berry picking and eating fugue with sticky fingers and a satisfied grin on my face when my date decided to make conversation.
“Ya know, I’m multi orgasmic.”
He said this is a matter of fact tone. It wasn’t even whispered to me in a sultry voice, sotte voce , so that only I could hear it either. My hand froze in mid-pick as the words traveled the speed of light to my ears. My jaw dropped and I looked up at him like a deer caught in headlights and said, “Huh?”
My confusion only prompted him to now go on about this feature in great detail and as he rambled on and on, still picking away, I looked around to see just how many people were also being exposed to his indecent exposure, besides me!
I caught the sideways glance of the woman in the next row and saw the fleeting smirk as she quickly looked away, but kept listening. I blushed with embarrassment under the glare of the elderly woman in the straw hat just a few rows over. I gave her a helpless look back and shrugged my shoulders.
And he was still talking! “Yeah I get off and wait a few seconds and then BAM!” he punched the air for emphasis, “I’m ready to roll again!”
Finally I zeroed in on my date and quietly hissed, “Can you please stop talking about that here?”
He chuckled, “Oh alrighty. Just thought you’d like to know, is all. The last girl I told that to was a little nicer about it. She said “let’s skip dessert!” and couldn’t wait to get me back to her place!”
I wanted to skip a few rocks off of his thick and clueless skull.
After a few minutes of blessed silence, I tried to get back into the strawberry mood by eating every nice berry I found before finally plunking a few into the bucket for later. I looked into his bucket to see how he was doing and was surprised to see that he wasn’t being so selective. In fact, most of his berries were half white. He had even picked the tiny green nubs! He was picking everything on the strawberry plants whether it was ready to be picked, or not!
Hadn’t he told me that he went strawberry picking every year since he was a child?
“Um, you know a lot of your berries aren’t ripe enough to be picked yet.” I told him. He looked in his bucket and then shook it around a little to see the berries in the bottom, “Yeah, they are! I mean, look at the ones you picked. Ya see, I’ll be eating fresh berries for weeks later, but yours will be rotten in no time!” I squinted my eyes to keep from grimacing at this warped logic. “Um, how do you figure that?” I asked him. “It’s simple, stupid. I take these here,” he picked up a green nub to show me, “and I put them in the window to get a little sun and ripen up and BAM! I’m eating fresh berries for weeks! Man, you sure got a lot to learn girl! Lucky for you that I came along!”
Yeppers, I sure was feeling real lucky right at that moment.
Did I bother to try explaining to him that strawberries were nothing at all like tomatoes and that they wouldn’t ripen in the sun after they were picked? Did I bother to tell him that once it was picked, that was it, it stopped growing, maturing, ripening?
Nope, I did not.
I figured when he plopped his bucket on that scale and the lady up there got a good gander at what he picked, she’d tell him all about it. Not only would she tell him that the strawberries he picked were inedible, but because he had ravaged an entire row picking the nubs and berries that weren’t quite ready to be picked, that he had ruined that row for her as well. Now there was nothing left for anyone else to pick either.
I secretly hoped she charged him double.
It wasn’t more than a few minutes when he decided to change the subject.
“Ya know, I bet my nimples are about as sensitive as yours are.”
That was it for me.
I grabbed the handle of my bucket and stood. Then I started stomping as fast as I could, making my way over to the lady with the scales. I was done picking strawberries with this jerk.
I hadn’t taken two steps when I hear “HEY! We ain’t finished yet! We still got more row left here!” I kept walking, my cheeks blazing because now everyone in the strawberry patch was watching the spectacle that was me on a first date with the creepiest guy I had ever met!
Today it wouldn’t be strawberries I would be so full of that I would never want to see them again. Today the only thing I never wanted to see again was my date!
He finally gave in and followed in the dust of my Keds to be weighed. I quietly smirked as the lady gave him a real working over for picking green berries. I enjoyed the crestfallen look on his face when he realized that there wasn’t even one berry in his bucket that he could eat without tasting bitterness.
Served him right!
I climbed into the cab of his pickup and perched my bucket of prized strawberries on my lap. He asked me if I was mad at him and I lied and said I wasn’t mad at all. He gave me a puppy dog look and I felt sorry for him. Maybe he was just nervous. I told him that I would be happy to share the strawberries I had picked with him.
It was just going too well.
I was just starting to warm up to him again.
It was just too good to be true and he had to ruin the moment once again by opening his mouth to speak.
“Ya know, I heard that getting into your britches was like trying to get into Fort Knox, but if you’re going to be my girlfriend, ya gotta loosen up a little, girl!”
“And that’s another thing! You have got to learn how to have a conversation!” He laughed and then in a sing song voice, he mocked me! “Wat? Wat? Waaaat? You sound like a broken record!”
I sat in stunned silence.
I wanted to grab tight to the handle of my strawberry bucket and swing it wildly until it connected with the smug expression on his face. The only thing that stopped me from doing that was the fact that he was now operating heavy machinery and I was his helpless passenger.
When he slid his truck into a space in front of my apartment building I bounced out of the cab like a rubber ball. Slamming the door as hard as I could, I bid him farewell to his shouts of “Hey! I thought you was giving me some strawberries!” I ran up the sidewalk, praying I made it into the locked vestibule of the building before he could catch up to me and slammed the door hard behind me.
Later when the phone rang it jangled my nerves, but it was just one of my girlfriends wanting to know how the date went. “Girl, you are not going to believe this one…”
I never heard from him again.
I guess first dates can be a lot like picking strawberries.
You look around in nervous and happy anticipation until you think you have found the perfect one. Sometimes when you get that first taste and it’s perfection, you want more dates until your belly and your bucket is full to the top.
But sometimes you bite into something bitter and all you can do is spit it out, wipe the disappointment off of your face and keep searching until the perfect berry, or date, makes the wait really worth it.
- North Carolina looks to be heading for another bumper strawberry crop (southeastfarmpress.com)
- Scent of The Month – Fresh Picked Strawberry (scentsibilities.wordpress.com)
- Strawberries and C (healthiestbeauty.wordpress.com)
- Berry Beautiful (thunderafter5beautytime.wordpress.com)
- Strawberry Mint Surprise (spoonful.com)