Things I Tolerate
That’s really all my 3 year old wants.
A banana—right now.
So, we pull into the 7-11 on Lombard and Broadway in search of a banana. While I am no 7-11 Connoisseur, I have visited more than a few 7-11’s over the past 37 years, though only recently for fruit. As a last-minute meal planner and mother of three, I make frequent trips to the grocery store, where I usually buy fresh fruit along with things I either do or do not need at the time. In fact, during my son’s banana melt down, I have four yellow bananas fresh from the groves of Giant Supermarket slowly ripening on the top of my microwave.
Despite the patented 7-11 layout, it takes a moment to orient myself once inside. There, near the counter, where they seem to be in most 7-11’s, is the largest basket of brown bananas I have ever seen. I wonder if he’ll eat plantains, I think. Though the sign clearly reads bananas, the brown-spotted, banana shaped, not-quite-thick-enough-to be-considered plantains, are not bananas. Those that aren’t brown-freckled are completely brown. All are soft, some quite mushy, none quite edible.
My 9 year-old-son helps me find the least offensive of the over-ripe offering. Finally, with a brown-streaked banana in hand, I prepare to pay fresh-fruit prices for second-rate fruit. Would they try to pawn off bad fruit at the 7-11 near my home in Woodlawn? No. At the large, brightly-lit 7-11 downtown? No. At the 7-11’s I have frequented in and around Catonsville,
Glen Burnie and elsewhere?
“Yes.” the cashier says.
Her ‘yes’ is in response to my presence. I am supposed to translate that into the ‘can I help you?’ I expected to hear.
I ignore the incensed beating of my heart, the outraged rushing of my blood, the maddened urgings of common sense.
“Are these supposed to look like this?” I ask.
“I don’t know what they are supposed to look like,” the cashier answers.
Rudeness, over-ripe fruit, asinine cashiers, I know people suffer these inconveniences every day.
There are injustices I tolerate. For whatever reason, brown-freckled bananas are not one of them.