“I can’t talk! There’s too much fruit in the house!”
One of my favorite television sitcoms is Everybody Loves Raymond. One episode, in particular, has been on my mind as of late. In the pilot episode, Raymond gets Marie (his mother) a birthday gift that “keeps on giving”. He signs her and Frank (his father) up for the “Fruit of the Month” club which sends a crate of fruit to their house each month for a whole year. Below is the dialogue that ensued:
Ray: Listen, Ma, I want to talk about Debra’s birthday…
Marie: My god, talk about birthdays. Your birthday gift to me finally came this morning. Did you know they sent me a box of pears?
Marie: From a place called “Fruit Of The Month”?
Ray: That’s right, how are they?
Marie: They’re very nice pears. But, there are so many of them. There are over a dozen pears. What am I supposed to do with all those pears?
Ray: I think you’re supposed to eat them.
Ray: You and Dad and Robert.
Marie: How many pears can Robert eat? I appreciate the thought, but please, don’t ever send us any more fruit again. Thanks.
Ray: Another box is coming next month.
Marie: What??!! More pears??!!
Ray: No, it’s a different fruit every month.
Marie: Every month??!!
Ray: Yes, that’s why it’s called “Fruit Of The Month” Club.
Marie: It’s a club??!! Oh, my god! What do I do with all this fruit?
Ray: Most people like it, Ma, they share it with their friends.
Marie: Which friends?
Ray: I don’t know. Lee and Stan?
Marie: Lee and Stan buy their own fruit. Why did you do this to me? I can’t talk, there’s too much fruit in the house.
[Frank walks in.]
Marie: [to Frank] Do you know the fruit keeps coming, month after month? [pointing at Ray] He’s got us in some kind of a cult.
Ray: It’s not a cult, it’s a club.
Frank: What do you mean, month after month? For how long?
Ray: A year.
Frank: My god, are you out of your mind? What do you think we are? Invalids? We can’t go out and get our own fruit?
Marie: I tried to tell him.
Ray: Alright, I’ll cancel the Fruit Club.
Marie: I can’t talk! There’s too much fruit in the house!
The “Fruit of the Month” club then became a running joke throughout the series and was mentioned in several other episodes. Marie will frequently say, “I can’t talk! There’s too much fruit in the house!” She gets flustered and inconsolable about the fruit. As ridiculous as this may seem, I see it as a perfect parallel to life. When things go wrong in my life, I feel like saying, “I can’t talk. There’s too much fruit in the house!”
Recently, I wrote about our mold and landlord problems. Being newlyweds, we expected to have some difficulties during out first year of marriage. We just didn’t expect to be unexpectedly displaced from our first home together and forced to stay with Kyle’s parents until we figure out what to do. Now that I have an hour and a half commute to and from work, I have time to think about what is going on in life.
The other day on my evening drive through the bumper-to-bumper traffic, I decided that life had signed us up for the “Fruit of the Month” club as a belated wedding gift. Of course, a crate of a different type of fruit each month would be pretty nice since we like fresh fruit and it can get kind of pricey sometimes. That would have been a great gift to get. Unfortunately, life didn’t think we needed the variety package so it signed us up to receive a crate of lemons each month for an indefinite period of time. We’ve got crate upon crate of lemons stacking up in our lives and there’s most definitely “too much fruit in the house”.
With all of these lemons, we are starting to get creative. We’ve made lemon pies, lemonade, lemon chicken, lemon juice, and any other kind of lemon concoction possible but the fruit keeps on coming. From illness to job loss to financial difficulties to Annie and now this, it seems like we are having lemons with everything we eat!
That being said, we don’t actually have lemons overflowing in our home. We do have obstacles and difficulties abounding, though. Just as I think things are starting to get better, something else happens. Take this, for example:
We’ve been managing with the commute from Georgia to Florida and things seemed to be getting better in life. We both had to make the drive on Monday morning so we brought Annie along and let her stay at the apartment while we went to our respective work places. I took a break from work to go a check on our dear sweet Annie. I didn’t want her to have to stay there alone for very long because of all of the mold problems we have been having.
When I walked in the door, I found the apartment in shambles. All of the blinds on all of the windows had either been mangled or torn down. Annie’s fourth leash (which didn’t last two weeks) was chewed through. The pinch collar and some of the leash were still hanging on the peg where we left it but the remaining ¾ of the leash was upstairs with chew marks on the handle. Our IKEA lamp that was in our bedroom was ripped to shreds. Furniture had been knocked over and pieces of the blinds were strewn about the floor. Apparently, Annie decided to forget how to behave like a good dog in the few days that we have been displaced. I promptly ordered a giant dog crate (which we had been putting off purchasing due to her fabulous behavior when left alone) and patiently awaited its arrival.
Too much fruit!
Now we are on the search for a new place to live that doesn’t have mold and terrible management. I’ve searched most of the popular internet sites and we’ve asked our friends and coworkers for help. We need a place with good air quality and someone we can trust for a landlord, but where do we find the perfect place? Who knows!
What I’ve learned from this experience is that you can’t count on a place being the “perfect” place. When we were about to get married, we sat down and decided as a couple to spend our honeymoon money on the “nice apartment”. Now, after almost a year of living in the supposedly “nice” apartment, we are forced to move once more. This time, we will check the utility closet BEFORE we sign the lease. Hind sight is almost always 20/20.
Would I go back and do things differently? Probably not. We did what we thought was best for us and our future at that time. Plus, there’s no way of knowing when life will sign you up for the “Fruit of the Month” club.
Sometimes we all have to say, “I can’t talk! There’s too much fruit in the house!”
Have you ever had “too much fruit in the house”? If so, tell me about it in the comments. I’d love to hear your story about life and lemons!
Until next time…
J. G. McNease