Wednesday, July 9, 2008
In my life I have had many dreams and fantasies. When I was a little girl I wanted to be a professional tennis player, and then I went up to a tournament in Philadelphia and lost in the first round, 6-0, 6-0, to a grunting Asian girl and I no longer had that dream. When I was in high school I wanted to marry a guy named Mark Williams, and then I kissed him with my braces and I sort of lost respect for him. (What was an eighteen year old guy doing kissing a 13 year old with braces?) When I was in college I wanted to become a writer, but then I realized I had another undiagnosed learning disability. I was a "write-tard." Definition: Someone who takes an abnormal time to write a paper.
Actually, come to think of it, this was diagnosed by my very caring teammate Claire Sullivan. One night she saw me in the library writing a paper. In the midst of stacks of books and notes, I had only two sentences written on my computer. The next afternoon she found me in the exact same spot, and during that time, I had only produced two additional sentences. While shaking her head she declared, "Ruth (my nickname in college) you are a freaking 'write-tard.'" Those words convinced me that writing was not my destined profession.
Now, please know that at the same time I've also seen many dreams come to fruition. For example, on the way to LA from Las Vegas all cars must pass through a fruit inspection station along the highway. This is typically manned by California's finest deputies of fruit, who's main job is to cause a massive traffic jam while they sit there and wave cars through. I have literally sat in my car for hours waiting for the perfunctory "stop and wave through" of these morons. It makes absolutely no sense, and I have vowed one day I would burn this structure down.
Yesterday, while driving from SLC to LA, I didn't light a match to this structure, but I was able to get one point in the game of "stop and wave through." Before I left, my mom had given me a bushel of bananas. (is bushel right?) After about eight hours of driving, traffic began to slow. It was only four thirty in the afternoon and I was still in the middle of nowhere. Instantly, I knew. I was coming upon the Fruit Inspection. As I pressed my brakes I began to think of how much I loathed this tiny stop. I hated how these lazy individuals would only open two booths at a time. My blood began to boil as I thought about the "official" uniforms they wore to simply wave people through. Did that make them feel important and powerful, I thought? I wanted to ask them what had possessed them to create this colossel nuisance, but didn't want to waste my time to get an answer. As I finally saw the structure, I realized I hated everything about the Fruit Inspection Station.
After waiting fifteen minutes in line, my turn came. A very official man stuck his hand out to stop my car and asked, "Do you have any fruit?" Do I have any fruit? For a moment I was caught in a moral dilemma. Do I tell the truth and let this inspection station take my fruit? Do I let them win after all the torture they have put me through?...No, I thought. Not this time. With a smile on my face, I replied, "Nope." I was then waved through.
I'm not sure I'm even going to eat these contraband bananas, but I will cherish them. They helped me accomplish a very important dream...a dream of sticking it to the Fruit Inspection Station.