Sunday, November 18

Requiem for a Fruit Pie

My first year at university, I had a love affair. It was unrequited -- for my true love stuck by my side, but never genuinely loved me. I was loyal, nonetheless, and we met each afternoon to spend a few quiet moments together.

I grew increasingly despondent over that long year. I was alone in the world, but for my true love. My school was far from home, my family never called, money was tight, and my friendships felt fleeting and temporary. At the same time, my clothing was growing uncomfortably tight. But there was one comfort in my world: That love affair.

Oh, it was a tawdry thing. I worked at the city paper, and I met my love at a nearby convenience store during my afternoon breaks. Each day I'd watch the clock inch toward that magic moment when I could race for the door and down the block to the Seven-11, where my love awaited my daily appearance. My heart would race, but as I'd approach the door, I'd slow down, adjust my skirt, and try to calm my beating heart. I couldn't let strangers see how much I looked forward to these afternoon trysts. I'd enter the store, stop by the poorly stocked produce section -- perhaps strangers would think I was there to buy an apple -- but then my obession would drive me into the arms of my waiting love: the Hostess fruit pie aisle. Would it be cherry? Should I spend my ducats on an apple fruit pie? Or would today's indulgence be a berry pie? Perhaps a lemon? Or would I really, really indulge and buy a chocolate pie? No! Too much! Eat the healthy pie!

And so it went. Yes, I eventually married, and lived overseas, and had children, and travelled the world, and even graduated (in that order, I'll have you know), but whenever I was in the States, my One True Love and I would pick up again where we'd left off: The pie, callous and unfeeling; me, obessessing, longing for a sweet, joyful reunion. We've had short break ups, from time to time, my Hostess fruit pie and me, but we've never truly ended our relationship.

So when I started this raw food journey, I secretly kept HFP on a mental shelf, knowing it would always be there for me if I needed it. I could go into Seven-11, look triumphantly at the pie aisle, and sneer: You'll be waiting for me. You'll never truly leave me. You still love me.

Try to imagine, then, how I'm feeling right now. My one true love has dumped me. Hostess is shutting down. The bakery nazis have proclaimed No Pie for You. I have been abandoned.

But I have to take responsibility for my part in this debacle. Oh, I'm no innocent.

You'll recall, I quit going to Arby's. They went out of business. I didn't mention it earlier, but I quit going to my favorite gyro shop. Last month, they went out of business. In the past few weeks, not one, but both, of my Indian joints boarded their doors. And now -- oh, I'm so filled with shame -- I've single-handedly shut down Hostess.

Don't get too close. I have a lot to process.

- - - -
First I was afraid. I was petrified. Just thinkin' I could never live without you by my side. But then I spent so many nights thinkin' how you did me wrong. Now I'll grow strong. And I'll learn how to get along...Sing it, Gloria!