“You ate yours,” she said, “now stay away from mine.”
She was talking about cherries.
We bought a bag of tart cherries at The Big Box Store, and I already wolfed down my half.
Then I ate half of what remained.
That is when my wife put her foot down – resulting in a bowl of cherries being left on the counter all week.
“Don’t even think about eating them,” she told me.
How could I not?
Every time I passed by, I was forced to wrestle with my conscience and all too many times my conscience lost and I filched a few. Now the few were adding up to a noticeable dent.
She said she was letting them ripen – but I don’t believe that. Granted the cherries were tart when we bought them but I know my wife and I suspect deeper motives.
She was testing me.
Love is never a constant. It ebbs and it flows and from time to time one is compelled to take its measure. But this test was unfair. I love her a lot – but do I love her more than cherries? This I do not even know.
Some things we share.
Wine is always poured into two equal glasses.
Pie is divided by one and served by the other.
At the cash register whenever I buy a candy bar, I buy two. One for her one for myself.
But sometimes it is hard to share.
I eat faster than she does. I can’t help it. I grew up in a large family where grab and gobble was a matter of survival. So when she is not feeling generous, she knows to either buy things that I do not like or hide them.
She once admitted to hiding Girl Scout cookies in a Kotex box.
Which brings us back to cherries.
This time she did not hide them. Instead, she left them on the counter, alone with me for a week while she went off to work.
So do I love her more than cherries? And what is love if it has never been put to the test?
Some questions should never be asked and never be answered, so I returned to the Big Box Store to buy a bag of cherries then I set them in a bowl on the counter next to hers.
“These are mine,” I told her when she got home, “and don’t even think about touching them.”
She stared for a few moments before asking the obvious, “Are you trying to test me?”