Monday, December 09, 2013

Tales from the house of fruitcake

When Nick doesn't like something, he makes it clear that not only does he not care for it, but that he couldn't imagine anyone else liking it. This happens sometimes with vegetables. He's practically offended.

My father was exactly like this. He would almost fall on the floor gagging to show his distaste for something you'd chosen to enjoy for which he'd already expressed his dislike.

It drove me crazy.

Also like my dad, Nick speaks authoritatively, no matter what the topic. When I'm not sure what I'm talking about, you know it. Probably because I begin my sentence with, "I'm not exactly sure..." or "I think..."

Whereas when Nick doesn't know, he still sounds totally confident. He could seriously tell you that the moon is made of felt, and sound totally credible.

Which sometimes makes me question whether I know what I'm talking about.

(Felt? Really? I always thought it was made of...I don't know...moonish stuff?)

His is an ability I admire, and one I'd like to have, but don't. Which is not to say that it doesn't irritate me when I'm pretty sure I know what I'm talking about but then start second-guessing myself...

So the other day, when he saw three large containers of dried dates on the counter - labeled, by the way, "DATES" - he made a face and said, "What are those?"

I knew where this was going, and so as not to be rude, I rolled my eyes before turning to face him.


"Oh. Prunes!"


Now, I know for a fact that this man knows a hell of a lot more than I do about history, politics, and a variety of other topics, but he doesn't know his fruit. And I'd have bet good money that he couldn't tell a date from a dromedary.

"No. Prunes are dried plums and dates are dates."

"Yeah, but aren't these dried? When they're dried, they're prunes. They're the same thing."

"Dates are dates. They come from date palms. We had them in Egypt. Dried plums are prunes. They come from plum trees. I'm telling you."

"Then there's another word for them."

"No." I said this authoritatively. (Although maybe there is?)

And then he took a bite of one and said, "Ow! Dates have pits!"

Which I could've told him.

"Well, what are they all for?"

"Fruitcake. Betty is making fruitcake."

"Fruitcake?! Why?"

Why? This why held not bewilderment, not a plea for an explanation, but rather the unvoiced: Why the fuck would anyone make fruitcake? Everyone hates it! Ew yuck gross bleah if I had to eat fruitcake I'd throw it on the ground and stomp on it yucky yucky poo poo!


"[Dear friend who has terminal cancer] loves it it. As do other people." (unvoiced: so shut the hell up.)

And on a side bar, cancer is kind of like prison in conversation, don't you think? It trumps pretty much everything.


Basically, Nick's lucky I haven't ever put any raisins in his anus while he's sleeping.


  1. Brought a little tear to my eye laughing and also remembering how my father used to read Capote's A Christmas Memory to us...."It's fruitcake weather!"

    1. Delo! I love that story, and I always think of that when it's fruitcake time! "It's fruitcake weather!" My dad used to put on a record of Dylan Thomas reading "A Child's Christmas in Whales" every year.

  2. Nick is following a time honored male tradition. If you don't know something talk about it loudly and authoritatively -- some gullible soul will believe you, thereby adding credibility to the bullshit. It's how cults get started. It's part of the Y gene. And, let me add this, if God wanted you to eat fruitcake, it would taste like a chocolate cake.

    1. Haha, I suppose he is! Nick uses similar logic about pumpkin - if it were so great, people would eat it all year round rather than just once a year.

  3. my mother made the best fruticake EVER! she'd make it in February, store it in the freezer and then add rum to it every month. As you can imagine by December the cake rocked! Grandma would have 1/2 a slice and she'd be the entertainment all evening....

    1. That sounds dangerous and delicious! Betty's fruitcake is terrific. It gets wrapped in cheesecloth soaked in brandy, and then regularly doused with brandy. But not for an entire year!

    2. yah Betty! have a piece for me.


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