one for the recipe books

or probably not. you decide.

there i was. a college graduate. a world traveler. starting the first year of my mba program. and totally clueless about how to get a guy.

(okay, to be accurate, as of labor day weekend, i had been dumped by the guy i’d been emailing while i taught english in taiwan and who, after i told him that he needed to learn how to respect a woman’s boundaries, told me that there was a monster inside him that he couldn’t control so he didn’t want to date me anymore. oh, the stories i could tell you about that guy. the sheer number of things he said that no one should ever say to another person. i could keep a blog going for a while. but let’s prove that i’m really over him and not blog about it. besides, i’m totally distracting you from the post at hand.)

so let’s revise that previous sentence way up there. i was totally clueless about how to get a good guy. one with no monsters inside him.

but then i met him. (we’ll call him by his initials: mm.) i knew mm was special. tall and rugged. a full head of hair. good to his mother, i was sure. definitely worth crushing (on).

i paid attention to what i heard around the complex about mm. did people speak highly of him? did people like him?

yes. they did.

mm was known for the homemade peach pies that he would make and deliver to the ladies (and gents, i believe) that he home taught (a program of the LDS church). peach pies from the canned peaches his mom prepared every year from the peach harvest they had right there on their farm. or something close to that fresh and homegrown. i know for sure he didn’t use the flavorless mealy peaches from the nearby smith’s. i’m just not sure if it was his farm or a neighbor’s farm or just a few peach trees out back. not that i know from experience since i never tasted one of his peach pies. (but pretend i didn’t say that because it kind of gives away the ending.)

with all the flirting skills i could muster (and some might argue that they were many), i went about convincing mm that i was deserving of one of his famous and delectable peach pies. maybe i wasn’t on his home teaching list, but i had other qualities that qualified me as a worthy and grateful recipient.

try as i might, mm didn’t respond to my overtures. every week or so i heard of another apartment receiving one of the peach pies i was dreaming of, as well as mm’s time and attention. i didn’t know which i wanted more: a peach pie or mm’s attention directed my way. thankfully, that was something i didn’t need to decide. if he brought me a peach pie, obviously, he would also be bringing some time and attention.

finally. finally, i heard a knock at the door of our basement apartment.

there stood mm, pie in hand.

my tireless efforts had paid off. my flirting was not fruitless. i had skillz after all.

“oh hello, mm,” i said. (surely, it would be appropriate to assume that i said it breathlessly. let’s try that again.)

“oh hello, mm,” i breathed.

“i brought you a pie,” he replied matter-of-factly.

huh. i wasn’t detecting any romance in his tone or stance.

“wow. gee. that’s so fun. come on in.”

“i can’t stay. also, i ran out of peaches. so i made you a fruit cocktail pie. i’ve never made one before. i added some pectin [or some such gelatin-ifying agent] to the juice already in the can and…”

i wasn’t listening. he didn’t need to explain. i was getting the message. loud and clear.

mm was not into me. mm would never be into me. mm’s pie was asking that i stop flirting so shamelessly with its maker.

“… i’ve never tried fruit cocktail pie before. so like i said, i can’t stay, but will you save me a piece? i’d like to stop by some time and try it.”

“uh… wha… oh yeah, sure. we’ll save you some.” like that would be a problem? did he really think that even a crumb of his homemade pie crust would pass my lips?

even one bite would mean i had to accept the rejection. had to swallow it, even.

not a chance.

my roommates and i cut out the piece he asked for, put it on a paper plate and in the fridge. the rest of the pie, and my feelings for mm, ended up right where they belonged.

in the garbage.

the end.

—-

epilogue. in case you’ve been left wondering.

yes, mm came back over for to try his special pie.

yes, he said he liked it.

yes, i realized during his visit that someone who could use “fruit cocktail pie” and “good” in the same sentence didn’t deserve my affection. (or maybe i’m just saying that now. it’s hard to say if i never allowed a thought or two of mm to cross my mind after that.)

yes, i lied to him and said i had tried it.

no, i never again asked if we would, pretty please with fluttering eyelashes, make me a peach pie.

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7 Responses to one for the recipe books

  1. queenann says:

    You are an awesome writer. Brilliant.
    I wish you had tried the fruit cocktail pie. Shoulda, coulda, woulda, pal.

  2. Carol Schiess says:

    Come on, queenann. It had grapes in it. Canned grapes.

    • queenann says:

      I just think the story would be a little better if we got to hear about the canned grapes. And how ….. they were–wonderful, slimy, etc.

      And the other parts of the cocktail, too.

  3. Landee says:

    I want to hear more about that one guy. And his monsters.

    You’re acting like this is that story about those mean girls who give that girl a present and when she opened it, it was a can of dog food. I bet it was delicious! Who doesn’t love fruit cocktail?? I think I might try a fruit cocktail pie. Did he happen to mention how much pectin he put in?

  4. mar says:

    i had completely forgotten about this. ahh, the memories.

  5. Carol Schiess says:

    Oh yes. Who wouldn’t want a slice of solid, gelatinous fruit cocktail?

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