Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How to End a Relationship with a Kiwi

I loved visiting my grandparents when I was growing up, but we could only go for a weekend every few months since they lived four hours away. When I was in my teens and early twenties, I realized I didn't have to wait for my parents to go visit. Since I was working, I could buy a train ticket and my grandparents would pick me up at the station.

My grandparents loved these visits as did my grandmother's sister. She and my grandmother decided that since I was visiting more often, they might set me up with one of the nice young men at church there. They picked an older man who had his own house and had a good job in the oil fields. He was quite a catch in their eyes. He seemed nice enough, so we started seeing each other when we could, trying the long distance relationship thing. After a month or so, I had come down with my parents for a visit because they wanted to meet him.

When he came over, Papa said that he wanted to go to a local field and "glean" kiwis. It had taken me all morning to get ready, and I had no intention of spending the afternoon clod hopping around in a field getting all dirty for left over kiwis. My mother informed me otherwise using my first and middle name to let me know that I would indeed be gleaning kiwis with Papa whether I liked it or not. New boyfriend decided to play peacekeeper and volunteered to go along. The three of us piled into my grandfather's pickup and headed to the kiwi field. Papa was very crippled with arthritis by this time in his life, so new boyfriend and I helped him through the soft dirt to a fence post he could hold on to. I took my bag and went ahead picking up kiwis and muttering to myself leaving Papa and NB to fend for themselves.

Papa loved to play tricks on people and decided to have a little fun. He secretly talked NB into throwing a kiwi at me. Now we hadn't been dating that long, so Papa knew two things NB didn't. First, I played women's softball and could throw like a man. Second, I had a bad temper (like my mother and grandmother).

When I felt a sting in the middle of my back and saw the kiwi on the ground, I spun around to see NB playfully throwing a kiwi in the air with a victorious grin on his face. Papa stood nearby looking innocent. My eyes narrowed, and I threw the kiwi I was holding with all my strength. Now, I want to interject here in my defense. A kiwi is not a softball and doesn't necessarily go where you aim it. As luck would have it, NB got hit in the crotch with a 100 mile an hour kiwi. He double over in the dirt coughing and groaning.

Papa, of course, was laughing so hard I thought we were going to have to carry him out of the field. He decided we had enough kiwis, and I had to help both of them back to the truck. The only sound on that trip home was Papa's non-stop laughter. He kept wiping his eyes with his handkerchief.  Oddly enough, the relationship with NB didn't last. Go figure.