Green Bananas

I like to buy green bananas. Green bananas have something that yellow bananas don’t…potential. They have this sort of kinetic energy, this sense of optimism, a future to look forward to. Meanwhile, yellow bananas are stuck in a mid-life crisis. They cruise around with the top down in their Chrysler Sebring, hoping the wind doesn’t reveal that ever-increasing bald spot. Sure, they may look like a great purchase now, but it’s fools gold. When you get yellow bananas home, they start to age rapidly. To the bananas, your house represents the nursing home. Almost immediately they start to forget things. Things like which pills they’re supposed to take and which plate is for salad at Golden Corral. They start to watch a lot of Wheel of Fortune, and sit naked in empty bathtubs. In a matter of days, the once yellow bananas are now wrinkled and brown, and in the grave trash can.

My great-grandmother lived to be 103 years old. We called her Big Nanny. And she wasn’t big either, actually she was quite small. 103 years is a lot of years. That’s like people in the Bible old, like Moses. She would have been in the Bible too, if she was around back then. Jesus probably would have told a story about her. Maybe about her courage or strength or compassion. I think I was too small at the time to recognize just how cool she was. She raised 6 daughters in a tiny house with one bathroom. She never owned a car, instead she rode a horse, like Wyatt Earp. She mowed the grass and raked leaves up until her 100th birthday, I’m 26, and I don’t feel like doing either. She had an incredible sense of humor and really thick glasses, glasses that wouldn’t break even if you stepped on them.

It’s funny how young people ask old people lots of questions. We ask more experienced people for wisdom, we ask them for advice, we prod them for what they wish they could have done differently. And Big Nanny got a lot of these questions thrown at her as well, because she was born in the 1800’s and rode a horse and all. Someone once asked her about aging, probably some punk kid with a blog. She summed the process up by saying, “When you get to be my age, you don’t buy green bananas.”

It’s a good point really, when you’re 103. I mean any day could be the day. You can’t really sit around and wait for the bananas to turn yellow.

I’ve been thinking about that quote lately, about not buying green bananas. I’ve been thinking about potential and kinetic energy and the future. And really, that’s all I’ve done my whole life, is think about these things. My whole life I’ve been buying green bananas. I’ve been waiting and hoping, relying on the years to make changes for me.

But I think Big Nanny had it right. Maybe instead of making plans about the future, or putting things off hoping the years will somehow change us, maybe we should do something now. Maybe we should create things, make a phone call, take the day off, pursue a dream. Maybe we shouldn’t just sit around and wait for the bananas to turn yellow. See, how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. Each day is an opportunity to live differently, to change things, to decide to do something. We can’t move forward if we’re sitting still.

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Categories: I Digress

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3 Comments on “Green Bananas”

  1. Greg Warren
    May 7, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    Drew, I love reading your blog. Your writing style and humor remind me of Dave Barry. (syndicated columnist – but you probably new that already). You also make some keen observations. Keep it coming.

  2. May 7, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

    Thanks Greg! I actually hadn’t heard of Dave Barry until you mentioned him, I’ll check him out. Thanks for checking out our site!


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