When I was a kid, my mother would serve us grapefruit cut in half, so that we would have to scoop out the sections with a spoon–the way, I’m pretty sure, this fruit is usually served. However, she would pre-slice the sections with a knife so we could easily get the fruit out.
It was amazing, and we had no idea.
Recently, I bought a grapefruit and tried to pre-slice the fruit for myself. I ended up squirting myself with juice in the eye every 3 seconds, and by the time I was done, the fruit was so mangled that I could barely find anything to scoop out. Plus, even after pre-slicing it, it was still very difficult pulling it from its pulp.
I decided then that I would never buy another grapefruit. Grapefruit, for me, would remain something from my childhood, or it would be relegated to a diner, where they give you that special grapefruit spoon with serrated edges.
Then last week a co-worker brought in oranges and grapefruit from Texas for some reason, and she walked through the office handing them out like some sort of tropical Santa. When I asked her which was better, she said grapefruit, so I took one and brought it home, even knowing I would be unable to enjoy it aside from squeezing the juice into a glass.
But yesterday I had an idea. What if I tried cutting the fruit like an orange, into slices? It looks essentially like a giant orange, right? Couldn’t it then conceivably be eaten like one?
There was only one way to find out.
I still ended up squirting myself with juice in the eye every 3 seconds, and my entire counter space was soaked by the time I finished, but when I was done I was also left with slices of grapefruit that were so easily peeled away from their rind with my teeth that I couldn’t believe people hadn’t thought of this before.
I’m sure people have thought of this before. But I hadn’t.
And suddenly, a situation that seemed hopeless was now full of opportunity.
I saw a picture on Instagram recently of train tracks, with the caption, “You have so many more options than you think you do.” And it’s cheesy, but it spoke to me. So often I can only see the option in front of me. I claim to be a creative person, but when it comes to my life, I always jump to the conclusion that something won’t work–nope, I’ll never be able to eat grapefruit again–instead of taking a minute to breathe and consider an idea I hadn’t thought of before.
Hopefully I’ll be able to take this lesson and apply it to other situations, but honestly, if the only benefit I get from the realization that things don’t have to be what they seem is the ability to eat grapefruit in my apartment, that’s good enough for me.