Wednesday, February 25, 2015

#136 Stand By Your Lemon

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade" is a proverbial phrase used to encourage optimism and a can-do attitude in the face of adversity or misfortune. Lemons suggest bitterness, while lemonade is a sweet drink.
The phrase was initially coined by Christian anarchist writer Elbert Hubbard in a 1915 obituary he penned and published for dwarf actor Marshall P. Wilder.[1] The obituary, entitled The King of Jesters, praises Wilder's optimistic attitude and achievements in the face of his disabilities."  Source--Wikipedia

Someone recently made the above comment on my ability to make lemonade while living with cancer--or something along those lines which led me to ponder the phrase and its meaning.  Google to the rescue and, of course, my answer to where this little tidbit originated was revealed.

Let it be noted that today I am making a stand on changing this locution--my apologies to Elbert Hubbard and everyone who has sincerely and kindheartedly used this expression to acknowledge another's plight. It's time to give the lemons of the world a break.

Below are my observations on this much maligned fruit that has taken unreasonable abuse for a hundred years and why an alternate term should be considered:

1. Lemons are the color of the sun, the yellow rose of fruit.  Think about it. When you are walking down the produce aisle do you feel your eyes gravitate to their vibrant golden color especially after scanning the multitude of green vegetables. Yes, I thought so.

2.  The smell--ahhh.  It conjures up memories of summer fun, a good martini, a recently cleaned house.  I would continue this sensory journey but am sure a whiff of that fragrant aroma is starting to drift your way.

3.  Squeeze a little of that lemon on fish right off the grill or in your ice tea/water/coke.  It goes with everything.  Google it and find no less than 877,000 entries on cooking with lemons.  Enough said.

4. But what about the "bitter" taste (many references in those Google spots) you might ask?   Close your eyes and imagine biting into a freshly cut slice of lemon.  Made you pucker didn't it?  Is that a bad thing?   Don't waste it--grab your honey and deliver a big smooch using that unexpected delight.

 In conclusion to my rallying for clemency for the lemon I suggest we find another reference to  someone with a "can-do attitude".  When life gives you a bag of flour, make cookies.  I have never oohed or "aahed" over flour in the grocery store.  But a batch of cookies? A hot out of the oven morsel is much more sublime than the sweetest drink that could possibly be made.

All right then, is it settled?  Can we agree to reinstate this fruit to a more advanced status and leave the lemonade to stand on its own?  (sorry about the bad pun--couldn't resist). Let's show this oval citrus some respect.  Lemon lovers it is time to unite and shout out to the world that our golden gem has more to offer than an added splash to a summer drink.

Thanks for reading # 136 of 7777.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more. The press to value only the sweet part of the lemon or to have to turn it into a positive negates the reality of the experience. Everything in life is not necessarily sweet, but every experience has value. Loving lemons both for the lemonade and for the mouth- puckeringnes of them is the same as unconditional love for children. It is the best way to love.